The Lightroom Clarity slider adds a powerful localised contrast effect that can work well on colour shots, but really comes into its own with black and white. It recaptures the some of the punchiness of old black and white films without pushing the overall contrast out of control. Lightroom CC/Photography plan trial version and offers Here's an example. I took this … [Read more...] about Boost your black and white shots with the Lightroom Clarity slider
Black and white
Don't write off DxO Optics Pro as a one-tricky pony. It's brilliant at correcting lens aberrations and perspective and maximising the quality of your RAW files, but the lack of any localised adjustment tools can tempt you into migrating to another app as soon as you've fixed the basic issues. But don't be in such a rush, because you could be missing out on some of Optics Pro's … [Read more...] about Beautiful black and white with DxO Optics Pro: Part 1
Solarization adds a dramatic and surreal look to regular black and white images. Darker shades of grey and midtones stay unaffected, but brighter tones and highlights are reversed into a negative image. It's particularly effective on bright skies. You might imagine you need a plug-in to achieve this kind of effect, but in reality you can create it in any program which offers … [Read more...] about How to create an Aperture solarization effect
I'm a huge fan of Silver Efex Pro, the black and white plug-in in the Google Nik Collection. But in a spirit of fair play I want to take a proper look at a rival product, Topaz B&W Effects 2. This comes from plug-in maker Topaz Labs, which sells a suite of plug-in tools that rivals the scope of the Google Nik Collection. B&W Effects is available both on its own and as a … [Read more...] about Discover the details with Topaz B&W Effects
I admit that Silver Efex Pro, part of the Google Nik Collection, is my favourite black and white conversion plug-in, but I like to keep an open mind, and I thought it was about time I took a look at some others. I have reviewed Topaz B&W Effects in the past, but it's been a while since I used it properly, so I've downloaded the latest version to give it a quick test. … [Read more...] about Topaz B&W Effects basics: is it as good as Silver Efex Pro?
Normally, if you want to create any kind of black and white effect with the Google Nik Collection, you'd go straight to Silver Efex Pro. However, Color Efex Pro has some black and white effects of its own. The effects are different to Silver Efex Pro's, so although the tools aren't quite as sophisticated, you might still be able to achieve some unique 'looks'. There are … [Read more...] about Do more with Color Efex Pro’s Old Photo effect
The Zone System was invented by legendary landscape photographer Ansel Adams. He hit upon the idea of splitting the full range of tones in a black and white image into eleven distinct brightness zones, which he then went on to define very carefully. I'm paraphrasing this from the Wikipedia entry: Zone 0: Maximum black, no detail Zone 1: Near black, no useful detail … [Read more...] about How to apply the Zone System in Silver Efex Pro
Split toning is a more advanced variation on the old technique of toning. It applies a different coloured tone to the shadows and the highlights in the picture, producing an interesting graded colour effect. It's often used to give images a subtle, 'fine art' look, but it's not always easy to get right. It's much easier to do digitally, of course, than it was in the old days … [Read more...] about How to use the Lightroom Split Toning feature
You can use Silver Efex Pro perfectly effectively by choosing a preset and then modifying the settings as necessary using the tools panel. What you may not realise is that Silver Efex Pro simulates specific film types very closely. In fact, you can choose your film manually in the Film Types panel. And if that's not enough you can create a black and white film of your own with … [Read more...] about Create your own films with Silver Efex Pro Sensitivity settings!
Black and white doesn't have to be completely black and white! If you preserve just a splash of colour you can create a very striking effect, and it's a very easy technique to try out because it doesn't need any complex selections or colour adjustments. The same broad technique can be applied in most image-editors, but here's how the Lightroom selective colour technique … [Read more...] about Create mono with a difference with this Lightroom selective colour technique