Silver Efex Pro 2 is the newest version of Nik's digital photographic filters for creating black and white images within Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. Why would you need a product to create black and white images when you can do it in Photoshop already? To create a high quality image in Photoshop can take a number of masking and conversion steps and that can take time.
Not only is Silver Efex Pro 2 a black and white converter, but it contains Nik's premier U Point technology that gives you pinpoint control over what you want to do. No longer are you limited to working with global changes and masking to accomplish your goals. Rather, now you can precisely control specific areas of your image with a couple of clicks of your mouse.
Basically, the Silver Efex Pro workflow works like this. From inside Photoshop, open an image, and open Silver Efex Pro 2 from the Filter menu which will open the Silver Efex interface. By default, the Style Browser with sample thumbnails of your image will appear on the left hand side of the interface. On the right side are the enhancement controls.
Once you select your style from the left that most closely represents what you want to accomplish, you can use the enhancement control options on the right to make global adjustments to the image. These include controls to adjust the Brightness, Contrast, and Structure.
Next you can use the U Point Control Points to selectively control where each filter is applied to the images. This allows you to control the effect without having to use selections and/or masking. By placing Control Points on an image, you can control Brightness, Contrast, and Structure to fine-tune certain areas of your images independently of the rest of the photo.
The next set of controls are the Color Filters. These work much in the same way that traditional color filters work when used with panchromatic black and white films; objects of the color of the filter are lightened while objects of the opposite of the filter's color are darkened.