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Photo Tips > Nik Collection

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Before

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After with Analog Efex Pro

What Is It?

Google's Nik Collection is a set of seven editing tools.

The collection is a plug-in that works with Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, and Lightroom.

What's a Plug-in?

A plug-in transfers a photograph file—from Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, or Lightroom—to the plug-in's software.

There, you edit the photograph.

Then, the file is sent back to Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, or Lightroom.

Lightroom

Do the following.

1) Select a photograph.

2) Go to Photo > Edit In and select a Nik Collection tool.

HDR Efex Pro 2 is located in a different menu, described below.

In the next window that opens, select either Edit Copy with Lightroom Adjustments or Edit Copy.

If you select Edit Original, your original photograph will be overwritten with the editing that you do with the Nik Collection.

Your original photograph will be permanently changed.

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HDR Efex Pro 2

To open HDR Efex Pro 2, do the following.

1) Select a photograph.

2) Go to File > Export with Preset.

3) Select HDR Efex Pro 2.

Photoshop Elements

Do the following.

1) Open a photograph in Photoshop Elements.

2) Go Filter > Nik Collection and select a Nik Collection tool.

HDR Efex Pro 2

HDR Efex Pro is not compatible with Photoshop Elements.

The Seven Tools

Only brief descriptions are included below.

The Nik Collection website has more detail.

Also, when you mouse over a section in a tool window, an explanation appears.

Analog Efex Pro

Recreate the look of film photography: Different films, lenses, & defects

Color Efex Pro

Color correction & more : 55 filters

Silver Efex Pro

Black-and-white photography, including different films, editing, & toning

Viveza

Color & tone controls, including levels & curves

HDR Efex Pro*

High dynamic range photography: Combing several exposures to control contrast

Sharpener Pro**

Make digital photographs look sharper

Dfine

Noise ("graininess") control

* This tool is not compatible with Photoshop Elements.

** There are two sharpeners.

1) A few photographers use the RAW Pre-sharpener to remove possible blur from the sensor's anti-aliasing filter.

2) The Output Sharpener is used for regular sharpening.

Control Points

What if your photograph needs a tweak in just part of the image?

Click on the control point section.

Click on the area that you want to edit.

The area is selected automatically based on color, hue, saturation, and brightness.

Sliders appear when you mouse over the control point.

Use the sliders to change the size of the control point and the effects.

Brush Button

This feature is available only in Photoshop Elements.

After editing your photograph with one of the tools, you can create a layer in Photoshop Elements with a black mask.

A black mask blocks all of the editing done with the Nik Collection tool.

Click the mask in the layer.

Use the Brush tool to paint where you want the editing to become visible.

White will allow all of the editing to become visible.

Brushing with various shades of gray will allow part of the editing to become visible.

If you make a mistake, undo.

Or, brush the error using black.

Presets

You can save your editing as a preset.

You can use it again, and you have a record of what you did.

Saving

Lightroom

When you click Save a virtual copy is created with your editing—if you opened the photograph by selecting either Edit Copy with Lightroom Adjustments or Edit Copy.

If you selected Edit Original, your original photograph will be overwritten with the editing that you did with the Nik Collection.

Your original photograph will be permanently changed.

Photoshop Elements

When you click Save a layer is created with your editing.

Requirements

The following is from Google as of April, 2016.

Windows

• Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8

• Adobe Photoshop CS4 through CC 2015

• Adobe Photoshop Elements 9 through 13 (apart from HDR Efex Pro 2, which is not compatible with Photoshop Elements)

• Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 through 6/CC

Windows 10 is not listed.

However, the Help section states "things seem to be working well as all reports from users who have already installed Windows 10 have been positive."

Mac

• Mac OS X 10.7.5 through 10.10

• Adobe Photoshop CS4 (CS5 for HDR Efex Pro 2) through CC 2015

• Adobe Photoshop Elements 9 through 13 (apart from HDR Efex Pro 2, which is not compatible with Photoshop Elements)

• Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 through 6/CC

• Apple Aperture 3.1 or later

Download & Installation

Follow the instructions here.

The Nik Collection Help pages are here.