Topaz B&W Effects basics

Topaz B&W Effects basics: is it as good as Silver Efex Pro?

07 Local Adjustment

Topaz B&W Effects basics

The previous step showed up the edges of a rucksack left in the doorway, so I’ve used the Burn tool in the Local Adjustment section to cover it up. You can change the brush size, opacity and edge hardness to suit the level of detail.

08 Edge Exposure

Topaz B&W Effects basics

I’ve finished off with an adjustment that has a direct parallel in Silver Efex Pro. The ceiling of the room in this picture was looking a little dark, so I’ve selected the top edge in the Edge Exposure section, and moved the slider to the left to lighten it.

The equivalent in Silver Efex Pro is the Burn Edges panel, though this can only darken the edges, not lighten them.

I also tried a few different frames, but here Topaz B&W displayed another speed glitch – it was a little slow to preview each frame, and lagged behind when I moved up and down through the frame menu options – and it carried on cycling through different frames after I’d closed the menu.

09 The finished picture

Topaz B&W Effects basics

For any black and white conversion to be successful, you need the right kind of image to start with, and this one has worked really well. I do like Silver Efex Pro, but I’m really pleased with what Topaz B&W did with this picture, and I think I’ll be trying it out on a few more.

So is it as good as Silver Efex Pro? I don’t know yet – sorry! – but I’ve seen enough to think it’s a rival that deserves to be taken seriously.

See also

Silver Efex Pro tutorials

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