BLACK AND WHITE QUICK ADJUSTMENTS AND CONVERSION PANEL

SelfPortraitR

By Joel Tjintjelaar

INTRODUCTION

Today I’m announcing my new Black and White Fine art Quick Adjustments and Conversion panel for Photoshop CC 2014 and higher. The price of the panel is $24.90.

This panel is not meant to replace my black and white workflow method of iSGM but will help speed up your own personal black and white post processing workflow or, if you want, my black and white method of post-processing images, and will make creating black and white images more accurate.

My thanks and gratitude go out to Ian Barber who has provided me with invaluable feedback on the software and helped me optimize the panel.

Read more below or go straight to the Fastspring webstore or perhaps you want to see some example results with this panel first. In case of the latter, scroll down to the bottom of this post.

SHORT DEMO VIDEO (1.30 min)

FULL PANEL + WORKFLOW DEMO (11min)

PRODUCT OVERVIEW

Create black and white photographs with a fine-art look and feel, with the click of just a few buttons with this simple and intuitive Photoshop CC 2015 panel. This panel offers the most relevant photoshop actions and the most used tonal adjustments settings in custom built presets. There’s no need to adjust the curves or levels tool yourself. Those accurate settings have been built into the preset buttons. Basic knowledge of Photoshop is sufficient to operate this panel. The panel is based on the practical experience and knowledge of the author of this panel, Joel Tjintjelaar, in post processing refined black and white images. Beside features like very accurate curves adjustments that will only affect the indicated part of a tonal area, this panel also includes various BW presets for quick standard conversions and four fine-art and architecture presets that will give you the dark ominous look of Joel Tjintjelaar’s architectural photographs. Of course luminosity and zone masks are also included.

Note: many people are comparing this panel to the Tony Kuyper panel but apart from the luminosity masks and zone masks features that both panels have, this panel consists mainly of pre-programmed adjustment buttons targeted at black and white post-processing and which should save you a lot of time and increase accuracy in the process of editing images in black and white. If sophisticated luminosity masks features is what you look for, then you’re better off with the TK panel. But if you look for a panel for black and white editing with presets and also has a luminosity masks and zone masks feature, then this is the panel for you.

INTUITIVE AND USER-FRIENDLY PANEL LAYOUT THAT INDICATES THE RECOMMENDED WORKFLOW

The layout of the main panel is very clear and intuitive and ‘leads’ you from top to bottom, via collapsible menus, through the recommended workflow: first luminosity masks, then Black and White conversions, followed by a global adjustment, if needed, and then refine it with local adjustments, while the basic presets like duplicate layer or delete layer are always accessible.

WHY CHOOSE THIS PANEL?

Unlike many other photoshop panels, this panel is not only designed for black and white photography specifically, but moreover, it comes with presets for accurate tonal adjustments in 3 different strengths (+, ++, +++ or -, –, —) so you don’t need to adjust the curve from the curves tool or levels slider yourself anymore. Just click the button for the tonal area you want to adjust and a custom curves adjustment will be instantly activated that will only affect the area you’ve targeted without affecting other tonal areas. Furthermore, harsh adjustments that will affect your photo in a negative way will be avoided since the curves adjustments are built in such a way that for example a shadow adjustment can make the shadows darker but not completely black. Of course hitting the +++ button too many times can ruin your photo. If you desire even more control over a tonal adjustment then you can combine the adjustment button with either the built in luminosity masks generator or zone masks generator.

The Global Adjustment settings menu that will correct the exposure of your photograph if needed. These adjustments will ‘expand’ your histogram and fill up missing shadows or highlights or both with the push of one of the buttons. No need to adjust the sliders yourself. All adjustments will be visible in separate layers with the name of the exact change. Just hit the delete layer key to remove the layer if you don’t like the result.

The Local Adjustment menu with presets that only affect a specific tonal area. If there aren’t enough highlights in your histogram for example, hitting the adjustment highlights key then won’t have any effect. The adjustments are highly accurate and based on my own curves adjustment settings. No need to adjust the curves yourself: this will save you time and unwanted fiddling around with the curve. Just push one of the buttons and if you don’t like the result you can delete the layer with the ‘delete layer’ key very easily.

4 BASIC PRESETS AND 4 ADVANCED FINE ART AND ARCHITECTURE BLACK AND WHITE CONVERSION PRESETS

The Black and White conversion presets offer a good starting point for your black and white photographs. There are basic conversions that are straight forward neutral or contrasty conversions and there are very specific fine art and architecture conversion presets that are more sophisticated and based on Joel Tjintjelaar’s most used sequence of tonal adjustments to create darker images with a fine art look and feel or darker architecture images. Hit the ‘fine art subtle’ action key and then fine-tune it yourself with a few additional adjustments using the global and local adjustment keys and you could end up with a striking black and white photograph in a matter of just a few key-strokes.

