I have been a really big fan of Nik Softwares Silver Efex Pro since it first came out. I have always loved turning color photographs to black and white and have tried just about every method to do so. From the simple desaturate to dropping a gradient layer over the image to multi-step conversions and the best, fastest and easiest way was always Silver Efex Pro. So when I found out that Nik was going to release Silver Efex Pro 2, I wondered how they could make the program better…. Well, they did and in some really great ways.

Let me start with one feature that might not be on the top of everyones list but is on mine. They added border effects. These are not just a set of borders but instead are a set of algorithms that can produce a wide variety of borders and I love them all. Actually, I am really partial to about 3 or 4 of them, but since they are each customizable there is endless possibilities. These borders are based on the traditional borders found when printing in a darkroom and don’t be surprised if you start seeing a lot of borders on my work from now on. Here is a little trick on how to get the borders from Silver Efex 2 on a color image.

  1. Open the image you want to add the border to in Photoshop
  2. Edit the image until you are happy with the result
  3. Open the image in Nik Silver Efex Pro 2
  4. Select the normal preset
  5. Turn on the border control on the right side and adjust the border until it has the effect you want
  6. Click on OK
  7. When the new layer is ready in photoshop, change the blending mode to Luminosity
  8. DONE !

Up next, is Dynamic Brightness control which is just amazing. It allows you to adjust which areas are brightened in your image easily. It has to be seen to be believed.