advanced photoshop

Top 5 Photo Effects Software

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Tips & Tutorials, by Anna-lisa Saywell

We’ve rounded up five tools that will enhance your workflow and take your images to a whole new creative level

Nik Software Complete Collection

     Top 5 Photo Effects Software

UK: £450
US: $500

It may be a bit of a cheat to give Nik Software’s Complete Collection Ultimate Edition the top spot, given that it’s not one single tool, but a collection of six. But what makes it so worthy of this slot is the incredibly good value if offers. Nik Software has taken six of its best titles and bundled them at the price you might normally pay for just two. The result is a toolkit that works standalone or with Photoshop, Aperture or Lightroom, and can handle any editing situation.

There are tools to reduce noise, sharpen and control light, as well as more dramatic adjustments that enable you to create black-and-white or HDR images. All this comes with a combination of comprehensive presets and fine-tuning designed to impress. The real jewel in Complete Collection’s crown however, is Color Efex Pro 4, which contains 52 photographic filters and over 250 effects. UK buyers can purchase from
Serif PhotoPlus X5

Top 5 Photo Effects Software

UK: £72
US: $90

Serif’s PhotoPlus is a one-stop shop for your regular editing tasks. With RAW support, HDR merging, repair tools ideal for unwanted artefacts, plus a selection of more artistic adjustments, there’s plenty here. While you might not always get the depth you’re after, none of it compromises on quality.

Topaz Star Effects

Top 5 Photo Effects Software

UK: £30
US: $30

If you’ve ever wanted a stronger light source in your photo, or to add some more lighting-based detail into your shots, Topaz Star Effects will do it all for a cheap price. It’s easy to go overboard here, but subtly adding some additional shine to your images can really make them stand out.

onOne Software Perfect Photo Suite 6

Top 5 Photo Effects Software

UK: £225
US: $300

Perfect Photo Suite 6 provides a toolkit ideal for retouching, enhancing and editing any photograph. From effective masking tools to image resizing and over 300 photographic effects, this collection really does boast a lot of incredible features. FocalPoint 2 and Perfect Resize are real highlights of this collection, allowing you to apply creative focus effects to your shots with ease and resize them up to 1,000% without losing detail, respectively.

Digital Heavens Smooth Skins

Top 5 Photo Effects Software

UK: £25
US: $40

Digital Heavens’ Smooth Skins provides a toolkit of actions to add to your workflow, enabling you to smooth out skin tones and eradicate imperfections effortlessly. There’s a range of effect intensities available.


  • eve

    hi,thanks for informative article.just wanted to ask you when u say the niksoftware works standalone does that mean i can use it on its own and dont need to buy photoshop in order for it to work as i dont have photoshop?thanx

  • joey

    Eve, you need to install Photoshop before using Nik Software. 😀