Tonal­ity

Make images mono­chrome with­out need­ing a dark­room

Mac Format - - RATED | MAC APPS - £28 De­vel­oper MacPhun Soft­ware, macphun.com OS OS X 10.8 or later Re­quires 4GB RAM, 512MB video RAM Many pow­er­ful tools Non-de­struc­tive edit­ing Runs fast Limited in scope

MacPhun’s cru­sade to dom­i­nate bud­get photo pro­cess­ing soft­ware con­tin­ues with Tonal­ity, an app for mak­ing your pic­tures black and white.

Tonal­ity looks very much like In­ten­sify Pro (which we re­viewed back in MF276), but – in keep­ing with the mono­chrome tone, the en­tire in­ter­face is black and white, save for yel­low high­lights for se­lected tools and ac­tive banks of slid­ers. Like In­ten­sify – it’ll hap­pily edit both JPEG and raw files from your cam­era, with a 16-bit pro­cess­ing en­gine.

Un­like its sta­ble­mate, how­ever, the pre­sets and slid­ers in Tonal­ity are geared to­ward a sin­gle pur­pose. Open an im­age and it’s im­me­di­ately ren­dered in black and white, the pre­sets along the bot­tom of the in­ter­face show­ing thumb­nails of their ef­fects.

Lack­ing colour, black and white pho­tog­ra­phy is amenable to vari­a­tions in con­trast and tex­ture, which can help view­ers fo­cus on the im­age’s com­po­si­tion and sub­ject with­out dis­trac­tion. This is par­tic­u­larly good for adding rugged­ness to male por­traits. With this in mind, Tonal­ity has Adap­tive Ex­po­sure and Smart Con­trast set­tings to take some guess­work out of mono con­ver­sion, with the Mi­cro Struc­ture slider adding plenty of sharp­ness to an im­age. Your changes aren’t saved un­til you ex­port the fi­nal im­age, so don’t worry about dam­ag­ing your colour orig­i­nals.

A nice touch is the se­lec­tion of vir­tual coloured fil­ters that match those used by black and white film pho­tog­ra­phers over their lenses. Aper­ture had a sim­i­lar sys­tem; it’s suc­cess­ful con­ver­sion is in pick­ing a pho­to­graph that will be en­hanced by the process. When you’ve played with Tonal­ity for long enough you soon re­alise that the colour in­for­ma­tion is still there, it’s just that the sat­u­ra­tion slid­ers are set to zero.

This opens up one of the most pow­er­ful fea­tures of the soft­ware: the abil­ity to set split ton­ing and se­lec­tive colour ef­fects. The app ef­fec­tively be­comes a cus­tom In­sta­gram gen­er­a­tor, cre­at­ing grainy

The grad­u­ated fil­ter acts sim­i­larly to Light­room’s, let­ting you con­trol which parts of an im­age are al­tered

nice to see a tra­di­tional tech­nique repli­cated in new soft­ware.

Take note that not ev­ery im­age is suit­able for con­vert­ing to black and white, and part of the skill of a vin­tage-look­ing mas­ter­pieces with vignettes and frames, mak­ing them ideal for shar­ing on so­cial me­dia.

Any col­lec­tion of slider set­tings can be saved as a new pre­set for quick ap­pli­ca­tion to mul­ti­ple images, but it will be a long time be­fore you wear out Tonal­ity’s se­lec­tion of more than 150 pre­sets, in­clud­ing film em­u­la­tion, vin­tage looks and HDR.

Tonal­ity looks like an app that only does one thing, how­ever, it opens up into a much more flex­i­ble photo edit­ing sys­tem that cre­ates strik­ing ef­fects quickly and at no risk to your orig­i­nal files. It’s not a one-stop edit­ing shop – you’ll want to pair this with Light­room, Pho­to­shop El­e­ments or In­ten­sify Pro – but if mono’s your thing, this is a great ad­di­tion to the tool­box. Ian Even­den

A great app to com­ple­ment your im­age ed­i­tor of choice, with many ways to achieve strik­ing pic­tures.

Live thumb­nails show you their ef­fects on the cur­rently loaded im­age.

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