The B&W menu with 4 basic conversion and 4 advanced conversion presets

The 4 advanced black and white conversion presets

FEATURES

  • INSTANTLY ACCESSIBLE BASIC KEYS

    Easy to use quick access buttons for your most used commands like Load Selection, Duplicate layer and Delete layer that are always visible, regardless the menu you’re in.

  • LUMINOSITY MASKS AND TONAL ZONES MENU

    1.Quick Creation (and removal) of 8 light, 8 dark and 3 mid-tone luminosity masks that can be generated (or removed) independently of each other
    2.Quick Creation of 10 tonal zone masks based on Ansel Adams’ zone system to target specific tonal zones only

    BWVision Fine Art Panel-2 smallBWVision Fine Art Panel-2b small

  • BLACK AND WHITE CONVERSIONS BASIC

    1.Neutral conversion
    2.Low-key conversion
    3.High-key conversion
    4.High Contrast conversion

  • BLACK AND WHITE CONVERSIONS ADVANCED

    The following presets are custom built presets, each one of them consisting of a sequence of various adjustments I apply also in my own black and white workflow

    1.Fine art subtle
    2.Fine art dramatic
    3.Architecture subtle
    4.Architecture dramatic

  • GLOBAL ADJUSTMENTS

    Various adjustment preset buttons that will extend the tonal range by either adding highlights, shadows or both if the imaged is lacking in shadows or highlights.

  • LOCAL ADJUSTMENTS

    Twenty seven customized presets that will adjust a tonal area in a very targeted and accurate way without affecting other tonal areas. This also means that when there aren’t enough highlights initially and you wish to amplify the highlights, it won’t have any effect. Try extending the tonal range first by using one of the global adjustments key. One of my most used preset buttons is the ‘Decrease contrast to low-key’ preset. This preset is based on a specific curve adjustment I always use to create my dark architectural images. Basically this preset removes the contrast by cutting off the highlights and generates a dark sky and overall dark image. After that I would locally add highlights using the other presets.

  • PHOTOSHOP CC ONLY

    This panel can only be used in Photoshop CC2014 and higher and will not work in Photoshop CS6.

  • PRICE

    Normal price is $24.90 but you’ll get 20% off till May 22, 2016 as an introduction offer.

SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS AND COMPATIBILITY AND REQUIRED SKILL LEVEL

This panel is built for Photoshop CC2015 in the English language for use on both Mac or Windows computers. It has been extensively tested in the English, Dutch, German, French and Russian versions of Photoshop CC2015 and works without any issues. It can therefore be assumed that it will also work in other languages of Photoshop but this has explicitly not been tested.

Skill level: anyone with very basic Photoshop knowledge can operate this panel since I’ve automated all specific adjustments.

WHAT YOU WILL GET WITH THE PANEL

1. The panel with an easy installation instruction
2. A quick reference guide that will describe in a graphical way what each preset button does and is very easy to understand
3. An addendum with more background info, suggestions for conversions, Tips and Tricks and an FAQ

If you are convinced and want to purchase the Black and White Quick Adjustments and Conversion Panel for Photoshop then click the ‘Take me to the store” button or if you want to see some actual results with this panel then scroll down below.

SOME EXAMPLE RESULTS

Obviously, the results with this panel will depend highly on the quality of the original color photograph in terms of composition and correct exposure. This is not some magical tool but a panel that will save you a lot of valuable time in the creation of black and white images that are above average. Below are various test results, some with already fully processed color photographs that only needed a conversion, others that are straight out of the camera.

Example 1 – already processed color image with Architecture Subtle preset: This is an example of an already fully optimized color image that is converted with the Architecture Subtle preset only without any other additional adjustments. It took me literally a second to create this image in Black and White.

Example 2 – original raw color image with Architecture Dramatic preset: This photo didn’t have any color optimizing at all and was straight from the camera with the Architecture dramatic preset only. Post processing time (depending on the speed of your computer): a few seconds and just one button click. This is an image that needs further optimizing in black and white with a few Local adjustment presets. You could get an even more interesting result in still less than a minute.

Example 3 – original raw color image with the Fine Art Dramatic preset: Also this photo didn’t have any color optimizing and was straight from the camera with the Fine Art Dramatic preset only. Post processing time: just a little over a second. Also here it’s recommended to add a few local adjustments with the panel to optimize it.

Example 4 – already fully optimized color image with the Fine Art Subtle preset: This photo was already a fully processed color photograph and I used the Fine Art Subtle preset. No further optimization needed.

