Nik's Viveza 2 for Enhancing Window Light

My favorite way to use the Photoshop plugin Viveza (from Nik) is to modify and enhance window light. The following image of model Andrelica was taken at 1/15th of a second, f/5.6, at ISO 2000. Naturally, the camera needed to be mounted on a tripod, and the model needed to be rock still. She was illuminated solely by the light from the candles. It was taken a little after sunset, so there was very little light streaming in through the windows. Here is what the raw file looks like:

The raw file is dark and hardly inspiring.

The raw file is dark and hardly inspiring.

The image was modified in Lightroom. To lighten it, the Shadow slider was raised to +100, and the Blacks slider was raised to +18. Overall, the image had a green tint, so the Tint slider was raised to the right for more red and less green. Because of the long exposure, there was considerable noise in the image. The Noise Reduction Luminance slider was raised to 38. This had the added benefit of smoothing out the skin. Because I wanted this smoothing, I left  Noise Reduction's Detail and Contrast sliders at their default positions. The image was then opened in Photoshop. Here is what it looked like at this point:

The Lightroom adjustments have helped this image considerably.

The Lightroom adjustments have helped this image considerably.

After removing a couple spots and lightening the eyes, the image was brought into Viveza to enhance the window light. I sought to achieve the blue light seen in so many architectural magazines. Three control points were placed on the blue sky showing between the slats of the window blinds. The Blue slider was moved to its maximum value. A slight vignette and a slight crop gave this result:

Architectural Digest, move over!

Architectural Digest, move over!

Viveza 2 uses U Point technology to restrict the color adjustment to only those areas similar to where the control point was placed. Therefore, it is very fast and easy because no masking is needed.