So, I consider myself an enthusiastic amateur when it comes to photography. Like you, I have often wondered how pro photos seem to have that extra sparkle and depth to them compared to my muddy efforts at monochrome.
Well friends, silver effex is the answer to that question.
What you have here is the best darkroom in the world without the need for smelly chemicals, red lights and hours hunched over trays.
God this is good. Let me take you through how it works.
You need photoshop or aperture and effex installs as a plug in. Do your initial cropping and editing in the parent program then open effex.
It shows you a neutral monochrome conversion which, is already leagues ahead of the parent program's efforts. You can then pick from conversion styles such as full spectrum, high key, fine art etc. There are previews of each and I usually scan down to pick the best look.
I then got to global adjustments and tweak brightness, contrast and something called structure. This is my ace as brickwork and subjects with loads of texture gain extra detail and depth, it really pulls you into the photo.
You then move onto selective adjustment, think dodge and burn with amazing control, once you get the hang of grouping control points together you can boost contrast, brightness and structure in certain areas. Importantly, you can also lower these elements which really helps draw attention to the subject of the image.
You then go onto the fun stuff, emulation of film grain, vignetting, borders, tints etc. you can play all day with these, they are fun and of genuine utility.
In short, effex will give your images the life they need, I swear they add massive shine and sparkle to your images and will awaken the beast of creativity.
Check my pics on[...]
I have had this program for two weeks and already am seeing improvements in my photos beyond what I expected.