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Thursday Tech Tips and Tricks: The Best Ways to Edit Photos on your Desktop or Laptop

Sticking with the photo editing theme this week, we’re going to look at an app that can be used on your laptop or desktop. It would be for photos in large file format, from SLR cameras or point and shoot. For this you would take the memory card, insert it into your computer and you can keep the file size a little bit larger. images from your camera would would be in a lossless format and higher resolution.

Nik Collection

Nik Collection is totally free. It also can act as a free plugin inside of photoshop if you would like to combine the two powers. But for photo processing, Nik Collections can be used just fine alone.

Analog Efex Pro can be used for a retro feel, kind of like an Instagram tool. Color Efex Pro is a full featured photo editor, like a digital dark room. It’s the one Eric uses most frequently. This can get you any style, any treatment, anything pulled out and enhanced.

Silver Efex Pro is one of the best black and white photo processing tool out there. Viveza is a lightened version of Color Efex Pro and focuses on color. HDR Efex Pro gives you a multi-layered image look. You can stack exposures or a single exposure. It works well with architecture and landscape. Sharpener Pro pulls out lots of detail and macro details from your photography. Dfine is good for lower light situations. It conceals graininess and helps blend the issues that will pop up in low light.

These apps don’t take a lot of a computer to run, which is great. And it’s fully free.

Color Efex Pro

Checking out the interface, On the left side you’ll see all of the filters and on the right side you’ll see individual adjustments for those filters. You can stack up as many of those filters as you want on the right just by clicking the “add filter” button on the right hand side.

Right now we’ve got Bleach Bypass turned on, which gives you a crunchy look.

Let’s say you are adjusting your photo and you want the affect just on one part of it. Use the control points in your filter adjustments and the slider to see what radius your effecting. You can also use a filter on the whole image and then subtract it from areas.

The opacity adjusts the affect over the whole image by percentage.

Silver Efex Pro

This is a fun one with all of the black and white work you can do. On the left side there are presets which can be fun to use right off the bat or you can do more personalized adjustments. This is even better than what you can do in Photoshop (whith the amount of control).

HDR Efex Pro

This one is a great app that gets you the nice surreal scene. Many times it pushes things too far. Just be careful, don’t go to far (a lot of people do) and don’t be afraid to back off of it. When you first start off, definitely go too far. But before you save it, take a step back, maybe go eat a snack. And then come back and take another look.

I hope this helps! It’s a great set of plugins. This is where digital photography is at right now and this is a great set of tools. They’re not looking to add any updates because this is where photography is at. When photography changes, that’s probably when we’ll see updates.

What is your favorite app in this suite? Let us know in the comments!

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