02 Feb Discover BLACK & WHITE projects 3

George Cairns explores the key features of this dedicated mono conversion software from Franzis

Like Capture NX-D, BLACK & WHITE projects 3 enables you to mimic the colour fi lter technique to selectively lighten or darken specific areas.
However, in BLACK & WHITE projects 3 you can use sliders to manually lighten or darken the filtered areas.
As a dedicated monochrome conversion app, BLACK & WHITE projects 3 is packed full of tools designed to help you create striking monochrome shots that pack a punch.
It boasts a collection of 91 presets that will change the conversion’s tones in a variety of ways, so you can experiment with different looks and add effects, washes of colour, and even picture frames, in a click. Once you’ve found a preset you like you can customise it to suit your taste by boosting properties such as sharpness and contrast.

You can also use the app’s Expert mode to customise the results of a preset even further by adding or removing effect layers.

BLACK & WHITE projects 3 is a powerful, versatile and well-designed app that will help you produce better black and white images. It’s also an effective RAW editor in its own right.

black_white_examples_leftRAW processing
Before applying presets to turn your shots black an white, you might want to fi x problems with exposure or composition. This button gives you access to a RAW editor that works in a similar way to Adobe Camera Raw.
Presets
One-click presets enable you to change the look of your greyscale tones instantly. Theses presets are grouped into themed sections. If you prefer particular presets, click the star icon next to them. You can then view themas a group by clicking on the Favourites button.
Active preset
We clicked on this ‘Natural Lights’ preset to instantly create a conversion where the various elements in the image stand out in contrast with each other.
Compare window
Click here to open the Compare window. This enables you to split the shot to see a colour and monochrome version. It’s useful to see where the image’s colours lie, as this can help you choose a colour fi lter to lighten or darken particular parts of the picture.
Greyscale conversion
By clicking on a colour fi lter icon here you can lighten or darken greyscale tones based on the original colours in the photo. Alternatively you can customise the colour filter by dragging the Colour tone slider.
Intensity
By dragging this slider right you can darken the areas altered by the chosen colour tone fi lter. A value of 236% enabled us to create a dramatically contrasting sky.
Photo emulation
This list of presets mimics a range of photographic looks produced by traditional black-and-white films.
Auto Denoising
This button applies automatic noise reduction to the shot. You can also apply manual noise reduction adjustments in the Expert tab (which we look at in our three-step walkthrough below).
Clarity
This slider enables you to boost midtone contrast, providing an effective way to give delicate details such as waves and clouds more impact.
Colour toning
Click here to add a wash of colour to midtones without tinting the brightest or darkest parts of the image.
Corrections
If your shot suffers from sensor spots, click here to access a spot-removal tool. You can click on the unwanted spot and the software will automatically replace it with a similar (but spot-free) part of the image.
Expert
Here you can customise your chosen preset’s effect.

 

STEP BY STEP Customise your conversion

Use the Expert mode’s layer effects to fi ne-tune the mood of your mono photo

Go to Expert mode
Apply the settings in the annotated screen grab to convert our supplied start image to black and white, then click on the Expert mode button. Go to the Effects you have selected section. Untick Glamour Lighting to restore more tonal detail to the shot’s highlights.

Denoise
The denoising layer effect can cause details too look a bit blurred. Click on the Denoising – contoured effect’s label. A Denoising panel will appear. Set Masking to Protect Extremes. Set Defi nition to 4%. This gently softens the noise in the midtones and creates organic clumps of grain.

Edit curves
In the post-processing fi lter section, double-click on Gradation curve to add this effect. Click on the Gradation curve layer effect. Set the dropdown menu to Dark shadows to add drama. Reduce the layer effect’s opacity to 70% for a more subtle change in contrast.

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