Follow-up to Using Nik Plug-ins with Capture NX2

Sorry for being unavailable for the last week, but I was out of the country on vacation.  I got a bunch of responses to my last post, Using Nik Plug-ins with Capture NX 2 and I thought I’d clarify a few things.

  • The workflow I describe only works on TIFF or JPEG images.  This is because that is how Lightroom/Aperture plug-ins work.  You cannot open a NEF file directly in any Nik plug-in– even those of us with Photoshop need to use ACR and convert their raw files to TIFF before the plug-in reads it.
  • The workflow I describe is not something that Nik designed intentionally; it’s simply a by-product of the way Lightroom plug-ins work, and something I came across and thought I’d share.  I’m sharing this with my readers to offer those people who don’t use Adobe products a way to access the great features of the Nik plug-ins.
  • Because this “feature” was not something that Nik intentionally designed, they don’t offer support for it.  If it works for you, that’s awesome.  As with all things, try the free demo of the software first before you buy it!

Happy shooting!

Using Nik Plug-ins with Capture NX 2

As much as I like using Nikon’s Capture NX 2 image editing software for processing my NEF files, I also really like using Nik Software’s plug-ins.  Currently, only Color Efex Pro 3 works natively within the Capture NX 2 environment.  However, I was recently having a discussion with one of my contacts at Nik Software, and he mentioned an interesting fact: the Lightroom implementations of Nik’s plug-ins can essentially be made to work as “stand-alone” applications, and launched directly from Capture NX 2.  This is because Lightroom doesn’t really support “plug-ins,” instead it supports external editing applications.  The upside of this design is that if you have the Lightroom version of a Nik plug-in installed, you can send it TIFFs or JPEGs directly without using Lightroom or Photoshop!

Here’s how to make Nik Plug-ins work with Capture NX 2 as external editors: Continue reading Using Nik Plug-ins with Capture NX 2

Nik HDR Efex Pro First Impressions

Sunrise in Canyonlands, processed in Nik HDR Efex Pro

Nik Software has recently announced HDR Efex Pro, a new application for creating high dynamic range images.  The new software functions either as a stand-alone application or as a Photoshop/Lightroom/Aperture plug-in.  I’ve had a chance to demo the release (1.0) version of this software; this is my initial report.


Nik HDR Efex Pro is a native 64-bit application. It is not guaranteed to work under 32-bit operating systems, so be sure to download the demo before purchasing.


The HDR Efex Pro interface will be very familiar to users of other Nik plug-ins.  The left-hand side of the window contains a listing of starting point presets (with thumbnails), while editing controls are on the right.   There is a zoom (loupe) window in the lower right-hand corner that allows you to see your image at 100% as you move the cursor over the image.

The Nik HDR Efex Interface

Continue reading Nik HDR Efex Pro First Impressions

Sunrise at Mesa Arch (Canyonlands NP)

The early bird catches the worm.  The early photographer catches the sunrise.  This is the world-famous Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park, near Moab, UT.  I shot here this morning to tune-up for the workshop I’m leading with Rick Walker today through Sunday.  I’m thinking we’re going to have some great shooting!  More shots will be posted here on my Flickr stream as I get through them.

Next time, I hope you can join me on a workshop!