Two ways to take control of contrast in your shots
Controlling overall contrast is the key to increasing impact for successful blackand-white images – and there are only two tools you need to get to grips with
No matter how careful you were when capturing your images, black-and-white shots will always need some extra tweaks to either reduce or increase the contrast of the image. There are many different ways that you can fine-tune the contrast, but Curves and Clarity offer effective and simple ways to achieve almost any effect you want. The Curves adjustment can be applied in Lightroom or Camera Raw to your raw images, but it’s also possible to apply it as a straight adjustment to your image or an Adjustment Layer, to an image already opened in the main Photoshop workspace.
To apply Clarity to JPEG, TIFF or PSD images in Photoshop, you need to open the Camera Raw Filter, where you’ll find it near the bottom of the Basic Adjustments window. Clarity affects tones in a different way to Curves: it increases or decreases the local contrast where there are adjacent dark and light tones. Increasing Clarity will make the image appear sharper, as there is more edge contrast, and add ‘punch. Reducing Clarity will make it appear softer and give it a ‘glow’ effect.
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