Several years ago my editing was only using Photoshop and I had seen many tutorials and examples of photographers using NIK Software plugins to do additional editing. The reason people like using these plugins is to save time and steps compared to Photoshop. Now I am not saying that using plugins does away with Photoshop or even Lightroom, but there are sometimes multiple steps that can be accomplished with a single click using a plugin. Soon after Google bought NIK software from their original owner, Google dropped the price and I bought my own version.
I found that I do not use everything within the NIK programs, but do like using their Define 2 for reducing noise when I have had to use high ISO to capture a picture. Also I occasionally use Viveza 2 for targeted adjustments of tones. Then there is Color Efex Pro 4 that almost every image I complete goes through to do some final touch-up. For me the program is well worth the money that I spent.
But starting this past Thursday, March 24, you can now download the whole program for FREE! Yes, Google has decided to allow everyone to have it for FREE.
Here is what Google say, “Photo enthusiasts all over the world use the Nik Collection to get the best out of their images every day. As we continue to focus our long-term investments in building incredible photo editing tools for mobile, including Google Photos and Snapseed, we’ve decided to make the Nik Collection desktop suite available for free, so that now anyone can use it. The Nik Collection is comprised of seven desktop plug-ins that provide a powerful range of photo editing capabilities – from filter applications that improve color correction, to retouching and creative effects, to image sharpening that brings out all the hidden details, to the ability to make adjustments to the color and tonality of images. 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. We’re excited to bring the powerful photo editing tools once only used by professionals to even more people now.”
If you have not tried the NIK Software collection, then now is your chance with no risk, just download it to see what you think.