Artisan Pro X 2021 out now

SPECIALIST SOFTWARE FOR B&W ARTISTS & PROS

Artisan Pro X 2021 out now

SPECIALIST SOFTWARE FOR B&W ARTISTS  & PROS

Software

B&W Artisan Pro X

*Latest version: B&W Artisan Pro X 2021 released November 26, 2020*

Artisan Pro X Comprehensive tutorial series part 1 – Beginners Webinar Recording
Artisan Pro X Comprehensive tutorial series part 2 – Advanced users Webinar Recording
Artisan Pro X Comprehensive tutorial series part 3 – Artisan Pro X 2021 New features Webinar

SPECIALIST B&W SOFTWARE FOR B&W ARTISTS AND PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHERS

All photo editing software can be considered feature-driven software: you follow no implied structure, and just ‘fiddle’ around. Artisan Pro X is unique in its kind as it is a ‘method driven panel: to put the panel to good use, the implied and suggested method needs to be followed. It is organic, structured, and intuitive: as if working in the analog darkroom with its digital replacements.

Just like in the analog darkroom when developing B&W negatives, color plays no role in the processing. All adjustments with the panel are luminance-based and color-independent. Thinking and seeing like a B&W photographer, means thinking and seeing in luminance values and their differences (contrast) and letting go of seeing and thinking in color.

Artisan Pro X is a software plugin/panel designed around a structured and proven method for B&W processing and around the high-level principles of good B&W photography. Specifically designed for fine art and professional photographers who want to work accurately and without any creative restrictions. This is enabled and supported by automated sequences (one-click presets) for the adjustments that are crucial in good B&W processing and have been optimized for speed, subtlety, and accuracy.

Artisan Pro X is a panel that is designed and built by a photographer, award-winning photographer Joel Tjintjelaar, and highly praised black and white specialist, who initiated and, together with a few other like-minded artists, popularized a visual style in B&W architecture, that has been emulated by an ever-growing worldwide audience over the past decade. The phrase “Fine art B&W Architecture” has become synonymous with the visual style they introduced and popularized. The panel is designed to simplify the elaborate manual workflow and make craftsmanship in black and white processing accessible to a larger audience.

The underlying method and principles of the panel are reflected in the layout and design of the panel that encourages the user to learn those principles together while learning to use the panel. Therefore the Artisan Pro X tutorials and learning curve are necessarily more elaborate to give the user insight into all the important aspects and principles of B&W photography while using the panel. Not just learning an isolated ‘trick’ but also seeing the context to better understand how your artistic vision can be concretized and expressed. Nevertheless, you can also use the panel for its advanced features only but that would miss the point of the panel entirely.

ARTISAN PRO CAN’T BE COMPARED WITH ANYTHING

Artisan Pro X is different from other software for photography post-processing. Not only because it is method-driven instead of feature-driven. It is also different from a technical point of view: unlike many other panels and plugins, the presets don’t represent a one-on-one shortcut to an existing feature in Photoshop. Each preset represents a series of elaborate steps in a method for creating B&W fine art images, that requires a specific sequence to execute. Or they even represent completely new features, ingenuously derived from existing PS features.

The artistic principles that form the basis of this panel are the result of many years of refinement based on close observation of art and B&W processing. The artistic ideas incorporated come from the findings of the great thinkers in art, and from scientific research into how the human brain perceives artistic images.

THE RESULTS OF A B&W MASTER CRAFTSMAN WITH THE SIMPLICITY OF A PUSH-BUTTON

Artisan Pro X’s unique approach produces superior results for fine art images in B&W but also in color. Results that are achieved by fine-tuned components, based on existing PS features, that automate elaborate sequences.
These sequences are complex processing steps not typically found elsewhere.
In other words, you are getting post-processing produced by a Photoshop master-craftsman and placed behind the simplicity of a push-button.

|

[…]Panel X is a tour de force. Though I did not truly understand the sculpting parts of it until last nights session, you have created something that over the years I have had to do by hand with subtle D and B techniques […]

Robert Clark – Fine-art photographer

B&W Artisan Pro X – Overview + Special FX feature intro

B&W Artisan Pro X Teaser – Dynamic Gradients features trailer

Artisan Pro X | Full Video Tutorial 1 | Salk Institute

Artisan Pro X | Full Video Tutorial 2 | Erasmus Bridge

Artisan Pro X | Full Video Tutorial 3 | Figure-Contrast-Depth Method

Artisan Pro X | Full Video Tutorial 4 | Creating Depth and Restore Features

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is only targeted at potential users who can’t decide yet on purchasing this panel or not. For existing users of the panel who have typical users questions, please see our forum here

Q1 – I already have a panel for luminosity masks, why should I buy this?

Because this is not a panel for creating luminosity masks – it does that too but can do far more. The luminosity masks feature is only one small bonus feature part of this full post-processing workflow panel. It is a full workflow panel designed to process B&W images optimally and easily, like for example Silver Efex Pro or Topaz B&W.

