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A great FREE Tool from Google – Nik Softwear

Nik collectionIf you’re like me you love to get photo apps. One that I have heard about for a while is Nik Softwear. Google bought them a while back and integrated a lot of the technology into their Snap Seed app. Which I have covered many times on this blog. The software originally cost $495, then Google dropped it down to $149 and this week it’s FREE. Yes you heard right FREE.

The Official Announcement on Google+:

Photo enthusiasts all over the world use the Nik Collection to get the best out of their images every day. As we continue to focus our long-term investments in building incredible photo editing tools for mobile, including Google Photos and Snapseed, we’ve decided to make the Nik Collection desktop suite available for free, so that now anyone can use it.

The Nik Collection is comprised of seven desktop plug-ins that provide a powerful range of photo editing capabilities — from filter applications that improve color correction, to retouching and creative effects, to image sharpening that brings out all the hidden details, to the ability to make adjustments to the color and tonality of images.

Starting March 24, 2016, the latest Nik Collection will be freely available to download: Analog Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro, Silver Efex Pro, Viveza, HDR Efex Pro, Sharpener Pro and Dfine. If you purchased the Nik Collection in 2016, you will receive a full refund, which we’ll automatically issue back to you in the coming days.

We’re excited to bring the powerful photo editing tools once only used by professionals to even more people now.

Before you get all excited about FREE. It probably means that Google will stop developing the software. Meaning there will probably not be any updates to the tools. But on the good side it’s a way to improve your pictures for free. I have been playing around with the programs. My personal favorite is the HDRFx Pro. It changes your regular pictures into HDR images. You get to see real time and comparison pictures.

The HDRFx Pro app really impressed me. It allowed me to take a few pictures I wasn’t sure were great and turn them into much better photographs. I have learned may of the pro photographers rely on after effects editing to make amazing pictures. Why shouldn’t we do this? Many of the pics taken were on my DSLR camera but you can use images from your phone with the apps.

I have uploaded some pictures to my Google Photos for you to review. The pictures on the left are edited and the one on the right are the original image – https://goo.gl/photos/MUPrja5UwDpf46kW6. I would have uploaded here but couldn’t upload larger files.

These apps impress me. A few I have found are plug ins to Photoshop but most are available to use as stand alone. For the price you would be crazy not to take advantage of them. You can find the apps at The Nik Page on Google.

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