How to Create a Border in Capture NX2

Posted April 8th, 2011 by   |  Photography, Software  |  Permalink

Here’s a question I received via email from C. Osborne in the UK.

He says, “Mike, I am enjoying reading your book Nikon Capture NX2, After the Shoot. One thing I need to know is, how can I get black borders on my prints in Nikon Capture NX2?”

Here's a simple black border I applied in Nikon Capture NX2. Read the post below for more information on how it was created.

Here's a simple black border I applied in Nikon Capture NX2. Read the post below for more information on how it was created.

The answer to his question isn’t intuitive, but works pretty well. Here’s an approach that you can try.

1. Open the photo in Capture NX2.

2. Process photo so it looks “good.” In other words, do all your white balance, brightness, contrast, conversion to black and white, etc.”

Here's the photo with no border. I added a little Glamour Glow from Nik Color Efex Pro 3.0. Photo was taken with my Nikon D7000 and a 50mm f1.8 lens. Window behind the girls to diffused sunlight.

Here's the photo with no border. I added a little Glamour Glow from Nik Color Efex Pro 3.0. Photo was taken with my Nikon D7000 and a 50mm f1.8 lens. A window was behind the girls which gave nice diffused light.

3. Choose the Lasso Tool. More specifically, you’ll need to choose the “Minus” rectangular lasso too. This is important because the “minus” tool allows the border to appear on the outside of the selection. Conversely, the “plus” tool will allow the adjustment to occur inside the selection (you don’t want that for this example).

Rectangular marquee tool in Capture NX2.

Rectangular marquee tool in Capture NX2.

Make sure that you click the little minus symbol on the marquee tool.

Make sure that you click the little minus symbol on the marquee tool.

4. Adjust the Edge Softness to your liking. An amount of 0 pixels will produce a hard-edge border and an amount of 50px to 100px will produce a soft-edge border.

5. Draw your marquee selection around the perimeter of your photo. Obviously, you’ll want to keep the box away from the edges of the picture. The distance the box is away from the edge will determine the width of the border.

See the marquee inside the picture. The wider the marquee, the thicker the border.

See the marquee (marching ants) inside the picture. The wider the marquee, the thicker the border.

6. Coose Levels & Curves from the New Step that was created after you drew the marquee border.

Choose Levels & Curves from the new step.

Choose Levels & Curves from the new step.

7. Take the black levels slider control (left side) and move it almost all the way over to the right side. This will cause the areas in the selection to turn black. This forms the black border for the photo.

Move the black levels slider almost all the way to the right side. This will darken everything in the marquee area.

Move the black levels slider almost all the way to the right side. This will darken everything in the marquee area.

8. Done!

Here's the final pic with a black border. Quick. Simple. Fast. Easy.

Here's the final pic with a black border. Quick. Simple. Fast. Easy.

By the way, this same approach will work in just about any image processing program. You can easily do this in Photoshop using the rectangular marquee tool or in Lightroom.

Since I was creating borders, I tried it on another image below. This is my small barn in the back of my house in Gig Harbor, WA on a cold morning a few weeks ago.

Another sample black border created in Nikon Capture NX2. Barn. Nikon D7000, 18-105mm, handheld. Processed with Nikon Capture NX2 and Nik Color Efex Pro Bleach Bypass.

Another simple black border created in Nikon Capture NX2. Barn. Nikon D7000, 18-105mm, handheld. Processed with Nikon Capture NX2 and Nik Color Efex Pro Bleach Bypass.



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