Amateur digital photo editing has just got a massive shot in the arm. Wannabe and amateur photographers and designers can rejoice since Google has made the once high-end, creamy layer Nik Collection absolutely free to download! Yes, youâ€™ve read that right.
Top Level Photography Suite Made More Accessible
This top class desktop suite was once priced at $500. Following its acquisition by Google, the pricing was brought down to just $149 in 2012. And if that wasnâ€™t a boost for photographers, Google, on March 24, 2016, announced that it is offering the Nik Collection desktop suite free of charge for everyone. Google says that this comes out of its efforts to focus long-term investment on developing great mobile photo editing tools such as Snapseed and Google Photos. People who purchased the Nik Collection in 2016 will get their money back as well! Amateur photographers must be shouting the news from the rooftops.
The Sheer Depth of the Nik Collection
The Nik Collection consists of seven powerful and professional plug-ins, with capabilities ranging from color correction and image sharpening to adding creative effects and retouching. Letâ€™s go through each of these tools so can you can have a clear idea of what youâ€™re getting – for free:
- Analog Efex Pro – This helps you to secure the feel of classic lenses, films and cameras. The effects enable you to develop a photo through conventional darkroom techniques. You have 10 Tool Combinations to choose from and apply their effects. The Camera Kit helps you with mixing and matching the analog features you prefer. Control Points enable you to add or remove effects without layers or masks.
- Silver Efex Pro – This enables you master black-and-white photography using darkroom-themed controls. Some of the tools include Amplify Blacks, Amplify Whites, Soft Contrast, Grain Engine and Dynamic Brightness. You get to emulate around 20 popular types of film, add toners, borders and other such finishing adjustments, and progressively tune your image for developing professional black-and-white results.
- HDR Efex Pro – True to the name, this plug-in helps you explore the comprehensive capability of HDR photography. There are a wide range of options for an image. You can open up shadows, retrieve lost highlights, and adjust the tonality of the photo to secure a balanced and natural image.
- Color Efex Pro – This plug-in features a comprehensive collection of filters including retouching, color correction, and creative effects. Visual presets provide you with a variety of options which you can use as starting points to begin your exploration. You are offered 55 filters from which you can stack how many ever you want. Favorite combinations can also be saved so you can just apply that same look to other images without having to start all over again – a great help to photo color correction services.
- Viveza – You can adjust image color and tonality without complicated selections or masks with this plug-in. Sliders enable you to adjust contrast, brightness, saturation, hue, warmth, etc. The Structure control enables you to accentuate the details without creating unnecessary halos.
- Sharpener Pro – This plug-in enables you to uncover hidden details that are consistent with your image sharpening requirements. You can create sharpened images for inkjet, half tone, continuous tone or hybrid print devices as well as other display applications. Thanks to the Output Sharpener, you can mitigate any loss of detail brought about by the various output methods.
- Dfine – This feature enables you to improve images with noise reduction customized to your camera. You can reduce color noise and adjust contrast separately, which gives you total control of the amount of noise reduction you apply to the photo. You can add noise reduction to only the areas you need, and this helps you maximize detail.
Thatâ€™s comprehensiveness taken to the next level. Digital photo editing has now become much more accessible, and while Google has mentioned that no new versions of the Nik Collection will be seen in the future, it will be updated continually to ensure compatibility with various operating systems and programs such as Photoshop and Lightroom.
Time for some serious downloading, and then itâ€™s back to the workshop!