This week, we’re back from leading the Colorado in Bloom workshop in Crested Butte, and we have a follow-up on our thoughts using the new Nikon MC 105mm f/2.8 S VR macro lens. We’ll then dive into the recently updated Nik Collection Plugins by DXO, which adds some significant new features to Silver Efex Pro and Viveza. While there are still some rough edges in the software, Rick and Jason both feel it is a worthy upgrade and plan on using it in their own workflows.
DXO Software recently acquired the Nik Collection from Google. Yesterday, they released the first new update to the Nik Collection in several years. The seven plug-ins are available directly from DXO and support the latest Mac and Windows OS. My printable PDF guides and custom presets will help you get up to speed with the Nik Collection quickly and easily!
I’ve recently been adopting Skylum Software’s Luminar as a Photoshop plug-in to replace my aging Nik Collection. Don’t get me wrong, I still love Nik, but it’s outdated and I’m not sure where it’s going to end up (yes, I realize it’s been purchased by DXO). With a little practice, I’ve gotten to the point where Luminar is effectively replacing Silver Efex Pro 2 for monochrome conversion work.
With Luminar I’m able to replicate most of my go-to Nik filters, all in a single plug-in application. Luminar also supports Smart Filters, so you can create non-destructive edits if you use Smart Object layers in Photoshop. Instead of having to run multiple plug-ins (usually Silver Efex and Color Efex), I can do everything in a single interface
This image is a digital infrared capture (590nm) that I processed to emulate deep black (830nm) infrared using Luminar.
With the recent announcement that Google will no longer support the Nik Collection, I’ve started using Macphun’s suite of editing tools more and more frequently. Most specifically, I’ve jumped feet-first into their newest editor, Luminar. I’ve found it to be an excellent choice for photographers who are familiar with the Nik Collection suite. You can read my initial thoughts on Luminar here.
Here’s why I’m moving to Macphun:
Macphun Software applications use the latest technologies for image adjustments and special effects
Macphun products are compatible with Lightroom and Photoshop, plus you can use Luminar as a stand-alone editor (it even opens most RAW files)
While there are several Macphun software plug-ins available for Mac users (and they are excellent), Luminar is so incredibly flexible that it can take the place of most of the other filters, provided you know where to look. Because Luminar is coming to Windows, too, it’s the one Macphun product I think you should be familiar with. Here are some tips for getting the most out of Luminar. Continue reading Moving to Macphun: Tips for Nik Users→
I’m pleased to offer my Nik Collection instructional videos for 50% off through July 31, 2017. That means you can get the full set of tutorials for Color Efex Pro 4, HDR Efex Pro 2, and Silver Efex Pro 2 for under $15. Simply use code nikvideo at checkout to get the discount applied. Each video complements my comprehensive PDF tutorials and is presented in high-definition QuickTime (.mov) format. Playback requires QuickTime (MacOS) or VLC player (Windows).