About a year ago Google purchased NIK, the makers of a suite of useful photo editing plug-ins for Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop.
Just recently Google made the NIK plug-in suite available for download for free. When you install the NIK plug-in suite you get the option of using them with Lightroom or Photoshop. I went for Photoshop.
So I downloaded it to have a play. Following are some of my results … just for fun.
First, here is the starting-point picture with no adjustments.
All pictures are 1,500px wide.
This is the NIK graduated filter effect. I have applied a blue graduated filter to the top third of the image to make the sky more intense.
In this next one I have turned up the blue graduation filter a bit, and added a yellow graduated filer at the bottom to make the dead grass look more awesome.
The NIK package has a good collection of imitation HDR effects that you can apply without actually going through the HDR process—i.e., taking three or five pictures of the same thing using different f-stop values.
Following is an example of one of the NIK HDR single-picture effects.
There are also about 50 presets for turning a colour picture into a black and white picture. Out of all the ones I tried I think this one works well for this picture.
There are hundreds of pre-sets in the NIK suite and it only possible for me to show a few of them here. Also, with every pre-set, you can then adjust the various sliders to change the effect slightly to your requirements.
As my last little play here is the Blue Shadow effect.