Monday, January 6, 2014

Black-And-White Magic

I usually give how-to advice in this column, and I'll do that here.
By Rick Sammon Published in Quick Fix
Black-And-White Magic
Here's another black-and-white image from my workshop. The key to making this image was boosting contrast and clarity to the point where I had a strong image. How far do you boost? It depends on how strong you want to make your image. It's subjective, like just about everything else in photography.

Here's my original image. It's cool as ice and pretty. But I don't feel as though it has the impact of the black-and-white image.

I used the Grayscale setting in the Camera Raw filter in Adobe Creative Cloud to create this black-and-white image. After making my conversion, I went back to the Basic setting and boosted the contrast, making sure the shadows weren't blocked up and the highlights weren't washed out. Boost the contrast too much, and you'll lose detail in the shadow and highlight areas.

Plug-ins make it very easy to create cool black-and-white images. My favorite black-and-white plug-ins are Nik Silver Efex Pro and B&W Effects from Topaz Labs.

The creative black-and-white possibilities are endless. Experiment and learn, but also don't forget why you got into photography in the first place: to have fun. Enjoy creating your own unique black-and-white images!

Our friend Rick Sammon has been writing for this magazine for more than 10 years. Visit with Rick at to learn more about digital imaging.

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