What are you guys using the Nik collection for?
I’m totally new to it. I wanted the Nik collection for a long time but never had it.
I took some rather plain photos I did while walking through the woods and applied Silver Efex to them. In Photoshop merged those much higher contrast silver layers onto the original photo as luminance adjustments. Some I brushed on with a layer mask, some I had to tone down the saturation. Brought out a lot more especially to the photos with textures. Tried to keep it real but add some punch. Probably won’t be doing it to the smoother macro photos again.
Here is the little gallery
Interesting approach to adding contrast. I like the results - natural-looking, not overdone, and still plenty of pop.
I typically use PhotoLab with FilmPack to develop from RAW and can often stop there. The combination gives me a lot of control over contrast. But when it comes to black-and-white conversion, I’m starting to prefer Silver Efex Pro. For HDR, I used to rely solely on Photomatix Pro but am using the combination of PhotoLab and HDR Efex Pro more (though the latter has some bugs that need to be fixed). I especially like some of the filters in Color Efex Pro and the ability to make local adjustments and save recipes.
I still use alternative software about equally because there are plenty of effects that are unique to a given package.
Dfine 2 is quite different from my other noise reduction tools. I find it useful when I need a lot of control over denoising.