This black and white image uses two beautiful things: a fabulous portrait shot by Albert Dera on Unsplash and one of ON1 Photo RAW’s excellent B&W Modern presets. Portrait images don’t always convert well to black and white, but this one works brilliantly, thanks in part to the perfect portrait lighting, the strong, symmetrical composition […]
Vignette effects can be very useful, both as an aid to composition and as a way of adding a vintage, 'analog' look.
A vignette can help focus attention on the main subject and tone down a distracting background. It can also act as a kind of framing device so that the picture feels properly enclosed and your eyes don't drift out of the frame.
Most photo-editing programs have a vignette tool. Lightroom, for example, has a 'post-crop' Vignette effect which adapts to any cropping adjustments you make, though its manually controlled Radial Filter is a more powerful tool for creating carefully customised vignettes.
With most vignette tools, you can choose the strength of the effect, its size, whether it's circular or rectangular or somewhere in between, and how smoothly it blends into the rest of the picture. Sometimes you can choose where to place the centre of the vignette too.
Porthleven power lines in Lightroom: one LUT, three graduated filters. How a series of tools and effects can be used in combination towards an overall ‘look’.
Analog Efex Pro is one of the plug-ins in the Nik Collection. It works as a plug in with Lightroom Classic and Photoshop but it can also work as a standalone program or as an external editor with all sorts of other programs like Capture One, Exposure X and more. It’s designed to recreate the […]
Silver Efex Pro is one of the best-known plug ins in the Nik Collection and widely regarded as the premier tools for fans of black and white photography. There are lots of really good ways to create black and white images in all sorts of software, but even now Silver Efex Pro has a magic […]
This shot of an Icelandic church looked nice enough in color but I thought it had a bit more potential as a black and white image – though there were a few issues I wanted to sort out first. For this project I used Exposure X. The same tools exist in other programs, but I […]
I met my donkey friend while I was out testing a Leica M10 Monochrom and 28mm f/2 Summicron lens. For those who don’t know, this is a rangefinder camera with manual focusing, so getting my friend’s eye sharp was a special challenge as he was getting restless because I didn’t have any carrots. The Leica […]
DxO PhotoLab can create superb black and white imagery, both in terms of image quality and in creative control, but you need to get the DxO FilmPack 5 Elite add-on to do it. This does make things more expensive, and it does feel a bit like you’re paying for some things that other programs offer […]
In photography, things don’t always come together as you’d want them to. Sometimes you get wonderful lighting but there’s no effective subject in front of the camera for bringing it out, and sometimes you’ve got a good subject but the lighting isn’t right. This is one of those situations. I thought the couple walking a […]
Modern lenses are pretty good at creating even illumination across the frame, and if there is some corner shading (vignetting) you can use software to eliminate it. However, sometimes vignetting is good! Especially if you can control it creatively to improve your picture’s composition and contrast. This image below has all the ingredients for a […]