Monochrome photography in the digital darkroom
You can produce a wide range of black-and-white effects with Photoshop and Elements, of course, but recapturing the elusive ‘look and feel’ of silver halide films can be difficult, and that’s where specialist plug-ins can help.
Silver Efex Pro 2 is one of the best, and it’s part of the $149 Google Nik Collection (www.google.com/nikcollection). Here’s how it works…
Pick a preset
This panel displays a wide selection of preset black-and-white ‘looks’, from high-contrast ‘push-processed’ effects to delicate fine art. The easiest way to use Silver Efex Pro is to start with the preset nearest the effect you want, then adjust the settings manually.
Develop your image
This is done with a set of panels and sliders on the right of the screen. You can use these to change the film simulation (from Kodak Panatomix X to Ilford Delta 3200), contrast, toning and framing effects and even apply dodging and burning effects with quick and simple ‘control points’.
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