Wednesday, April 03, 2013

The Nik Collection by Google

Valley of Fire. Dawn. HDR Efex Pro 2.
About a week ago, Google announced the new Nik Collection by Google product. Having worked as the marketing and sales manager for the past 6 years at Nik Software - which Google acquired back in September 2012 - this was a welcome event. So many people - pundits, pros, and enthusiasts alike - had predicted the demise of Nik, so  releasing a new product was somewhat of a vindication (and validation).

Nik Collection Logo - can't wait to see this on a T-shirt!
The Nik Collection sports a single installer for all 6 products, believe me a welcome enhancement! The products, which function as plug-ins for Adobe Photoshop & Lightroom and Apple Aperture, are now Windows 8 compatible and no longer have product keys.  I can tell you as a former employee, the #1 customer service call we received was related to product activation/product keys. At the time we first implemented the activation system, I was a big fan. After all, putting on my sales manager hat, I very much wanted only people who legitimately purchased the software to be using it. Later on, it became apparent that the "real world" was messy and that a lot of people were truly annoyed with activation.  I'm glad Google killed that.

Valley of Fire. Dawn. HDR Efex Pro 2. Color Efex Pro 4.
 Two other pieces of big news here:
  1. a steep drop in the retail price of the product. Formerly $499.95, the Nik Collection by Google is now just $149. Wow! 
  2. free updates for anyone who has purchased and registered a Nik product in the last 5-6 years. Basically what this means is if you only purchased one product in the past, you are eligible to receive ALL six products free of charge.  (tell your friends).  
 Nik sent an email out to every registered customer to this effect, but a lot fell into spam traps. If you're a registered user, just send a message to and they'll straighten things out promptly.

Valley of Fire. Mid-day. Silver Efex Pro 2.
If you're looking for info about each individual product, you can deep link into any of the following:

Dfine 2 - Best-in-class noise reduction, renowned for its one-click simplicity.
Viveza 2 - Selective editing of color and light. You'll use this on almost every image you care about, no kidding!
HDR Efex Pro 2 - Ridiculously cool high dynamic range software that allows you to create amazing images with looks as natural or as surreal as you like.
Color Efex Pro 4 - Nik's flagship product sporting 55 unique filters that solve common photographic problems, extend creativity, retouch skin, and much more.
Silver Efex Pro 2 - The world's leading black and white software. The original and still the #1 choice of pros. 'Nuff said.
Sharpener Pro 3 - Incredibly powerful and flexible output sharpening tool.

Yours truly, shot by Suzie.
To read more about each of the products, click on the product name above. To get a 15% discount on the Nik Collection by Google, click here.  And... to see what you can achieve with these tools, here are a few of my favorite shots from the last few months. Cheers...

Kevin Young using the ColorChecker Passport Target. Valley of Fire. Color Efex Pro 4.

Valley of Fire. The Road. Mid-morning. Color Efex Pro 4.

Bridge near Torrey Pines, San Diego. Sunset. HDR Efex Pro 2.

"Plaster Blaster." Mid-day. Color Efex Pro 2.

Canada Fishing Trip 2012. Night. ;-)  Color Efex Pro 4.

Canada Fishing Trip 2012. Son Ethan & my Dad. Color Efex Pro 4.

Valley of Fire. Mid-morning. Susie. Color Efex Pro 4.

Kelby WW Photowalk. La Jolla Cove. Mid-morning. Color Efex Pro 4.

Kelby WW Photowalk. La Jolla Cove. Mid-morning. Silver Efex Pro 2.
Thanksgiving 2012. Kim & Etho. Mid-day. Color Efex Pro 4.

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