5 Top Lightroom Plugins (2021)

Adobe Lightroom is one of the most plugin-friendly apps. It supports the use of plugins, and there are some fantastic plugins available in the market that are aimed at photographers looking to do more with their photographs from within Lightroom.

For those who aren’t that tech-savvy, a little reminder – plugins are programs coded to fit in with another program, in our case Lightroom, and are often referred to as add-ons or extensions as well.

Lightroom plugins are trendy since they add specific features not built into the original system and enable various customisations. We cannot wait to share with you five of our favourite plugins we are using right now.

Top 5 Lightroom Plugins (2021)

1. Excire - Search 2 Pro

Compatibility: Windows & Mac
Learn more: Here
Price: £59
Free trial: Here

Excire Search 2 Pro is a plugin for your photo library that is a must for everyone with an extensive photo library. Once the plugin is installed, it can scan through your collection using deep learning technologies, face recognition technology and keyword the images in your library using a database of up to 500 tags. If you have a massive collection of images that you need to be keyworded then, Excire Search Pro can be used to keyword them, after which your photos will be searchable using keywords.

Pros:
Brilliant and powerful scanning technology with an excellent search result
This is a must plugin for every photographer with a more extensive library (10 000+ photos)
Advanced and easy tagging process makes this otherwise tedious task effortless 

Cons:
Long and performance demanding initial scanning process
The price tag will make this plugin more attractive for full-time photographers

2. Nik Collection - Silver Efex Pro

Compatibility: Windows & Mac
Learn more: Here
Price: £133 £88.99
Free trial: Here

Silver Efex Pro is a black & white photography plugin from the Nik Collection by DxO. The Nik Collection has been on the market for many years now, changing the developer several times and ending with DxO. The interesting fact is that it's been over ten years since the first Nik Collection came out with the Silver Efex Pro tool, and up till today, there isn't, in our opinion, a better tool for black and white photography out there.

The Silver Efex Pro comes with a range of darkroom-inspired controls so you can create stunning monochrome images. It also includes various effects and filters that emulate classic films like Ilford, Tri-X, Fuji, Kodak, etc. Additionally, the entire Nik Collection offers exclusive U point technology that allows you to adjust exactly where you want, using control points.

Pros:
Still the most powerful Black & White photography tool out there
Very creative and handy "U Point" editing technology
Original film filters like Ilford, Tri-X, Fuji, Kodak, etc.

Cons:
The £133 is a lot's of money for a Lightroom plugin
Works well only on high definition photos

3. Capture Monkey - The Fader

Compatibility: Windows & Mac
Learn more: Here
Price: £7.20
Free trial: Here

The Fader is a plugin by Capture Monkey that is free to download and use within Lightroom. This allows for more flexibility with the presets in Lightroom as the Fader acts as an opacity slider where you can choose the strength of the preset to be applied. So, for example, if you do not like the looks of the presets, you can drag the slider to the left to reduce the preset's effect, and if you want more of the preset’s development, you can do that as well the slider goes up to 150%.

Pros:
Used by professional photographers for easy preset adjustments
Fast and straightforward two-click preset adjustment solution
The Fader does not make any changes to your original presets

Cons:
Not consistently stable with the most recent versions of Lightroom
Some significant-resolution adjustments take a bit longer to process

4. Nik Collection - Color Efex Pro

Compatibility: Windows & Mac
Learn more: Here
Price: £133 £88.99
Free trial: Here

Color Efex Pro belongs to the Nik Collection by DxO, and it is a series of renowned creative plugins for Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Photoshop Elements, and Adobe Lightroom. Color Efex Pro has effects and filters comparable to Lightroom’s settings for colour correction, retouching, and various filters. The main difference is that you will apply them locally using the "U Point" editing technology. It can also handle photos in their RAW format. This means you can work with high resolution and top quality.

Pros:
A compelling set of effects and filters 
Creative and handy "U Point" editing technology
It comes in the super collection with Silver Efex Pro

Cons:
Slightly outdated control system
The £133 is a lot's money for a Lightroom plugin.

5. Topaz - Sharpen AI

Compatibility: Windows & Mac
Learn more: Here
Price: £79.99
Free trial: Here

There isn't a more powerful tool than Sharpen AI from Topaz when it comes to professional sharpening. Many professional photographers across the world use this excellent plugin created by Topaz to enhance their photos. Other than standard sharpening, it is also convenient for pre-print sharpening when every detail matters. The AI technology uses a learning curve of the image to work with situations including motion blur, out of focus areas and too soft sections.

Pros:
The most potent sharpening tool out there
Powerful AI technology with learning skills and superb AI editing
Excellent and professional results

Cons:
Expensive for a single plugin
Limited results when it comes to low-resolution photos

The End

That's it for today, but if you need any help, make sure to contact us directly, and we will do our best to help.

#StaySafe - Jakub Bors
@CleverPhotographer | @BorsPhotography

Jakub Bors Photography

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