Just in time for Easter, the good people at Google have given us a nice present by means of offering the Nik-Tools for free. That’s right, all of them for not even a penny. I never was much into serious photography mostly because I don’t have a decent camera to begin with, so I never even considered these filters, but in a time where I seem to be taking another 50 Euros of my limited charity funds to the pharmacy store every other week, I’ll take whatever I can get for free, if only for doodling around for fun. That said, having done so for only 10 minutes is a real eye-opener. It’s indeed quite fun to just play around, mostly because you don’t have to spend forever creating selections first and the algorithms handle it for you. It won’t make my shabby JPEGs look like professional Raw images, but it’s certainly a nice option to have if and when needed.
The only thing that leaves an uneasy feeling is the fact that this could mean the beginning of a slow death for the product. When a company gives away a formerly commercial product because basically they got what they wanted in terms of exploiting the IP in their other products (presumably some image processing stuff in Android’s photo app; as one of the last people on this planet without a smartphone I seriously don’t have much of a clue), it often doesn’t bode well for the future. Aside from compatibility updates with newer versions of Photoshop I wouldn’t expect too much movement in the future.