The one type of photography that I have always loved is black & white photography. As a photographer, I learned some of the basics of photography using black & white film. During that time, I wasn’t a big fan.
As I learned more about Black & White and the different types of art you can create with black & white photography I spent more time with it. But for me, it was hard getting the right look. Then when digital cameras came out, I could shoot in color and convert to black & white and I could take as many images I needed to get the look I wanted.
But I still wasn’t happy with the results using a digital camera and Photoshop. Then I started using Lightroom 3 and their black & white preset to achieve different looks. As with most presets, they are perfect, so I then adjusted the settings as needed. I found Lightroom to be a pretty good starting point for black & white conversion and adding the batch feature, I could batch a handful images at once. Then go back and make final changes to the images or remove them from the batch if they didn’t good in black & white.
I also found there were a lot of great images that would look even better as black & white but the conversion just didn’t work as it should. So those great images were finalized as color or treated to a lomo look.
Topaz Labs Black & White
Then in early January I got my hands on a trial version of Topaz Labs Black & White which is part the large plugin bundle for Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom. The Plugin Bundle has every Photoshop/Lightroom Plugin created by Topaz Labs and by far is the best deal if you plan on purchasing more than one plugin.
For me, I will end up purchasing the bundle, but I really only need two or three of the plugins and mostly will use their Black & White plugin.
Topaz Labs Black states that “Topaz B&W Effects takes you beyond traditional black and white conversion methods by integrating unique features like a 5-in-1 selective adjustment brush, adaptive exposure, quad toning, historical processing collections, creative effects and more – giving you remarkable creativity and flexibility never seen before within a black and white program.
B&W Effects is your all-in-one solution for professional-quality black and white photos. With this powerful and easy-to-use plug-in, you can quickly create rich, dynamic black and whites with compelling tone and detail. B&W Effects will transform the way your process your images and help you master the art of digital black and white photography.”
Color Images Converted to Black & White
Below are a few examples of some images I took when I visited the abandoned The Baker Hotel in Mineral Wells and few Images from several different cars shows in the past few years.
All images were images that I had wanted to convert to black & white and I had no luck converting them myself or using any other tools. All of these images are just examples and I will revisit them again the future.
I started with a color image and converted to black & white and made adjustments to look and sometimes adding a vignetting if needed. Using only Adobe Lightroom 3 and Topaz Labs Black & White Effects.