Soft silver tones
1 Go grey
Import TYLR01.dng into Lightroom. Take it into the Develop module. In the Basic panel, click on the Black & White tab to desaturate the photo. When you convert a photo to monochrome, Lightroom adjusts the position of the Black & White mix sliders. You can finetune the results. Drag Orange up to +33 to lighten the skin tones.
2 A question of contrast
After lightening greyscale tones that correspond to orange colours in the starting image, the tones in the histogram window’s graph have slid to the right. However, you still need to boost the contrast. If you move the cursor over the middle of the graph you’ll see that the Exposure slider influences this section.
3 Increase the exposure
Click on the middle of the histogram window and drag right to push the Exposure up to +0.76 (or drag the Exposure slider to the right). This gives the graph a wider spread of tones. Increase the strength of the tones by pushing the Contrast slider up to +28. The higher-contrast photo now has more impact, and a healthier-looking histogram.
4 Lighten the shadows
To check that you can see darker detail, click on the Shadow Clipping Warning icon at the top-left of the histogram window. Areas that will print as pure black will appear as patches of blue. Here there’s no clipping, but some the shadows lack detail. Push the Shadows slider up to +50. Reveal more detail by dragging the Blacks slider to +37.
5 Boost the contrast
To help reveal the form of our fine-art nude we can push the contrast even further, courtesy of the Tone Curve tab. This powerful tool enables you to selectively lighten or darken tones in a variety of ways, as we’ll explore in a future issue. For now, simply click on the Point Curve dropdown menu and choose Strong Contrast.
6 Fine-tune the greys
This contrast boost reintroduces some clipping in the background, but there are no important details here. Turn the Shadow Clipping Warning off. Go back to the B&W tab to fine-tune the conversion. Push Reds up to +40. Return to the Basic panel and go to the Presence section. Drag the Clarity slider up to +51.