Today, Nik Software released its popular Viveza software with support for Lightroom 2! It works just like the version for Photoshop with the exception that you can now launch Viveza from Lightroom, select either the original, a copy of the original or a copy with "Lightroom Adjustments" before you begin editing. You can also decide whether to "Stack" the resulting image back into the Lightroom catalog along with the original or all by itself. I have been hoping that Nik would begin adding support for Lightroom so I had to try this new version out on some photos I took in Yosemite a couple of weeks ago.
In February each year, when the atmospheric conditions are at their best, Horsetail Falls on El Capitan in Yosemite National Park comes alive at sunset to provide the visual perception of a fire falls. Hundreds of photographers come out to see and capture the above photo. However, most walk away with a yellowish-gold colored falls - not what you would expect from fire! Some crank in a warmer white balance on their cameras, which does make the falls more reddish-orange. However, it also dulls the blues in the sky. This can be resolved in Photoshop with layers but I decided to give Viveza with LR2 support a try and eliminate the extra step in my workflow.
In the photo above, I first used Viveza to accentuate the warmth of the light in the falls. Using a relatively small control point, a little larger than the width of the falls, I started at the top and adjusted the B, R and W sliders to make it look more like fire. Then I duplicated and overlapped this control point with another by 50% to apply the same adjustments to the next section of the falls. I continued this process down its entire length until it all looked the same.
Finally, I placed a control point on the sky and made it cooler by deepening and saturating the blues. I then decided to duplicate that control point then overlap it with the other to even out the color in the sky.
Larger versions of the above photo can be found on my Flickr account and at www.howardignatius.com.