I’ve recently been adopting Skylum Software’s Luminar as a Photoshop plug-in to replace my aging Nik Collection. Don’t get me wrong, I still love Nik, but it’s outdated and I’m not sure where it’s going to end up (yes, I realize it’s been purchased by DXO). With a little practice, I’ve gotten to the point where Luminar is effectively replacing Silver Efex Pro 2 for monochrome conversion work.
With Luminar I’m able to replicate most of my go-to Nik filters, all in a single plug-in application. Luminar also supports Smart Filters, so you can create non-destructive edits if you use Smart Object layers in Photoshop. Instead of having to run multiple plug-ins (usually Silver Efex and Color Efex), I can do everything in a single interface
This image is a digital infrared capture (590nm) that I processed to emulate deep black (830nm) infrared using Luminar.
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)
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→
I’m pleased to offer my Nik Collection instructional videos for 50% off through July 31, 2017. That means you can get the full set of tutorials for Color Efex Pro 4, HDR Efex Pro 2, and Silver Efex Pro 2 for under $15. Simply use code nikvideo at checkout to get the discount applied. Each video complements my comprehensive PDF tutorials and is presented in high-definition QuickTime (.mov) format. Playback requires QuickTime (MacOS) or VLC player (Windows).
You’ve probably read by now that Google is no longer going to update and maintain the Nik Collection. While that’s true (and disappointing), the plug-ins are still a great set of (free!) tools that deliver professional results, and I will continue to use them until they stop working on my computer. My guess is that the plug-ins will continue to work for quite some time until changes to Photoshop or computer OS become significantly drastic. In the meantime, you can get any of my three PDF guides for free through July 1st.
Photography, like any other medium, is a craft. In woodworking, you produce a finished product through a serial application of sandpaper, working from coarse to fine. The best finish is only obtained after using the finest-grit sandpapers, sometimes even between coats of lacquer. So it is, too with photography.
Your camera settings apply the foundation of the image, but they cannot refine the image in the same way your editing software can. Even seemingly small adjustments can be the difference between a snapshot and a gallery print. For years, my “secret sauce” has been to finish images with the “Big 3” Nik Collection plug-ins (Color Efex/HDR Efex/Silver Efex).
For a limited time, my collection of PDF guides to the Nik Collection by Google are available for only $9.99 each. Or, you can purchase the set of three guides for only $24.99. No coupon code necessary!
Each PDF guide is user-printable and also includes a set of installable custom presets for the Nik Collection plug-ins.
Nik Collection PDF Bundle
Includes all three guides listed above
*Special Note:These products contain multiple files and are delivered as a ZIP archive. To download the files to an iPad, you will need a free ZIP utility, such as iZipfor iOS. Android users should consider using WinZip. Otherwise, download and extract the files to a Mac or PC and then transfer them to your tablet device.