A monochrome imaging app with plenty of tricks up its sleeve
Most image-editing apps can quickly make a monochromatic image, but not all give you full control over the end result. Macphun’s approach to the complex task of producing a good black and white image is Tonality, which applies a series of editable mono filters to your image.
The latest update brings with it an improved image processing engine and new layer effects, plus support for Force Touch trackpads along with a wider range of raw files. You can also send your edited files directly to other Macphun products, Photos, iPhoto, Aperture, Photoshop or Lightroom (sadly, there’s no support for Serif’s new Affinity Photo, reviewed in MF291). Shell out for the Pro edition and Tonality becomes a plug-in that runs inside many of those apps.
Open an image file in the app and it immediately becomes black and white. Along the bottom of the interface runs a bar of effects chosen from a Presets menu, each one immediately previewing the image you’ve loaded. Click on one of those effects and it’s initially applied at 100% strength – you can then drag a slider on the preview thumbnail to decrease the intensity of the effect. Furthermore, a panel on the right can be used to alter the effect further, with a tone curve graph, colour temperature and exposure sliders, and tools for split toning and adding colours back into the image.
Despite Tonality being marketed as dedicated to monochrome images, all the colour information from your pictures is preserved – the saturation sliders are just set to zero. Far from being an app that just makes black and white images, Tonality is capable of all sorts of colour effects and vintage looks. That’s especially true when you factor in the app’s grain and film effect filter, which can load a custom
Tonality is capable of all sorts of colour effects and vintage looks, especially when you apply its grain and film effects
texture file, in addition to those included with the software.
A layering system allows you to build effects on top of one another, blending and masking (including new luminosity masks that select pixels based on brightness) to build things up to complex effects and sophisticated images. Once you’re finished, your creations can be shared directly to social networks or photography sites, or export them to your hard drive.
Tonality tends to produce haloes around areas of high contrast in an image, much like overuse of the Clarity slider in Lightroom can. Otherwise it’s a competent image editor with an approach to altering your image that’s as simple or as complex as you want it to be. Ian Evenden
A great choice if you’re into monochrome photography, and its colour editing options are a bonus.
Presets allow quick and easy monochrome results but you can fine-tune endlessly.
Despite its emphasis on black and white, Tonality is also highly capable of a variety of colour effects. You can add grain and film effects to your images, too.