Though any good photo editor will include tools for black-and-white conversion, plug-ins and specialty apps go a step further for more control and additional special effects that can add an extra creative dimension to your images if you do a lot of black-and-white work. Here are some of the most popular apps with specialized capabilities for black-and-white images.
1) ALIEN EXPOSURE 7
Designed to bring the retro look of analog film to your digital images, Alien Skin’s Exposure 7 designers analyzed film and photo archives under a microscope to develop accurate grain patterns across the dynamic range for each film type. Pro photographers from around the world were consulted about the look and feel of film stocks down to the barely discernible details. From this research, Exposure 7 offers over 450 presets—both color and black-and-white—including Kodak T-MAX, Agfa APX, Ilford Delta, Daguerrotype and Wet Plate.
In addition to the wide variety of preset options, Exposure 7 provides personalization.
The control panel displays slider tools for basic exposure, saturation and contrast adjustments. Exposure 7 also offers all the creative focus controls and lens simulations of the Alien Skin Bokeh software. This allows the manipulation of focus, depth of field, tilt/shift perspective and motion blur looks. As you experiment with textures, borders and light effects, all previews are displayed at full size. List Price: $149. Contact: Alien Skin, alienskin.com/exposure.
2) DxO OpticsPro 10
DxO OpticsPro 10 has many features for use in processing your black-and-white images. Among the Atmosphere presets is desaturation, allowing you to create your own black-and-white presets. PRIME de-noising technology analyzes the image structure to differentiate between noise and details, preserving texture and saturation. The Clear View tool analyzes color components and local blacks to eliminate unwanted heat haze and smog. Smart Lighting tools accentuate details while restoring both over-and underexposures, with separate adjustments for highlights, midtones, shadows and blacks. Optical corrections include distortion and chromatic aberration while improving sharpness and offering vignettes. Integrated printing lets you print directly from the software, producing full prints or contact sheets. List Price: From $99. Contact: DxO, dxo.com.