05 Black & White
This abstract colour shot would probably look even better in black and white… so let’s see.
This filter is superficially simple but actually very powerful. You can choose a ready-made black and white ‘look’ from the presets at the top of the tools panel, or create the effect yourself. In the Adjust panel below you’ll see three sliders: Brightness, Contrast and Grain. The Brightness and Contrast speak for themselves, and the Grain slider produces a very realistic result that’s just like the grain of silver halide film and far better than the pixellated speckling produced by the average Noise filter. The really interesting thing, though, is the Filter button. If you click this you can choose one of a range of classic black and white ‘contrast’ filters to darken blue skies in landscape shots, for example. It’s not the same as Nik/Google’s Silver Efex Pro plug-in, but for a quick and simple conversion tool it’s brilliant.
The Black & White filter has given us a crisp, clean black and white image with little effort. Don’t forget you can add more filter effects, so we could use the Drama filter to give it a grittier feel and finish it off with the Frames filter.
So what next?
This just scratches the surface of the Google+ Snapseed editing tools. They can do so much more than we’ve been able to show here, and when they’re used in combination they become more powerful still. Look out for more Google+ Snapseed tutorials in the future!