04 Checking the mask
Remember, the control point doesn’t adjust the whole circular area – that’s just the broad range of its effect. You can check the adjustment mask it’s created by clicking the box next to the control point in the Selective Adjustments panel on the right. You can see from this that the masking isn’t perfect, and there is some ‘spillage’ outside the control point’s radius. It’s not exactly a problem, just behaviour you should be aware of.
05 Linking adjustments
You may find you want to apply the same adjustments in different areas of the image. I want to darken the top left and bottom right corners in this one, so I’ve created a control point in each – but I’ve not made any adjustments yet. I’ve simply selected the first, then shift-clicked the second so that they’re both selected. Next, I click the Group button in the Selective Adjustments panel.
06 Group adjustments
Now, I can select the control point in the bottom right corner to make adjustments, and the control point in the top left corner is adjusted too. Here, I’m just reducing the brightness value to make the medal stand out more in the centre of the frame.
07 The finished image
There are any number of ways of applying dodge and burn techniques in software, and Silver Efex Pro’s isn’t necessarily the best. But in conjunction with its other black and white tools, its control point adjustments help make it what I think is the most powerful black and white plug-in of all.
- Black and white photography basics
- 5 ways to convert color images to black and white
- More Silver Efex Pro tutorials