Q2 – I believe in artistic and original individual expression, a filter makes it less personal, less unique, less artistic.

I believe in that too, I reject filters. This panel is not a one-click filter that gives instant results. Let alone magical results. It is an automated workflow panel with exactly the right and best tools to use in that workflow. And you have to work hard for a good result. This panel helps you with getting that result by offering a proven methodical way, the built-in workflow, and the right and best tools, the often complex presets I created, for the job. Without a personal artistic vision and without wanting to invest time to really get to know B&W photography and how to create beautiful and personal B&W images, this panel is not for you. It’s for the serious and dedicated B&W artist.

Q3 – I’m very proficient with PS and B&W photography, I can do it all myself. What’s the use of this panel for me?

Well, I am too, and I can do it all manually too. Obviously, because this panel is the automated version of my manual workflow in B&W that I developed 12 years ago for Photoshop. And this specific workflow of creating accurate hard selections for specific shapes and planes, creating selective contrast and creating dimensional depth per plane/shape with gradients in especially manmade objects, increasing or decreasing local (micro) contrast with intersected masks with subtle transitions by restoring edges, has been adopted often with personal variations on it, by thousands of photographers worldwide. And yet, I use the panel myself extensively. Why? Because I can do it faster and much more accurately with much more subtlety and consistency than when I do it manually. Furthermore, creating depth in very small objects like thin cables is nearly impossible to do without the panel (Special FX feature) or cost a lot of painstaking effort that can not match the subtlety of the method with the Special FX feature.

Q4 – I like B&W photography but I am a beginner and don’t know much about Photoshop but I want to learn B&W photography. Is this panel not too complicated for me?

No, this panel also offers something for everyone. There’s a way of working with the panel that’s less intimidating and time-consuming. It will result in less sophisticated images but still very good artistic results, considering the time, effort, and experience you give it. The perceived lesser amount of sophistication is all due to not investing time in creating hard selections – often the activity that scares away even very experienced photographers. The panel offers tools that can bypass the need of creating hard selections. E.g.: advanced adjustments darken/lighten locally by just indicating an area with a quick, free form lasso tool selection, then darken/lighten and the adjusted area then blends in smoothly with the rest of the image. Contrast/detail enhancements are done in a similar way, all you have to do additionally is to choose the right tonal zone the target area is in by simply using the eye-dropper tool, select the zone from the drop-down list, then darken/lighten it and the adjustment will blend smoothly with the rest. You can do all those adjustments even by using the rectangular marquee tool: roughly select the area with the rectangular marquee tool, darken/lighten it and then use the Restore feature to blend it in smoothly with the rest of the image. Everything can basically be done with limited Photoshop knowledge using Advanced or Micro-Zone Adjustments without hard selections. But if you’re experienced and have no issues with creating hard selections, then the results will be even better and the panel will be used to its fullest potential.

Q5 – I only work with native B&W images that have no color in them. Can I still work with this panel?

Yes, absolutely. The panel is designed to operate independently from color information as it only takes into consideration the actual RAW luminance value of a pixel, not the color information of a pixel. This is the purest way, and in my opinion, the right way, to process images to B&W. The majority of B&W photographers, even the most experienced and internationally recognized artists, use color information as a way to convert and process their images to B&W. That’s their choice. I simply choose to work like the photographers did in the analog darkroom who only had B&W negatives, with only luminance information and no color information to create B&W photographs. I do that because I believe it’s more accurate and offers more artistic, controlled, and deliberate results. See my articles on this topic for more background information here and hereObviously, you can use color images too with this panel to create B&W images. The panel, and the recommended workflow through the panel, simply ignore the color information and only looks at the luminance values. Except for the new color grading presets.

Q6 – Does this mean that I can’t process color images with this panel?

No, that’s not correct. You can process color images very accurately, effectively, and beautifully just by using the luminance value information to come to your colorful end result. Later on, you can alter the saturation/hue yourself with either the built-in color-grading or split-toning presets, or do it yourself manually with Photoshop’s color features. Besides, I believe that working in color can be done better by first adjusting the luminance values of a color pixel (to more accurately create depth perception) and only after that, adjust the color information itself (the hue/saturation) as you will then get a more accurate result in color that takes into account every aspect of an image: tonal value, contrast, depth, and color.

Q7 – Why should I use this panel that I’ve never heard of and not use B&W software that is around much longer, is much better known, and has been proven?

You don’t have to use this panel if you don’t believe in it and are used to the software you’ve been using for years. I can tell you this though: all the software you’re using is usually created by highly skilled software engineers with a passion for image-making. And they create sophisticated software and they deliver. And I’m sure, software technically speaking, their software is much more sophisticated than mine. I on the other hand am a highly-skilled B&W photographer and image-maker, with a passion for automation and for making complicated things easier and faster. That’s an important difference. Furthermore, I stood at the basis of developing and then popularizing a visual style in especially B&W architecture, that is being emulated by thousands of photographers worldwide for more than a decade already. A visual style that has become synonymous with the phrase B&W Fine art architecture these days, and continues to be emulated for years to come. And I put all this knowledge and creativity into my software. I don’t think any of the software engineers of the software you’re using can say the same. And, let me also mention that I’ve won five awards for 5 years in a row at major and prestigious international photography competitions at a professional level with my B&W photographs. In conclusion: first and foremost I’m an artist/photographer who knows what other artists need from a practical and artistic point of view. I don’t see it as a product like the big software firms. To me, it is a tool that I’ve designed to also use it myself and improve my own art in the first place. And that is the decisive difference with other software.

