Google Nik Collection: Using Silver Efex Pro to Create Black and White Images

Google Nik Collection: Using Silver Efex Pro to Create Black and White Images

Silver Efex Pro is a free plug-in available from the Google Nik Collection. This easy-to-use program offers photographers the opportunity to mimic dark room treatments digitally. It’s another great plug-in you can use with Corel PaintShop Pro. To find out more about installing plug-ins in PaintShop Pro check out our easy-to-follow tutorial on installation.

Silver Efex Pro allows the user to make adjustments to a wide variety of factors. The control panels are arranged similarly to Colour Efex Pro but with some slight differences. Silver Efex focuses solely on creating monochromatic and black and white images. On the left-hand side, users will find a variety of presets that include pinhole camera effects and simple modern black and white treatments.

1-initial image no editing

The fun begins when users start to customize these looks and create their unique black and white images. The program offers photographers the ability to create sepia and toned images. There are a variety of options available under the toning tab. Here we’ve shown you one of the stronger effects you can choose. This is a coffee toning, and we’ve used the strongest setting to show how you can adjust your images. There are many options, and you also have the ability to reduce the strength of each effect you apply.



There are also presets that allow you to create images that mimic very traditional film effects; these include antique plates and film noir effects. It can be a lot of fun to create dark and moody images using the film noir setting. The program allows users to get very creative with their images and to consider several different options during the editing stage. Below you can see examples of the antique plate and film noir presets.

3-antique plate preset


Different film effects also create different looks with each preset. Here you can see that we’ve adjusted the film type. Certain parts of the image will become darker while others become brighter depending on the type of film you choose for your image.

4-filmtype options


If you decide you don’t like the look of your adjustments, it’s easy to go back and delete an action. The history panel allows you to see all of the different adjustments that you’ve made. You can scroll through and click on all the changes you’ve made and consider the effect each choice has had on the image before you.



It’s also fun to experiment and add a frame to your image. You can adjust the size of the border, and how it looks. There are options that mimic the border of a classic Polaroid image along with others that mimic age and wear.



Just like many of the other Nik Collection plug-ins you can adjust vignette, utilize control points and make adjustments to the brightness and contrast within your images. Silver Efex Pro is a fun and easy-to-use program that offers photographers many different creative options when processing images. Have fun creating all sorts of looks. Get creative and dress people up in classic clothing then process an image using different film effects. It makes for an exciting photography project that will certainly get noticed by others. Try using the control points to adjust the brightness of specific places within your images. Create depth and interest for viewers by adding hits of light to flat images.

Silver Efex Pro works seamlessly with PaintShop Pro. Download a free trial of PaintShop Pro and get experimenting. PaintShop Pro is available without a subscription and is a cost effective and easy-to-use program that will meet all of your image processing needs. Check out the sample images below!

Share your edited images in our Photo Gallery below! We would love to see what you’ve created with these fantastic programs.

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