Nik Knack

This is the full-screen dialog using Nik Collection's Silver Efex Pro 2 filter.
This is the full-screen dialog using Nik Collection’s Silver Efex Pro 2 filter.
Installing the Nik Collection creates this floating selective tool pallet when used with Adobe Photoshop.
Installing the Nik Collection creates this floating selective tool pallet when used with Adobe Photoshop.

Earlier this year, Google started offering a collection of plug-in filters under the name Nik Collection. Prior to this move, I was hesitant to spend the $499 for this software, which Google later lowered to $149, feeling that I could accomplish most of the looks it offered without spending the money. But Google’s offering is now free, so many photographers, myself included, downloaded and installed this software.

This is an image of the Pecos National Forest from our June trip to Santa Fe, as it came directly out of my Fuji HS30EXR.
This is an image of the Pecos National Forest from our June trip to Santa Fe, as it came directly out of my Fuji HS30EXR.

This software isn’t a stand-alone application, but a set of plug-ins that work with Adobe’s Photoshop and Lightroom, and Apple’s out-of-production Aperture.

I have only begun to play around with these filters, but so far, I’ve found them to be capable and fun, and I recommend you get them here (link) and try them. The only caveat is one I have stressed since the days of high dynamic range (HDR) overuse: these filters are just a tool in the toolbox, and can easily be used too often and too strongly. But with discretion and taste, they are a good tool.

This Pecos image was made using Nik Collections's HDR Efex Pro 2 single image tone mapping function. I would say that it created an improved, but not spectacular, image.
This Pecos image was made using Nik Collections’s HDR Efex Pro 2 single image tone mapping function. I would say that it created an improved, but not spectacular, image.
This rendition of the Pecos image was created using the Nik Collection's Color Efex Pro 4's "Indian Summer" setting, creating a very different feel from the same image.
This rendition of the Pecos image was created using the Nik Collection’s Color Efex Pro 4’s “Indian Summer” setting, creating a very different feel from the same image.
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5 Comments

  1. After downloading the half-gig file and installing, only to find it didn’t work, I checked into the documentation and learned that the Nik Collection isn’t compatible with my version of Photoshop (CS2), and is only available as plugins (not a standalone application). Frustrated, I was about to uninstall the whole thing, but first decided to look into the directories. There, I found some .exe files. I double-clicked one, just out of curiosity. It opened, as a standalone program. And it worked. (But doesn’t offer a “save as” option, so I first have to open the photo in a different app and use the “save as” option, to create a file just for using these effects one.) Cumbersome, but it works. I’ll play with them some more later.

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