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

NPhoto - - Contents -

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.

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