As noted in my previous posting, I had an opportunity last Friday to participate in a Nik Software webinar previewing their new HDR solution. Nik representatives were also on hand at the Glazers Camera Shore Street Fair (Seattle) this past weekend, so I have plenty of time to pick the brains of the Nik folks. What did I learn? They are very busy reworking their entire software line to support the 64bit Photoshop CS4 and CS5 (no real surprise here, but it was refreshing to know they are working it hard). They know they are behind in this effort and are really pushing to reset their software (currently all of their products work in the Lightroom (LR) and Photoshop (PS) environment however only Viveza is currently available in the 64bit PS environment) . Back to Nik HDR – This new software will be available for PS and LR and will be offered in both 32 and 64 bit plug-in applications vs. a stand alone program. The interface carries the classic user interface that Nik users have come to love, especially the U-point control technology which allows for pin-point controls across the image. The HDR program carries an effects preview pane in the LR Navigator window very similar to Silver Effects or Color Effects, allowing the photographer to visually see the proposed enhancement before actually committing to the change. While Nik’s approach is wonderful for those wanting to put their foot into the HDR pond without having to learn all about tone-mapping, it’s power really lies in using the U-point control technology to ‘get at’ the changes you need to make without getting into complicated selective masking in PS. Another real sweet feature is the effort-less manner in which images are selected for inclusion into the HDR solution (using the LR interface). Along with Lucas Art and Photomatix, Nik HDR will be a welcomed addition to my HDR kit bag. Look for a late July release (estimated) for the NIK HDR product. No pricing information available.
Cheers and happy photo’ing