5) SILVER EFEX PRO
Part of the Google Nik Collection, Silver Efex Pro is heavily influenced by traditional darkroom tools. Dynamic Brightness gives full control over highlights, midtones and shadows. Add depth through contrast with soft contrast, amplify black and amplify white controls. Thirty-eight presets are divided into Modern, Classic and Vintage categories, and include 18 popular film types that are browsable with an active scroll wheel. Presets can also be imported. The built-in History Browser shows you processing progress and allows comparisons from different stages of edit. Image folders can be batch processed with your favorite saved preset. List Price: $149. Contact: Google, google.com/nikcollection.
6) TIFFEN DFX 4
Tiffen provides a complete digital filter and effects system for both still photos and video with the newly updated Dfx 4 software. With an improved interface for optimal preview size and new keyboard controls, Dfx 4 has just added 93 historical film processes and 30 motion picture film stocks. The software’s digital filter selection also replicates Tiffen brand optical lens filters. The ability to process images through a 32-bit floating point lets you manipulate the image’s dynamic range without clipping. The new edge-aware algorithm provides added control for applications such as smoothing skin, and a new Curve Tool gives personalized control for individual RGB values and shadow/highlight control.
Dfx 4 is available as stand-alone software; a photo plug-in for Photoshop, Elements, Lightroom and Aperture; and as a film/video plug-in that runs with Adobe After Effects and Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro X and Motion 5, and Avid Editing Systems 64-bit. It’s also now available as two separate OFX plug-in packages: Dfx OFX Standard for Sony Vegas and DaVinci Resolve Lite and Dfx OFX Pro for Assimilate Scratch, DaVinci Resolve and the Foundry’s Nuke. List Price: From $129. Contact: Tiffen, tiffensoftware.com/products.
7) TOPAZ LABS B&W EFFECTS
Topaz Labs has a large selection of photo effects, artistic effects and utility plug-ins that are co
mpatible with Photoshop CS4+, Lightroom, Elements 6+ and Adobe Creative Cloud. The B&W Effects plug-in prides itself on excelling at three conversion categories: tonal contrast, authentic grain and darkroom-inspired effects. Tonal contrast gives you control of the dynamic range with its advanced adaptive exposure technology. The authentic grain conversion gives you many looks from popular film grains that were scanned from original film. Darkroom-inspired effects include over 80 presets separated into several collections including Albumen, Cyanotype and Platinum. Topaz Labs includes free upgrades for all of the company’s plug-ins. List Price: $59.99. Contact: Topaz Labs, topazlabs.com/bweffects.