Example 5 – straight out of the camera, no color processing, with the Architecture dramatic preset: This photo is a straight out of the camera photograph, with no color processing or other optimizing at all but technically these are 2 raw photographs that have been stitched together. Post processing time: a full second. Needs some fine-tuning with the Local Adjustments presets, so I’m looking at a few minutes more to come up with something even better.

Example 6 – straight out of the camera, no color processing, with the Fine Art Dramatic preset and a few local adjustment presets: This photo is a straight out of the camera photograph, with no color processing or other optimizing in color. I’ve added a screen shot of the Photoshop layer panel so you can see what I did after applying the Fine Art dramatic preset: just 5 more local adjustments that took me less than 30 seconds to get this result. Right-click on image and open in new tab to see this image larger.

CONCLUSION

If you are convinced of the added value of this panel for your Black and white images, then go to the store where you get 20% off of the original price of $24.90 as an introduction offer till May 22, 2016.

34 replies
  1. Nenad
    Nenad says:

    Hi Joel. Just found out about tour panel and I can’t wait to make a purchase as soon as I’m done with my work. Can’t watch the videos now so I have one question. After making a conversation to BW with the panel, will the panel still use the mask generated from the color file or it will use the luminosity values from the BW converted image?

    Reply
    • jtjintjelaar
      jtjintjelaar says:

      Nenad, if you didn’t flatten the image after making a B&W conversion then it will always create the luminosity masks from the color file.
      Joel

  2. gerrymostert
    gerrymostert says:

    Hi Joel
    Just bought the panel and down loaded it. Gives me the following message: “The BWVision Fine Art Panel extension could not be loaded because it was not properly signed.” I’m working on a Mac with Photoshop CC (2015.5). Please help
    Thanks
    Gerry Mostert

    Reply
    • Joel Tjintjelaar
      Joel Tjintjelaar says:

      Hi Gerry,

      Did you close Photoshop before installing the panel? Not closing Photoshop might cause this message. It should work fine however after a restart of PS.

      Joel

  3. redmetsox
    redmetsox says:

    Hi Joel — you panel seems great — only issue is I see some obvious banding in the sky your demo photo (video on the right). Is this banding visible when you print your photos?

    Reply
    • Joel Tjintjelaar
      Joel Tjintjelaar says:

      Hi, the banding is only visible in the video and can’t be seen on the photo itself. And of course I won’t be printing any photos and hang them in galleries in New York if they have any banding in it:)
      Joel

  4. Henk Bijl
    Henk Bijl says:

    Dear Joel,

    This is a great, very handy and intuitive plugin. Big compliments!
    Your innovative approach on technical as well as on phylosophical levels is outstanding and leading in the world of (BW) photography.

    Cheers,

    Henk

    Reply
  5. Tomas Sardinha
    Tomas Sardinha says:

    Hello Joel .I have followed your blog for a number of years and have invested in two of your videos , as well as your ebook and I appreciate the lessons I have learnt from you very much, thank you. I am wondering if you would you kindly reconsider doing a panel for CS6 . I am hoping that by posting this there will be more interest shown by other CS6 users who might not be going over to CC like myself. Regards Tomas

    Reply
    • Joel Tjintjelaar
      Joel Tjintjelaar says:

      Thank you! I’ll be posting a new demonstration video on this panel tomorrow. It’ll show that I now need less than 13 minutes to process a photo with the panel in the same way I processed the photo 6 years ago without the panel and which took me around 2 days work.
      Joel

  6. Senthil Kumar NA
    Senthil Kumar NA says:

    I have recently purchased this panel and tried to install as per the instruction but it does not show on my Photoshop CC. I use CC 2014 at the moment.

    Please advise

    Reply
  7. Mike
    Mike says:

    Downloaded, says its in the extensions file but does not show up in Photoshop extensions, What am I doing wrong ??I am on a PC

    Reply
    • Joel Tjintjelaar
      Joel Tjintjelaar says:

      Mike, can you give me more info? What PS version are you using? It only works on PS CC 2014 and higher. If that’s what you have, did you follow all installation instructions and restarted PS after that?
      Joel

  8. Achim
    Achim says:

    Please be so kind, and name it for a german-Windows-Version. Thanks.
    C:\Users\(user)\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\CEP\extensions

    Reply
    • jtjintjelaar
      jtjintjelaar says:

      Yes, depending on the type of update of course. Bug related updates for example are free. A complete new version with new features will probably come with a discount. But again, that depends heavily on the type of updates.
      Joel

    • jtjintjelaar
      jtjintjelaar says:

      that would’ve been nice, too bad only Adobe has made CC different from CS6. I’ve considered a CS6 version too but most people are already moving to CC.
      Joel

    • jtjintjelaar
      jtjintjelaar says:

      Manfred, this panel is only in the English language, you can’t change it but it will work on the German version of Photoshop CC as well.
      Joel

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply