Google have made the Nik collection free. This used to retail at $150USD or so but they have announced that they are now giving it away for free. This is great news in the short term for those who want to own the software. However, in the long term it might not be so wonderful as it is likely to become incompatible both with future operating systems and as plugins as for newer versions of Adobe’s Lightroom and Photoshop if Google no longer spend money on developing it. It also runs the risk of becoming a security liability for similar reasons. I have downloaded and had a play, but I am not sure if I will keep it.
I sort of wish that they had sold it to one of the products competitors to continue its development. In the short term the free release is also likely to hit sales of its competitors. My software of choice is Lightroom to develop raw files and I use the On1 suite as a plugin and I find it more versatile than Nik and I hope that it and similar software can weather this storm.
I used On1 with this image. I have used this scene recently a few times, shot from a beach half a mile from home. I have been trying to get different interpretations of the scene and this time I played with pushing the boundaries. I deliberately shot this with the lighthouse on the island in the centre vertical and not where it would naturally sit in the composition – off centre a third if the way to the right or left.
This is a 30 second exposure using a combination of coloured Cokin P filters stacked on top of one another. The original file came out with the highlights tinted one colour and the shadows another, like a heavy-handed, split-tone image. In colour I though that the highlight and shadow detail had been lost, but I was able to see both as soon as I converted the raw file to black and white. I then used the surreal Dynamic Contrast preset in On1 Effects to give it a slightly disturbing hardness contrasting with the smooth water. Totally different from the results of the last post.
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