My Favorite Plugins Are Now Free!!


Nik logo

I had to share this exciting news as soon as I could.

The Nik Collection by Google is now FREE!! 

That’s right, the plugins that I use on virtually every image are not $299, the price before Google bought Nik.

They’re not $149, the price after Google bought Nik.

They are FREE!!

Run, don’t walk, and get your copy today!!

Notice: these plugins require that you have either Lightroom or Photoshop as host programs, this is not stand-alone software. 



Sunday’s Hidden Treasure

Out To Pasture

Antique John Deere tractor and GMC truck sitting among the tall weeds in a rural Maine field

Camera: Canon EOS 7D

Lens: Tamron 17-50 f2.8

Settings: iso 400, 19mm @ f9

This is a 3 shot HDR. The original RAW files having been first imported into Lightroom 3, were then processed in Nik HDR Efex Pro.

I’d like to take this time to thank all of my readers who took advantage of my status as an affiliate for Nik Software. As most of you know, as of April 2nd I will no longer be able to offer a 15% savings on Nik products with the code: JSINON 

I appreciate all of your support, and if you are hesitating on buying what I still consider the best image enhancing plugins on the market, now is the time to do it. After tomorrow at midnight the affiliate links on my blog, and in my posts about the great new low price of these plugins, as well as the code JSINON will no longer work to bring you the additional savings. While they should still bring you to the Nik site, you will have to pay the full $149 U.S. price.


PLEASE NOTE! As of midnight April 1st, the code JSINON and any affiliate links WILL NOT allow you to save an additional 15%. Any links within posts will now bring you to the Nik Collection site. Thank You.


Nik Software Savings Update!

Nik logoI just wanted to write this short update to the post from two days ago. I have been informed by the powers that be that as of April 2nd I’ll be losing my standing as an affiliate for the Nik Collection by Google  will be terminated. While you will still be able to purchase this great software at an incredible new low price, I will no longer be able to offer you the 15% additional savings. I’m not sure exactly when on the 2nd my status is to be terminated, so if you were planning to make a purchase using either my affiliate LINK, or by entering the code: JSINON during checkout, I suggest you do it by midnight on Monday the 1st.

I felt it very important to share this change to my affiliate status and urge you to make your purchase before the discount code and link are no longer functional. Not because I will earn a few more dollars in commissions, which I thank each and every one of you who’ve made a purchase for, but because I would feel terrible if someone attempted to use either the discount code or affiliate link after April 2nd assuming they were to receive the additional 15% savings.

I still firmly believe the Nik Collection by Google, as it is now known, is the best suite of image enhancement plugins on the market, regardless of my affiliate status. Even without the savings I think you’ll feel it is one of the best $149 you’ve spent on your photography. I still feel this way and I paid the old $299 price!

Presets And Plugins, Creative Tools Or Creative Crutch?

I Love To Make Photographs…

As the Mad River in Farmington, NH, cascades over a bright green moss covered granite ledge, it shoots down a natural flume carved into the rock over the centuries. As it reaches the bottom of the flume, it enters a small pool and from there disappears into the forest beyond.

…but I hate the time spent behind the computer once the image has been captured. Time behind the computer is at best, time away from the camera, and at its worst, time away from my family. I’d much rather be out shooting or spending time with my wife and daughter, than working on photographs.

So, that is why I”ve tried to make my time in the “digital darkroom” as quick and painless as possible with presets and plugins. My photo editing software consists of Lightroom 3 (Lightroom 4 is the current version now available), and  Nik Software’s Complete Collection for Lightroom.  I have absolutely no desire to become a post processing wiz, in fact, I’m perfectly happy in my “photoshop ignorance.” I want to be in and out and done with a photo in 5-10 minutes, tops! It’s also why I’m brutal when it comes to deleting images, but that a story for another time.

Hi, My Name Is Jeff, And I’m A Lazy Post Processor.

An intimate portrait of a small section of Garwin Falls in Wilton, NH. Shown during the low flow of summer, with a few smoothed out round depressions in the rock, eroded over many years by the power of the water.

First, I have to say that I do not subscribe to the “I can fix it in Photoshop” school of thought. I believe in getting it right in camera as far as exposure and composition goes. I don’t try to “rescue” crappy photos, I delete them.

I do know how I want my final image to look though, but do I care how I achieve that look after capture? No, not at all. To me the end results are all that matters. That is why I rely so heavily on Lightroom presets, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of free presets available with a quick Google search*, and Nik plugins. Since I started using the Nik software however, my use of Lightroom presets has dropped considerably. Once I correct white balance, if I need to, set my blacks, lens corrections, and capture sharpening, it’s off to one of the Nik plugins. Usually, the first stop is Viveza 2. The control you have over every aspect of the image in Viveza is phenomenal. With Nik’s Control Point Technology, you can correct the color, brightness, contrast, white balance, and more, of an individual color and have the effect as locally or as broadly applied as you wish. Next, it’s off to Color Efex Pro 4. With 55 filters along with a long list of recipes(multiple filters applied together), there is no end to the look you can achieve.

Vertical image looking upstream on the Swift River in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Boulders strewn throughout the stream provide points of interest, while the autumn foliage lining the banks provide vibrant reds, yellows, and oranges to catch the eye. In the distance, can be seen a granite cliff.

What Are Your Thoughts?

Is mastering image editing software part of becoming a “complete” photographer? Or are you like me and just want to realize the image you envision when you press the shutter, as quickly and easily as possible?

Here’s a great source of free presets for Lightroom to get you started.