Nik Collection

An important collection of plug-ins once published by Nik Software but then taken over by Google when it bought the company. Google has since made the Nik Collection free but has announced it will no longer be developing it, leaving its future in doubt.


Comparatively new image-editing software that offers instant effects presets made with a range of different filters and tools which you can combine and adjust manually. It offers easily-customised ‘workspaces’ which contain only the tools you need and which makes the interface as straightforward as possible.


All-in-one photo cataloguing, organising and editing tool that also synchronised with a mobile app so that you can browse and share your images while you’re on the move. It uses the same RAW conversion engine and tools as Adobe Camera Raw, which comes with Photoshop.

Intensify (MacPhun)

Mac-only application which increases global and localised contrast effects to give images extra drama and ‘punch’. It works either as a standalone application or as a plug-in, and as usual with MacPhun software you can use one of many different presets or use your own manual settings.

HDR Efex Pro

Software plug-in for creating HDR (high dynamic range) effects from single images or bracketing sets of exposures. It’s part of the Google Nik Collection. You can apply preset HDR styles with a single click or adjust and make your own effects using extensive manual controls.

Google Photos

A free photo storage and sharing tool that’s part of your Google account. You can store, sort and search all your photos online and they’re automatically available in your smart devices too, via a Google Photos app. It’s not designed for professional use, but it does use machine learning, or artificial intelligence, to identify your photos automatically, saving lots of manual keywording and tagging.

Google Nik Collection

A suite of software plug-ins for Photoshop and Lightroom available via the Google website and consisting of programs previously made and sold by Nik Software. The collection includes Analog Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro, Dfine, HDR Efex Pro, Sharpener Pro Silver Efex Pro and Viveza.

FX Photo Studio (MacPhun)

An inexpensive plug-in which forms part of MacPhun’s Creative Kit suite. It offers a variety of single-click photographic effects organised into categories. There are few controls, so although it can create some striking ‘looks’ very quickly, it’s not as sophisticated as regular effects plug-ins.

Focus (MacPhun)

Focus is a Mac-only software tool for creating shallow depth of field, tilt-shift (miniature) or ‘bokeh’ effects by progressively blurring the image away from a central sharp area. Digital defocus techniques can look convincing, but it does depend on the subject. See also: Boost your bokeh with MacPhun Focus 2 Pro

Filmpack (DxO)

Software that replicates the look of old films and darkroom processes together with ageing effects like scratches and light leaks. It can work as a standalone application and as a plug-in (Elite edition). It also integrates with DxO Optics Pro, DxO’s RAW conversion/correction tool.