Originally Posted by andrewrodney
Yup, here is a GREAT free video tutorial on using LR as well as some of the older (I’d say less useful) techniques in Photoshop including conversion to Lab for L star (we can do better <g>): http://mulita.com/blog/?p=1244
Thanks Andrew for sharing the video link. A basic yet very well done intro to conversion to B&W in Photoshop and ACR/LR. I bookmarked it to share wtih others.
I do not have that Nik package so cannot directly help. I agree with ShadowLight if you posted a before and after of what the Amplify Blacks and Whites provides (different than just the B&W conversions) then that would allow more forum members to give you suggestions.
From the description from Nik, it sounds like these controls are doing a localized contrast boost with independent controls for Black and White. Nik also mentions not wiping out the shadows and highlights in the process. This almost sounds like the clarity control in LR/ACR which I believe is focused on the midtones. Localized contrast increase can also be done in Photoshop. Not sure about the specifics of the Nik effects without an example so will leave it at that.
An alternative if you consider the Nik package to have substantial value above what you see achieved in Photoshop is to just purchase the plugin. There is quite a bit that can be done just with Photoshop/ACR yet its a myth IMHO that Photoshop can do it all without scripting or plug-ins. I too have very few plug-ins due to Photoshop's inherent capabilities yet as an example I would not want to try to duplicate all the capabilities of Filter Forge in Photoshop. Maybe I will have to try the trial version of nik silver efex 2 to see for myself