Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Gadget Bag: Convert To B&W
The era of complex maneuvers with the channel mixer has given way to a bevy of software solutions that give you control and make it easy to transform color to evocative, dramatic black-and-white images
Besides making a conversion to black-and-white point-and-click simple, Tiffen Dfx has a huge number of Parameters controls that lets you use sliders to fine-tune the image and the effects you apply. Like working in a traditional darkroom, you can create the look of bleaching or soft developers and add color filtration to alter contrast and tonal relationships. You can target your adjustments. The upshot is that this powerful package gives you a lot of control over converting your color to monochrome and then taking off from there.
ArcSoft has been making software that fits the needs of nature photographers since the earliest days of the digital revolution. PhotoStudio 6 lets you convert an image to black-and-white quickly, and the Magic-Film feature lets you emulate the look of a particular film. If you were a film-and-darkroom kind of photographer, you'll enjoy the ability to give your modern digital photos the look of Kodak TRI-X, for example.
Tint Tone Color 2.0 Auto FX's Mystical Tint Tone Color package lets you add a number of effects to your photographs, black-and-white effects among them. You can take a fair amount of control over the black-and-white images through presets that can be fine-tuned. The Enrich and Deepen controls let you add density to the darkest areas of the image to make the overall effect all that much more rich-looking while preserving detail.
Adobe Lightroom 4
The newest version of Lightroom gives you several ways to convert a color photograph to black-and-white. As in previous versions, one of the best things you can do is create or download presets, which automates the process. Lightroom lets you convert to monochrome in a few different ways. You can simply click black-and-white in the Basic Panel, or you can desaturate the image by sliding Saturation to -100. You also can click B&W in the Hue/Saturation/Luminance panel. Any of these options makes for a great starting point, and from there you can start the process of manually tweaking the images.
Like some other software, Aperture began life as a robust organizing program, but it has blossomed into a powerful image-editing tool. Many photographers feel that Photoshop is less and less necessary on a daily basis because software like Aperture has become more and more useful. To convert to black-and-white in Aperture, you go to the Adjustments tab where you'll find the black-and-white tools. You can adjust color sliders, which act as though they were color filters on a film camera shooting black-and-white film.
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