The best Nik Collection plug ins are so deep you might never completely get to the bottom of what they do. Here’s a series of tips and ideas for Color Efex Pro, Silver Efex Pro, HDR Efex Pro, Analog Efex Pro and Viveza.
HDR Efex Pro
HDR Efex Pro is a software plug-in for creating HDR (high dynamic range) effects from single images or bracketing sets of exposures. It's part of the DxO Nik Collection. You can apply preset HDR styles with a single click or adjust and make your own effects using extensive manual controls.
Verdict: 5 stars The Nik Collection is an evergreen plug-in suite that’s as fresh, varied and exciting now as when it was first launched a decade ago. The new Perspective Efex plug-in is a major bonus and the new ‘non-destructive workflow’ is rather clever.
Usually, HDR images are pretty obvious. The technique is part of the ‘look’. But it’s also possible to use HDR to enhance regular images to add depth and drama, but winding the effect back just a little so that it’s no longer center stage. So for this shot I used DxO PhotoLab and HDR Efex […]
Verdict: 4 stars HDR Efex Pro 2 manages to make HDR relatively easy, and it produces ‘good’ HDR which is dynamic, rich and exciting. It still wraps it up in a bit too much jargon, but it does produce a good variety of ready-made HDR presets so that you don’t have to get caught up in the manual adjustments if you don’t want to.
The Lightroom HDR tools built in are good in their way, but will only get you so far. Yes, you can boost the shadows, reduce the highlights, add some Clarity and Dehaze and maybe a graduated filter for the sky, but you can end up doing a lot of work only getting half way to the […]
Google announced today that it’s scrapping the $150 purchase price for the Google Nik Collection and that users can now download it free of charge. At first glance, this is pretty amazing news but, reading between the lines of Google’s official statement, this may not be as great as it sounds: “As we continue to […]
HDR Efex Pro isn’t just for special effects. It can enhance your images in much more straightforward ways, improving the tonal balance, sky detail and colour saturation. I like to use it on landscapes, where professionals can wait for hours for the right lighting, but the rest of us have to grab shots when we […]
HDR techniques are usually associated with surreal landscapes and architectural photography, but you can create HDR Efex Pro portraits for some unique and powerful effects. This works best with male subjects because it creates a dark, brooding look where every pore and wrinkle is emphasised. I’m starting with this informal photograph taken in the family […]
Like other HDR tools, HDR Efex Pro 2 is designed to work with a sequence of bracketed exposures which cover a wider dynamic range than a single image could record. This means you need to pay special attention to the HDR Efex Pro merge tools. You’ll see these whenever you open a series of images, […]
Nik Software HDR Efex Pro 2 is now part of the DxO Nik Collection, but the software itself is unchanged – it remains one of the most approachable and most effective HDR tools you can get. But while the bundled HDR Efex Pro 2 presets are many and varied, you can also create and save […]