Boost black and white
James Paterson shows you how a novel workflow in Adobe Camera Raw gives you precise control over the look of your black-and-white images
Follow this novel workflow in Adobe Camera Raw to take precise control over the look of your black-and-white images
Stripping the colour from an image enables you to emphasise different aspects of the photograph, such as the play of light, the contrast between light and dark objects, and different textures. Images that work best in mono tend to be ones that have strong contrast between the subject and its surroundings. But choosing whether to go for colour or mono usually involves some experimentation, and this is where the Camera Raw controls come into their own. By utilising presets you can set up different ‘recipes’ that can be applied with a single click.
Camera Raw’s mono controls are as good as anything in Photoshop, and with our workflow, you can make subtle changes to your image by adjusting colour saturation and luminance, and white balance settings. Using colour controls to fine-tune a black-and-white image may sound odd, but it’s key to the best mono conversion methods: the colour information controls the brightness of the corresponding greyscale tones, and effective black and white is all about variations in tonality.