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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Software For B&W Image Control

To get the most out of your black-and-white images, try these software packages

This Article Features Photo Zoom

Silver Efex Pro also offers advanced targeted adjustments through the use of Control Points. When you add a Control Point to a specific position in the image, that area is analyzed for color, tonality, detail and location. When you adjust the size, brightness, contrast or structure for that Control Point, it’s operating intelligently, affecting only areas that match the appearance of the point you identified and within the range you’ve specified.

For the photographer who wants to exercise maximum control over the process of converting a color image to black-and-white, Silver Efex Pro is well worth a look.

onOne Software PhotoTools
The PhotoTools package from onOne Software (www.ononesoftware.com) can be thought of more as a tool for applying a preset appearance to your image, rather than as a tool for fine-tuning a black-and-white conversion. However, the software includes a wide array of presets that produce excellent effects, including a great simulation of a platinum print appearance, which many photographers can appreciate.

Tiffen Dfx
Dfx from Tiffen (www.tiffen.com) provides a wide range of filters and special effects, among them effects that allow you to create a black-and-white version of your image. The various comparison preview displays are particularly helpful with Dfx, but for the black-and-white aficionado, the real power lies in the seemingly countless sliders in the Parameters control after choosing a black-and-white preset as a starting point.

The adjustment options start with basic controls that include the ability to custom-tailor a color filter that simulates the effect of just such a filter you might use in the wet darkroom, with much more flexibility.

Dfx includes extensive controls for altering the diffusion glow on the image, the color effects you can add after the black-and-white conversion and special effects such as bleaching that simulate processes available in the wet darkroom. You also can apply targeted adjustments to your image through the use of masks.

Dfx offers a large array of excellent effects that will be of interest not only for producing black-and white images, but also for many other creative pursuits.

Tim Grey has authored over a dozen books on digital photography and imaging for photographers, including the best-selling Photoshop CS4 Workflow. He also publishes the Digital Darkroom Quarterly print newsletter and the Ask Tim Grey eNewsletter. Details can be found at www.timgrey.com.


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