Google’s Nik Collection plug-ins are now totally free to download (see link at bottom of page), and will work as a standalone suite of editing tools (albeit, you need to edit one photo at a time). This is great news for anyone who edits their own photographs, especially for those of you like me, who like working in black & white.
The original Nik Collection of photo editing software would set you back $500, but when Google acquired them in Sept 2012, they reduced this price to a mere $140. But as of March 2016, they have made the collection totally free, with no sign up or registration required. (It appears that Google is about to announce a new free photograph storage facility, and this software may be integrated into it.)
As a set of plug-ins, the Google Nik Collection is best used together with one of the Adobe photo editing softwares, such as Photoshop or Lightroom, or Apple’s Aperture, but for those of us on a limited budget, it’s possible to use this wonderful software as a standalone editing tool.
Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting some of the amazing transformations of some of my photos, and how they were achieved, using this brilliant piece of photo editing kit.
For anyone using these plug-ins with no other software, follow this procedure for a windows pc. This method may vary slightly for a Mac, but a quick check on Google will no doubt show you how to do it on an Apple pc etc.
- Download the Nik Collection using the link below
- This should automatically be saved to program files
- To edit a photo, go to the location of the downloaded software (it will be found in a main folder labelled ‘Google’), and open up the appropriate plug-in folder eg Silver Efex Pro.
- Grab the copy of the photo you wish to edit, and drag and drop it over application file in that software folder.
- This will open up the image in the appropriate plug-in.
- Once you have finished editing, ‘save’ the image. The new saved image will replace the original image in the folder where you initially retrieved the image from.
Please note : This software, when used by itself, alters the original image, so always make a copy of the photo before you start your editing!
Below are a few photos I’ve played around with over the last week (before and after shots), some of which are a little over edited, I’m still trying to get used to the multitude of different possible effects and edits.
Example of the Analog Efex Pro – Rusty Gate at Kirkforthar, nr Glenrothes
Example of the Color Efex Pro – Horses in a field at Kirkforthar, nr Glenrothes
Examples of the Silver Efex Pro – Dunfermline Abbey
PS The Nik Silver Efex Pro plug-in, is recognised as the primary piece of software for black & white photographers.
Link for Google Nik Collection free download