Black and White is HOT right now. It’s gained back some of the popularity it had when I was shooting film with a lot of new photographers discovering the beauty of it. Even if they may not know or remember the smell, feel and nuances of Darkroom development of Black & White, they are loving the look of it in their digital images.
But a lot of people new to Black & White conversions are very confused by the multitudes of ways to convert their color images to Monotone in their editing software of choice. So many are turning to Third party plug-in software to help and simplify that process. With those plug-ins having many presets it makes it easy for people unfamiliar with the process to quickly find a style and look they desire. It could be accomplished traditionally in Photoshop or Lightroom but it tends to take a lot of experience, time and learning.
So I thought I would look this week at a recent new release in onOne’s very popular Perfect Photo Suite 7.1; onOne’s Perfect B & W
It’s available in all versions of the suite and also in two versions by itself. One that functions as a plug-in to Lightroom, Photoshop and aperture as well as a standalone or a version that functions only as a standalone
I used it as part of the Standalone Suite.
It was simple to open my test images either using the file menu or onOne’s browser and from there it was a quick trip into the B & W module. There it is set-up in the now standard configuration of Presets left, Preview center and Controls right.
The first place everyone will go, as they should, is to the preset browser. What I like about this is that they have very diverse presets and what’s nice is they have some really well made presets, which isn’t always the case.
Presets range from some pretty standard Fare to those broken down into looks from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries as well as some Hollywood inspired presets and then a nice range of film simulations which I thought did a really good job with good realistic grain
You can also of course use the controls to make up your own combination using different color channels even infrared to achieve the look you are looking for or if you just want to modify a preset close to the look you desire.
There are also brushes that you can use for local adjustments, lightening, darkening and adding detail to smaller areas rather than global…just please…walk away from the selective color! LOL.
You can also finish the image in borders if you choose to to simulate that old print look
The program worked just as it should and I have to say its strong suit is how well the presets are designed, that’s a big deal
Here are a few of the images I converted and the preset used for them. I really though the Ingrid warm preset for portraits was cool. It did a GREAT job on skin tones
And yes, Black & White HDR’s look great!
To Purchase or download free trial versions of onOne’s Perfect B & W. Click the banner below.