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Nik HDR Efex Pro, use stand-alone separate from any PS programs

Steve T. , Jan 07, 2012; 05:27 p.m.

Hello All,

Writing in for a friend- he runs PS Elements 8 on a Mac laptop. He wants to delve into HDR. We're both soon taking a one-day class on using Nik HDR Efex Pro. At first blush it looks like Nik says this program will not work with Elements, Elements topping out at 16-bit capability where HDR Efex Pro needs 32 or 64-bit capability.

That said, in searching for answers I've seen references, without there being any further information, that Nik HDR Efex Pro can be used as a stand-alone program. Does anyone do this? Can anyone confirm that this Nik program can be used as a full HDR workflow solution completely independent of a Photoshop program? And I mean the full workflow- from merging the separate photos to telling it to print the HDR results and saving as tiffs or jpegs, all separate from Elements or any other editing program.

Thanks for your help, I sure appreciate it.

Responses

Matt Laur , Jan 07, 2012; 05:35 p.m.

You need Photoshop or Lightroom (Aperture is also an option, on a Mac).

On the soon-taking-a-class front: you can download a free trial of Lightroom here, and a free 15-day trial of HDR Efex Pro here.

That gives you a couple weeks of learning without any immediate cash outlay.

Richard Snow , Jan 07, 2012; 05:38 p.m.

I use HDR Efex Pro.

It cannot be used as a Stand Alone Program.

HDR Efex Pro required one of the following:

  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Bridge (CS4 and CS5 ONLY)
  • Adobe Photoshop Lightroom
  • Aperture (Mac Only)

I use it with Lightroom. It's quick and easy to access. Let me know if I can help with any other HDR Efex Pro questions.

RS

Steve T. , Jan 07, 2012; 07:07 p.m.

Thanks Guys.

I just found this at the Nik website, a book for using the HDR Efex Pro-
(link)
The third bullet point down lists how to use it as a stand-alone application. But I suppose I'd need to buy the book to see what that's all about...

Stephen Penland , Jan 08, 2012; 12:35 a.m.

Note that the book is a CD.

Howard Owen , Jan 08, 2012; 06:50 a.m.

Steve T. , Jan 08, 2012; 09:04 a.m.

Howard- thank you very much! We'll explore the link you sent.

Steve T. , Jan 09, 2012; 11:01 p.m.

I wrote to Nik, and good news! Yes, it will operate as a stand-alone, but only with TIFF and JPEG files when operating as a stand-alone program. So if you/I shoot RAW's, just convert them to TIFF's, then process through HDR Efex Pro. Their return message to me:

Thank you for contacting Nik Software. Yes, HDR Efex Pro is the only one of our software that will run as a standalone product. As a standalone, it functions exactly the same, but it can only handle Tiff or Jpg images. I recommend first processing your image in Dfine 2.0 and then saving it as either a Tiff or a Jpg. You will then open HDR Efex Pro in standalone mode, and open that image. Process as normal in HDR Efex Pro and then you would save that file and bring it back into Photoshop Elements to do the rest of your processing. To access the standalone versions, please see below:

Windows
  1. Open Windows Explorer / My Computer and navigate to: C:\Program Files\Nik Software\HDR Efex Pro.
  2. Double click on the file, "HDR Efex Pro.exe" to launch the application.
  3. Click on File >Open Exposure Series and select the image(s) to merge into HDR Efex Pro. This method will merge TIFF and JPG images only.
Mac
  1. Open the finder and navigate to Applications : Nik Software : HDR Efex Pro.
  2. Double click on the file, "HDR Efex Pro" to launch the application.
  3. Click on File >Open Exposure Series and select the image(s) to merge into HDR Efex Pro. This method will merge TIFF and JPG images only.
If you have any further questions, please reply to this email or call our Customer Service Department toll free at 1-888-284-4085 (+1-619-725-3150 outside of the US). Our office hours are Monday through Friday 8:30 am to 5:00 pm PST.
Best Regards,

Ed Knepley , Jun 15, 2013; 11:20 a.m.

I'm the author of the post mentioned earlier in this thread.
Today I made a new post that addresses running any & all of the Google branded Nik Collection programs in a stand-alone mode.
http://edkphoto.wordpress.com/2013/06/15/using-the-nik-collection-in-a-stand-alone-mode/
I mention this because there are referrals from this thread back to my site almost daily even though the thread is over a year old. You may as well use the "latest & greatest" info. Hope it helps.

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