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The Nik Collection is free and compatible with Mac OS X 10.7 through 10.10; Windows Vista, 7, 8; and Adobe Photoshop through CC 2015. We have no plans to update the Collection or add new features over time.

Advanced Tonality Controls

Before After

Silver Efex Pro 2 was designed to provide more advanced control over black and white conversions than any other tool available. This was accomplished by developing some never-before-seen ways of adjusting tonality and contrast. The new controls found within Silver Efex Pro 2 make it possible to adjust image detail, not only faster, but also with far higher quality.

Before

The starting point of this fall image is too flat, with too much detail requiring attention. Using the new controls found in Silver Efex Pro 2, the image can be processed and enhanced in a fraction of the time normally required.

To draw more attention away from the bright sky in the background and to the boats in the foreground, the Dynamic Brightness slider is moved to the left. The Dynamic Brightness slider works by analyzing the image and automatically adapting the brightness applied to each area differently. The goal of the Dynamic Brightness slider is to maintain a good contrast range, even after the brightness is altered. Normally, bringing the brightness down in an image will result in all areas being darkened uniformly, resulting in a flat and darker image. With the Dynamic Brightness slider, highlights are maintained.

While the relationship between the background and the foreground is now improved, the overall contrast of the image still needs some work. The new Amplify Whites and Amplify Blacks sliders can be used to control contrast in new and unique ways. By moving both of these sliders to the right, the unique algorithms within Silver Efex Pro attempt to bring out the whites and blacks of each object found throughout the image. This is different than normal contrast as instead of making every dark tone darker and every light tone lighter, the shadows and highlights unique to each area are identified and then amplified until they reach white or black. In this particular example, the Amplify Whites slider is moved all the way to the right to 100% while the Amplify Blacks slider is brought up to around 70%.

A small amount of contrast added to an image really can transform it from good to great. The new Soft Contrast slider in Silver Efex Pro 2 can not only create amazing contrast, but it can help set or accentuate a mood. Moving the Soft Contrast slider to the right adaptively and intelligently seeks out different areas throughout the image to apply a unique type of contrast. In this case, it helps solidify the transition between foreground, midground, and background, setting a nice depth to the image.

After

Image by Cory Hilz

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