It’s here! Nik Collection 2018 by DxO

It’s here! Nik Collection 2018 by DxO

Nik plugins updated logo

When DxO  acquired Photoshop plugin suite Nik from Google (read about it here), they said they were working on a full update for the package and would hopefully release it sometime in 2018.   Well, it’s here -> NIK COLLECTION 2018 BY DxO. The 7 plugins sell for $69, but DxO is offering it for sale $49. No idea how long the introductory offer will last, so grab it while you can.

What’s new? It’s fully compatible with the latest OS  – both 64-bit version of Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X along with Adobe Lightroom Classic CC, Photoshop CC 2018, and Photoshop Elements CC 2017/2018. It might be worth popping for the full paid suite if it clears up the irritating freezing that happens with the free suite. I use Nik a lot and have noticed a few creeping issues that have caused a bit of frustration – the occasional crash, random freezing when accepting the changes made and not as fast as I’d like.

The package still offers the same 7 plugins many of us have grown to love and the price (even after the special offer expires) is a bargain, especially for photographers just starting out. For the quality and range of options available, $69 is a hell of a good price. DiX offers a 30 day trial so I’ll be downloading it later in the week to test drive and see if it is faster and more stable. I’ll keep you posted on what I find as I work along with the updated suite. What I’ll be looking for a is a smoother running package, faster response and stability.  My latest laptop upgrade seemed to have caused a few minor issues with Nik, stability wise and I’m hoping the lag time is cleared up on larger files. I’ll be interested in seeing if there are any new features.  I didn’t use all the plugins on a regular basis, so I’ll likely focus on the 4 I use the most.

All specs are listed on the download page, but here are the basic requirements listed from the DiX website:


  • Intel Core™ i5 or higher
  • 4 GB of RAM (6 GB recommended)
  • 2 GB or more of available hard-disk space
  • OS X 10.12 (macOS Sierra), 10.13 (macOS High Sierra)
  • Graphics card with 512 MB of video memory to handle GPU acceleration
  • Adobe Photoshop CS5 (64-bit) through CC 2018
  • Adobe Photoshop Elements 9 through 2018 (apart from HDR Efex Pro 2, which is not compatible with Photoshop Elements)
  • Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 through 6/CC 2018



  • Intel Core® 2 or AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 or higher (Intel Core® i5 or higher recommended)
  • 4 GB of RAM (8 GB recommended)
  • 4 GB or more of available hard-disk space
  • Microsoft® Windows® 7 (64-bit) with Service Pack 1, Microsoft® Windows® 8.1 (64-bit), or Microsoft® Windows® 10 (64-bit, and still supported by Microsoft®).
    More information:
  • Adobe Photoshop CS5 (64-bit) through CC 2018
  • Adobe Photoshop Elements 9 (64-bit) through 2018 (apart from HDR Efex Pro 2, which is not compatible with Photoshop Elements)
  • Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 through 6/CC 2018


Installation and activation

  • Installing the latest Microsoft updates for Windows is recommended before installing the application.

GPU Compatibility:

  • NVIDIA GeForce 8 Series, GeForce 9 Series, GeForce 100 Series, GeForce 200 Series, GeForce 300 Series, GeForce 400 Series, GeForce 500 Series, ATI Radeon HD2000 Series, Radeon HD3000 Series, Radeon HD4000 Series, Radeon HD5000 Series, Radeon HD6000 Series.
    If no compatible card is available, GPU acceleration will be disabled and the CPU will be used.


Check the suite out and let’s see what DiX has done to our beloved Nik. It’s a bit exciting, isn’t it?

NIK plugins for Photoshop / Lightroom – UPDATE

NIK plugins for Photoshop / Lightroom – UPDATE

NIK software Somehow I missed this news from October. Google sold NIK filters for Photoshop and Lightroom to French company DxO.   In case you aren’t familiar with DxO, they are software developers specialising in photography.  The exiting news?  They are developing an update for the package, with a release date this year.

DxO has an interesting suite of programs that includes Viewpoint (corrects lens distortion and horizon de-skewing) and FilmPack for the black and white analogue film fan.

“DxO FilmPack applies to your digital images the saturation, the contrast, and the grain of the most celebrated analog silver halide, slide and negative films. Up to 45 color and 38 black & white analog films are available to bring out the sleeping visual poet in you.”

This particular package could be fun to use, especially if you appreciate the subtle differences between old film paper types. The company offers trial versions so, might be worth a trip to their site to investigate.

But, back to NIK. there’s no word on whether DxO will be offering the filters free much longer or if the cost of the updated version.  It’s nice to see someone picking up the package and giving it a new lease on life.


