What’s your workflow to Nik software?

If you own Lightroom and Photoshop, Photoshop “smart objects” are the best way to use Nik apps.

The workflow is easy. Do all your corrections in LR then select the image, right click and choose Edit In > Open as Smart Object in Photoshop. Then in Photoshop select the smart object in the Layers Palette (F7), invoke Silver Efex, and afterwards save as a TIF.

Why is this?

  • Send to Photoshop as a smart object avoids baking in the raw conversion adjustments
  • Smart objects means the Silver Efex work remains editable as a smart filter
  • TIF because non-proprietary and there’s nothing a PSD can do that a TIF can’t do just as well

Any downsides?

  • File size is bigger – but why economize on space when extra drives are cheap?
  • Cost – you need matching versions of Lightroom and Photoshop