The NIK collection is a set of 7 filters that are offering an incredible number of options to adjust your photos, whether it is to improve it or add various artistic effects. The NIK collection is available for FREE by Google, and you can download the complete set HERE.
Installing the NIK collection
Once you download the .exe file, you will need to execute it. At one point, in the installation process, it will ask you what host you want it installed in. By default, it will be looking for Photoshop, or Photoshop Element. If you have one of those, it will suggest them as host. However, you don't have to use them, and maybe you don't have any other program than Paintshop Pro. That is ok. If that is the case, you click on the + sign on the bottom and find another location you want the filters installed.
As I tried to installed mine, even pointing to the Plugins folder of my PSP, it still didn't appear in the list of plugins, once in the program. I am not sure if it should have, but to remediate this issue, I went in the File > Preferences > File location and under the Plugin option on the left, I added the C:\Program Files\Google folder, and that made them all appear under the Effects menu.
Analog Efex Pro
This filter will let you create effects similar to older films and camera. You can get some vintage looking images from a very clear and neat image. Here are three samples made from the first image.
Color Efex Pro
This particular filter will create color effects, vignette, emphasis on the colors or tone them down. There are many possible combinations available. Here are 3 random effects based on the first image.
HDR Efex Pro
This filter will simulate HDR photography with another wide variety of setting combinations. Here are some effects applied to the first image.
Silver Efex Pro
In this filter, you can get a variety of black and white conversions. Which one would you need for your particular photo?
Other filters in the collection
There are other filters in this collection that will let you tweak your photo in more subtle ways, from noise reduction, photo sharpening, and color adjustment. These filters offer so many preset effects and individual settings to play with that you can tweak your photos for hours!
Once you have downloaded these filters and played with them a little, post the result in our forum.