I’ve actually been using Silver Efex for almost 3 years now, but lately have been getting more questions about what I use for my black and white image processing. I purchased this plugin back before NIK Software had been bought by Google, and fell in love with it right away.
The presets are great for quickly getting some nice effects, but lately I’ve been doing more processing by just starting with the original b&w version of the image (what you see when you first open the image in Silver Efex) and tweaking it from there.
I love the ability to work with channels and curves to really get something a little different. I’m also a big fan of it’s burning feature. I like this better than adding vignettes. You can really do some nice stuff with burning the edges and can treat each edge differently. I used it a little on the photo below to give it a little interest, and give more attention to Geneva.
Anyway, you can find out more and get the plugin on Google’s NIK site, www.google.com/nikcollection/
These two shots are ones that I’ve edited recently using Apple’s Aperture and NIK Silver Efex Pro 2.0. (you can get free trials of both, btw) (Actually, every b&w image you see on this site has been processed in Silver Efex.)