Photography, like any other medium, is a craft. In woodworking, you produce a finished product through a serial application of sandpaper, working from coarse to fine. The best finish is only obtained after using the finest-grit sandpapers, sometimes even between coats of lacquer. So it is, too with photography.
Your camera settings apply the foundation of the image, but they cannot refine the image in the same way your editing software can. Even seemingly small adjustments can be the difference between a snapshot and a gallery print. For years, my “secret sauce” has been to finish images with the “Big 3” Nik Collection plug-ins (Color Efex/HDR Efex/Silver Efex).
For a limited time, my collection of PDF guides to the Nik Collection by Google are available for only $9.99 each. Or, you can purchase the set of three guides for only $24.99. No coupon code necessary!
Each PDF guide is user-printable and also includes a set of installable custom presets for the Nik Collection plug-ins.
Nik Collection PDF Bundle
Includes all three guides listed above
*Special Note:These products contain multiple files and are delivered as a ZIP archive. To download the files to an iPad, you will need a free ZIP utility, such as iZipfor iOS. Android users should consider using WinZip. Otherwise, download and extract the files to a Mac or PC and then transfer them to your tablet device.
I’m pleased to announce the immediate availability of my latest video workshop, Cooking with Color Efex Pro.
If you missed the live class, here’s your chance to sit down and learn the fundamentals of one of the best photo filter packages out there. I’ll walk you through how to run the plug-in from both Lightroom and Photoshop, and give insights on the best workflows for using this tool from Googles Nik Collection.
Today, Google announced that it is offering the complete set of Nik Software plug-ins for free. That’s right, the suite that used to cost over $400 is now freeware. That’s excellent news for anyone looking to get these professional image editing tools (and maybe not so excellent news for those of us who purchased them for full price). However, as stated in their announcement, Google will offer anyone who purchased the Nik Collection in 2016 a full refund:
Starting March 24, 2016, the latest Nik Collection will be freely available to download: Analog Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro, Silver Efex Pro, Viveza, HDR Efex Pro, Sharpener Pro and Dfine. If you purchased the Nik Collection in 2016, you will receive a full refund, which we’ll automatically issue back to you in the coming days.
Nevertheless, Google continues to support this software, and I still think that it’s the best out there for certain applications. I use Color Efex Pro 4 all the time, and Silver Efex Pro 2 is still one of the best monochrome editors around. Viveza is incredibly useful if you are into digital infrared photography. All the Nik plug-ins feature Control Points for making local adjustments.
Of the 55 filters in Color Efex Pro 4, one of the most versatile is “Glamour Glow.” This filter creates a softening effect with a mild glow that is most often used in portraits. However, I’ve found it to be a perfect choice for smoothing out skies in HDR images and landscapes. To get this effect, you’ll want to add the Glamour Glow filter in Color Efex Pro 4 and dial up the saturation slider a bit. Then, use Control Points to restrict the effect to just the sky. You may need to use a combination of plus (+) and minus (-) Control Points to get the look just right.
Here’s a video tutorial of how I use Glamour Glow on HDR/Landscape images: