On the surface, a black and white photograph appears merely as a desaturated version of a regular color image. But in reality, there’s much more to it. You can’t achieve a good looking black and white image simply by taking away colors. A meaningful black and white image has just the right amount of highlights and shadows to add a certain punch to the image. In today’s video, we have acclaimed photographer Dotan Saguy who gives insight on how he edits his black and white photos for a stunning effect:
As Saguy demonstrates in the video, he uses Silver Efex Pro which is a part of Nik Collection, to edit his photos. Before diving into Silver Efex Pro, it’s important that you check your histogram to ensure that the exposure is optimal. You want to be sure that the important bits are not underexposed. Otherwise, the final image will lack that punch. So, feel free to make any adjustments to the original image before converting it to black and white.
“With a monochrome, I underexpose images on purpose. So in Lightroom, I would bring them back slightly so that I have a proper histogram before going into Nik.”
The plug-in features around 48 presets. The idea is not to slap one of those presets to your photo but to use one of them as a starting point to work with your photo. Once you have a preset selected, you can then work with all the adjustments that the plug-in has to offer to fine-tune your images.
Be sure to watch the entire video as Saguy takes you through all of the adjustments that he makes in his photos.
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