Tag: Black and white

How to create a red filter effect in Silver Efex Pro

Nik Software must have discovered some unknown digital alchemy when it developed Silver Efex Pro. Suddenly, here was a digital imaging tool that really could replicate the look, feel and even the ‘soul’ of silver-based black and white. And one of the favourite tools of traditional black and white photographers was the ‘contrast’ filter. These mostly came in yellow, orange, red or green varieties. The idea of using a coloured filter might seem odd when shooting in black and white, but they worked by making some colours appear darker – and some lighter – when recorded as shades of...

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How to create a fine art effect with Silver Efex Pro 2

Fine art can mean a whole lot of different things, but here I’m just going to show how to turn a colour image into a simple graphic composition that could work quite nicely when you hang it on your wall. There are two things you need in order for this to work. One is an image with a strong, simple composition that’s going to work well at different viewing distances. Big, bold shapes are best, and details from nature work well. The other thing you need is a combination of subtle tonal adjustments to bring out the graphic arrangement...

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How to save a preset for Kodak Tri-X black and white in Silver Efex Pro

Anyone who used to shoot with black and white film will have a favourite, and I always had a soft spot for Kodak Tri-X. I didn’t mind the grain because I liked that gritty, ‘documentary’ feel, and sometimes I push-processed during development to get a little more contrast, especially in the depths of the Northern European winter. But that all came to an end with the swap to digital. There are a thousand and one ways to convert colour images to black and white in Photoshop, but none of them ever seemed to me to capture the ‘look’ of...

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Use edge burning to enhance your composition in Silver Efex Pro 2

Burning in the edges of your pictures is a great way to enhance the composition because it improves the picture’s overall contrast and helps you concentrate attention on the picture’s focal point. The point is that converting your pictures to black and white is just the start, and ‘digital’ techniques like channel mixing are useful but not enough on your own. What you really need for black and white is good old-fashioned dodging and burning. And that’s where Nik (Google) Silver Efex Pro 2 is so effective. I’ll start with this colour picture taken in Venice and see if...

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Create a grainy black and white effect in Lightroom

You tend to think of Lightroom as an image cataloguing program with some image-editing tools thrown in, but actually Lightroom 5 can do many of the jobs that Photoshop can. It’s especially good at building effects from a series of different adjustments – and you can then save these effects as a preset you can apply to other images with a single click. Black and white is my favourite medium, and I’m going to use Lightroom to create a traditional high-contrast, grainy look. There are a number of steps, but you don’t have to follow all of them –...

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Welcome to Life after Photoshop! It's a site dedicated to alternative image editors, photography techniques and camera gear.

Rod Lawton – photographer, writer and Head of Testing for Digital Camera, PhotoPlus and N-Photo at Future plc.

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