Photo of prayer flags and Tibetans in Bodhnath, Nepal

Beyond the prayer flags. Bodhnath, Nepal.

One company that really seems to be getting behind photographers and giving them the tools and resources for creativity to shine is Google. Following their acquisition of Nik software last year, they’ve reduced the price of the Nik collection by more than half for new customers, offered free updates for life for existing customers, and just last week debuted a new tool in the Nik Collection, Analog Efex Pro. As with any new release there were those that embraced it sight unseen, and those that rolled their eyes and described it as an Instagram filter. The best thing to do however is to put it through its paces and see what it’s capable of.

When I first looked at it my first impression was that it’d be useful for adding some subtle texture to photographs that can benefit from them, and I created a couple of quickly processed images in this way that I was reasonably happy with. Looking around at some of the work that other people were sharing on Google + it became evident to me that the photographs that work best were ones where the subject already had an old feel to it. Although I’ve yet to see anyone do it, I don’t think something like the ultra-modern metropolis of Dubai would be suitable for Analog Efex Pro. I am however happy to be proved wrong on that so if anyone wants to send me on an assignment to photograph Dubai and process it in Analog Efex Pro, I’ll certainly give it a go. Where I think the strength lies are with images that already have an aged or timeless nature to them, and there’s no better place for that than the area around Bodhnath Stupa on the edge of Kathmandu, Nepal.

Photo of Tibetan woman

Turning prayers.

Photo of Tibetan women with prayer wheels

Prayer wheels

For the photographs here I’ve started with the presets located in the panels on the left. These give me a starting point, and from there I can move to the various adjustment panels on the right and tweak things to taste. In time, I’ll likely begin creating my own custom recipes based on these adjustments but until I’m fully up to speed with all aspects of the software I’ll hold off doing that.

Nik Analog Efex Pro, like the other tools in the Nik Collection, will work its way into my workflow when appropriate, and as I already do with other tools, I’ll will also find myself shooting specifically for processing in the app.

Photo of prayers in Nepal

Prayers

Photo of a Tibetan monk with religious text.

Sutras.

Photo of pilgrims at a Buddhist stupa, Nepal

Pilgrims.