Verdict: 5 stars The Nik Collection is an evergreen plug-in suite that’s as fresh, varied and exciting now as when it was first launched a decade ago. The new Perspective Efex plug-in is a major bonus and the new ‘non-destructive workflow’ is rather clever.
Silver Efex Pro
Software plug-in for creating authentic-looking black and white film looks, and part of the DxO Nik Collection. Silver Efex Pro can replicate the look of classic black and white materials and darkroom effects. It also offers 'control points' for localised dodging and burning.
Verdict: 5 stars For fans of black and white photography, Silver Efex Pro is just superb. It recreates the depth, intensity and ’soul’ of black and white in a way few other tools approach.
I admit that Silver Efex Pro, part of the Nik Collection, is my favourite black and white conversion plug-in, but I like to keep an open mind, and I thought it was about time I took a look at some others. I have reviewed Topaz B&W Effects in the past, but it’s been a while […]
The Zone System was invented by legendary landscape photographer Ansel Adams. He hit upon the idea of splitting the full range of tones in a black and white image into eleven distinct brightness zones, which he then went on to define very carefully. I’m paraphrasing this from the Wikipedia entry: Zone 0: Maximum black, no […]
You can use Silver Efex Pro perfectly effectively by choosing a preset and then modifying the settings as necessary using the tools panel. What you may not realise is that Silver Efex Pro simulates specific film types very closely. In fact, you can choose your film manually in the Film Types panel. And if that’s […]
Silver Efex Pro comes with a large range of varied and powerful black and white presets, and one of my favourites is the Silver Efex Pro Film Noir effect. This does every bad thing we’re told to avoid with our high-quality digital images! It reduces the sharpness of the picture, adds a hefty dose of […]
Successful black and white photography sometimes gets its power from strong contrasts and graphic shapes, and sometimes it relies on subtlety and control. Silver Efex Pro, now taken over by DxO in the Nik Collection, can do both. In principle, you should be able to do all these things in Photoshop, but in practice I […]
The Structure tool is one of Silver Efex Pro‘s secret weapons. It helps to give black and white images that indefinable ‘bite’ that we’re always trying to recapture with our digital images. You can think of the Silver Efex Pro Structure control it as a kind of ‘coarse sharpening’, which acts over a slightly larger […]
Black and white photography relies heavily on dodging and burning to add emphasis to certain parts of the image, to balance or contrast areas of tone, and improve the overall composition – and Silver Efex Pro’s control points let you do this in moments, without masks or selections. You don’t always need them. Silver Efex […]
Nik Software must have discovered some unknown digital alchemy when it developed Silver Efex Pro. Suddenly, here was a digital imaging tool that really could replicate the look, feel and even the ‘soul’ of silver-based black and white. And one of the favourite tools of traditional black and white photographers was the ‘contrast’ filter. These […]