Google has announced that the Nik Collection of plugins, acquired by Google in 2012, is now available for all users, Mac and PC, for free. Formerly $150, the Nik Collection includes Analog Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro, Dfine, HDR Efex Pro, Sharpener Pro, Silver Efex Pro and Viveza. These are seriously powerful plug-ins for anyone using Lightroom, Photoshop or Photoshop Elements.
I use Color Efex and Sharpener Pro on every image I edit and I highly recommend the collection. I usually apply Pro Contrast and a Bi-Color filter to enhance the natural colors of the landscape photos I shoot.
Dfine is also a great plug-in for noise reduction. It really helps fix the noise in under-exposed images. It has an automatic algorithm that can organically reduce noise, or you can manually select areas from which to sample noise for removal. Both color noise and contrast noise can be adjusted. It’s my go-to noise reducer.
Also included are Analog Efex, for producing fantastic analog-looking images with texture and borders.
HDR Efex Pro 2 is an awesome HDR editing product providing access to the full range of the image within the 16 bit color space as well as a ton of presets for instant HDR effects.
If you purchased Nik Efex during 2016, you will receive a refund from Google for the product. Get the entire Google Nik Collection here.