Tag Archives: plug-ins

Moving to Macphun: Tips for Nik Users

Luminar from Macphun can be used to create dramatic effects and is an effective replacement for many Nik Collection plug-ins.

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)
  • Luminar offers a full complement of tools and effects filters that in many cases replace multiple Nik plug-ins, including Color Efex Pro 4 and Silver Efex Pro 2.
  • Built-in layer support for selective editing and effects partitioning.
  • Smart “erase” and noise-reduction tools, along with clone stamp
  • Smart Filter support in Adobe Photoshop
  • Luminar for Windows will be released this fall
  • It’s a full-featured image editor with lots of effects filters for under $60

Get Luminar for Mac Here
Get Luminar Public Beta for Windows Here

Learning to Love Luminar

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

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Google Makes Nik Collection Free

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.

The Nik Collection Includes:
  • Analog Efex Pro (Film effects)
  • Color Efex Pro (Color and monochrome effects)
  • Silver Efex Pro (monochrome conversion)
  • HDR Efex Pro (HDR tone-mapping)
  • Viveza (color & contrast adjustments)
  • Sharpener Pro
  • Dfine (Noise reduction)

Visit this page to download the Nik Collection by Google

Master the Nik Collection Plug-ins: 25% off through March 31st
Download my complete guides to Color Efex Pro, Silver Efex Pro, and HDR Efex Pro here.
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Digital Infrared: One Camera, Multiple Looks

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You can have a lot of creative fun with a digital infrared camera. Converting an old camera to infrared is a great way to breathe new life into that camera. I recently purchased a used Fujifilm X-E1 mirrorless camera to use as an infrared body. I chose this camera as a compact complement to my Fujifilm X-T1, which has become my primary travel camera due to its small size and excellent image quality. I don’t want to carry multiple systems in the field, so I figured the X-E1 should do the trick (and it does). I’ll have more on that in another post. The toughest decision about infrared conversion, is choosing the conversion type. Depending on your style of shooting and subject matter, you can choose from a range of conversions, including standard, enhanced color, super color, deep black, and even full-spectrum (UV through IR range). Each of these conversions has its own merits, but most people will probably want to use either standard (720nm) or super-color (590nm) for infrared work. Continue reading Digital Infrared: One Camera, Multiple Looks

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Photo of the Day: Look to the East (with free Color Efex Pro Preset)

Sunrise at Conata Basin, Badlands National Park, SD.  HDR image captured with a Nikon D800e and processed with the Nik Collection.
Sunrise at Conata Basin, Badlands National Park, SD. HDR image captured with a Nikon D800e and processed with the Nik Collection.

This is a sunrise image from my recent trip to the South Dakota Badlands. It’s a typical scenario at sunrise: pretty clouds and a back-lit foreground. I captured a standard ±2EV bracketed exposure series with the Nikon D800e (5-shots), and then processed the image in the Nik Collection (discount here). Continue reading Photo of the Day: Look to the East (with free Color Efex Pro Preset)

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Update: Google honoring low pricing and discounts on international sales of Nik Collection

Colorado State Capitol, Denver, CO. Enhanced with Color Efex Pro 4.
Colorado State Capitol, Denver, CO. Enhanced with Color Efex Pro 4.

Now that Google has purchased Nik Software, I have been able to confirm that all customers get the new low pricing on the Nik Collection. It’s very nice to hear that now everyone can enjoy comparable pricing and discounts on the Nik Collection of plug-ins, no matter where you live.

The Nik Collection of professional photo plug-ins includes:

  • Color Efex Pro 4
  • Dfine 2
  • HDR Efex Pro 2
  • Sharpener Pro 3
  • Silver Efex Pro 2
  • Viveza 2

Get my three popular guides to Color Efex Pro 4, Silver Efex Pro 2 and HDR Efex Pro 2 for a bundle discount when you purchase them together!

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