NIK collection can still be downloaded here
See the more about FilmPack and Viewpoint here

Toronto ravine, Beltline Trail – May 2016  photography

Toronto ravine, Beltline Trail – May 2016 photography

I wandered down towards the ravine Saturday afternoon. I’m lucky I live right on the cusp of one of the big green lines that run through the city. Toronto is home to quite a number of ravines, which make for some excellent hiking and biking. If you come to TO as a tourist, it’s something you might want to investigate. You can always drop me a line and I’ll direct you to a few excellent websites about walking them.  The Beltline Trail (my small part of the Ravine) is an impressive swath of nature that cuts for 9km through the heart of Toronto, backing onto the David Balfour Park

It’s early yet, so not a lot of greenery cooking down in the ravine. A couple of bright warm days and that will all change. I took a couple of shots, but the sun was already hiding behind clouds by the time I motivated myself to go take a look. Alas my little smart phone doesn’t do a good job on landscapes, less so on glary/cloudy days. I’ll have to sit and fuss with it for awhile and see if I can figure out why landscapes look so washed out. HOWEVER … I am the proud owner of NIK filters and I’m not afraid to use them… sometimes I have to smack my hands to stop from going over board.

Here’s one of the paths down to the Ravine from the David Balfour Park:

Ravine Toronto 2016 edited with NIK plugins

Hovering your mouse shows how dreadful the photo looked before I filtered it. I didn’t do much, just increased the contrast a bit, adjusted the light and tinkered with the shadows. Took that nasty haze right off. I did a few other adjustments to bring up the wooden fence a bit more, but I can’t remember what I did. Sorry, I usually write this stuff down, but I was watching tv and just screwing around. I thought I’d have to chuck all the photos and was really surprised by how well NIK repaired them.

I especially love black and white photographs. I often convert photos to create different moods. The NIK SilverEfex plugin offers a lot of great adjustments for fans of B&W, including the type of paper you want to emulate. I tend towards the Ilford papers the most. I promise to pay closer attention next time and let you know what I’ve done. In the meantime enjoy this utterly over the top edit job:

Ravine Toronto 2016 Black and white shot

Read more: see BlogTOs great page on top ravines in Toronto –

NIK filter – Spring crab apple tree

NIK filter – Spring crab apple tree

Spring is finally here.  I was out yesterday and noticed the crabapple tree in front of my building had sprouted a healthy showing of leaves.  It was completely bare on Sunday.  It’s hard to get a good shot of the tree, there’s a boring industrial looking building right behind it. It’s a great little tree and with the right filters, it really stands out.  Just glide your mouse over the image to see the original.Spring crabapple 2016

NIK Filter – Silver Efex Pro 2 using Film Noir 2 effect

Illford Pan F paper ISO 50 / Silver toning: 70% / Paper tone: 0% / White Frame 2








NIK filters and a mediocre photo

NIK filters and a mediocre photo

Yesterday I told you about NIK plugins for Adobe Photoshop (as well as Elements and Lightroom) being offered up free by Google.  I’ve been poking around with the plugins, seeing what they can do. I pulled up the rather mediocre (bordering on bad) photo I took the other night after the freezing rain storm we had here in Toronto. I grabbed a couple of shots that night, but didn’t put a lot of effort into them, which shows. They are slightly off focus, and the light didn’t do justice to the glowing halo around the tree.

I wondered if the NIK sharpen plugin would help. So here’s the original:

Ice storm 24 Mar originial image

As I said, it’s a not focused, slightly blurred.  I sharpened a little bit. I also brushed out the irritating little light spot just above the tree. It’s interesting how it keeps pulling the eye there first, rather than the tree. Using the Sharpener Pro plugin, I was able to clean up the branches, defining their edges.  I used a combination of Adaptive Sharpening, Local Contrast and Output Sharpening, nudged up just a little. Made the ice glary again.  The blacks are now much sharper as well.

After I finished with the sharpening I decided to have a bit of fun and fired up the Analog Efex Pro 2 plugin.  The first one was Classic Camera filter 2, which brought up the shininess of the road and sidewalk ice. Then I applied another filter to the original, Classic Camera 4 with a nice blue hue.

Ice storm 23Mar plugins OldCamera plainIce storm 23Mar plugins oldCamera

I like how the light breaks up on the sides now. I layered the filter 2 over the 4 filter and used multiply, then I adjusted the highlights and shadows and now it looks like it did that night:

Ice storm 23Mar plugin Shadows Highlights NIK filters

Lots of experimenting to do with the plugins. I’ll pull up different photos and see what I can do with them, but they certainly helped clean up the original photo.