I don’t understand the science of how the creative effects in Photoshop and other photographic software works, nor do I really need to but I do need to understand what they do to the images.
Take this picture of a couple of stems of Crocosmia. I liked the composition and was happy with the exposure and sharpness of the image but it seemed fairly dull with little detail in the flower. As in the previous post, I exported it into Nik Color Efex Pro 4, added a detail extraction filter and a contrast filter to try to add some texture and ended up with the strangest results.
On the face of it, there is more detail in the second image, however there is also a strange glow around the flower and the background is no longer black. When I edited the same picture again in Color Efex Pro 4, I found that it was the detail extraction filter that caused the problem rather than the contrast filter. I can only assume that as well as, or maybe as opposed to adding texture it removes some of the colour pigment and this causes the glow and reduction of black. I can’t tell when the image is saved back into Lightroom because it is saved as a new image and all of the Lightroom sliders are back in their default position. This is more noticeable in images with a black background which just reinforces the fact that some effects work better with some images than others and you really do need to inspect the final outcome carefully before using it.