Q8 – Does the panel also work in older versions of PS?

The latest version of B&W Artisan Pro X 2021 will work only in PS CC 2019 and higher. But to make full use of the latest features, PS CC2021 is recommended. Older versions of B&W Artisan Pro X will also work on older PS CC versions from 2015.5 and higher. B&W Artisan Pro X 2021 can also work on those older PS CC versions but this hasn’t been tested. It will definitely not work on the older PS CS versions, only CC and it will also not work in Photoshop Elements.

Q9 – Is the way you work with the panel, not a destructive workflow?

No, there’s a difference between a traditional workflow, the workflow using adjustment layers that Adobe endorses and everyone seems to use, often referred to as a ‘non-destructive workflow’ and a non-traditional workflow such as the workflow supported in the panel and used by me. A non-traditional workflow is not equal to a destructive workflow. I’ve explained this extensively in this article and demonstrated in the 3 live webinars on Artisan Pro X (totaling 9 hours) that you can find in this Youtube playlist. Reading the article and watching the webinars you will see there’s a very intentional reason to deviate from the traditional workflow with adjustment layers. The many subtle incremental changes that are typical for my workflow, using dozens of channels, are not workable using the traditional workflow.

Q10 – Does Artisan Pro also work on a Mac?

Yes, absolutely. It will work on both Mac OS and Windows systems. We’ve tested it extensively on all recent Mac OS and Windows systems, using various PS CC versions from 2015.5 and higher and we keep a close eye on any new Windows, Mac or PS updates to ensure it will work on every possible combination. It also works on the latest Apple M1 architecture but with the caveat that there are still ongoing compatibility issues between M1 machines and Adobe software. As long as those issues are still there, this might also affect the Artisan Pro panel as this panel uses Adobe software as the host.

Salk Institute 2010 (c) Joel Tjintjelaar – The image that became the blueprint and was at the inception of a visual style of fine-art architectural photography that has been widely adopted these days, together with the structured method of B&W post-processing that is used to create these images. This method of B&W processing is now the foundation of how B&W Artisan Pro works.

A PROVEN METHOD FOR AWARD-WINNING B&W PHOTOGRAPHERS – A BRIEF HISTORY

In the last few years, there’s increasing popularity and appreciation of high-impact B&W photos that depict a combination of high contrasts with deep blacks and high whites, and distinctive 3-dimensional depth perception in fine art architectural photography. Here’s where it started in 2010 when I published an image of The Salk Institute in La Jolla, CA that was different in 2 important ways:

1. Visually: the exaggerated, sometimes deliberately distorted 3-D depth perception and tonal relationships in, mostly architectural, manmade objects and the abundant and deliberate use of shadows to eliminate distractions and create a dark atmosphere with the eye being led to a distinctive bright high-light in the object. I’m calling this effect ‘Creating Depth’ in the B&W Artisan Pro X panel.

2. Workflow method: the approach was based on a transparent and structured method of B&W processing that I called iSGM that made B&W processing easy to learn and gave the user absolute and accurate control over shapes, light, and contrast in B&W. This workflow method has been automated in the B&W Artisan Pro X panel.

|

[…] I think that these are brilliant software, venturing in areas where nobody, without having the resources of Adobe, has ventured since Ansel Adams. I think they are revolutionary.[…]

Giulio Zanni – Award-winning Fine-art photographer

Examples of images created with B&W Artisan Pro X

Using B&W Artisan Pro X’s Creating Depth features and other features like Micro-Zone adjustments and Special FX. From original color file to neutral B&W conversion to final image with B&W Artisan Pro X adjustments. Click on images to see them larger.

Salk Institute – Original color

Salk Institute – B&W Artisan Pro X: Only neutral conversion, no further adjustments

Salk Institute – B&W Artisan Pro X: Creating Depth in walls + darkening/lightening + other

Tree – Original Color

Tree – B&W Artisan Pro X: Only neutral conversion, no further adjustments

Tree – B&W Artisan Pro X: Creating Depth in trunk + Removed contrast in ground + darkening + other

Pantheon Rome – Original color

Pantheon Rome – B&W Artisan Pro X: Only neutral conversion, no further adjustments

Pantheon Rome – B&W Artisan Pro X: Creating Depth + Micro Zones adjustment + darkening + other

Samuel Beckett Bridge Dublin – Original color

Samuel Beckett Bridge Dublin – B&W Artisan Pro X: Only neutral conversion, no further adjustments

Samuel Beckett Bridge Dublin – B&W Artisan Pro X: Creating Depth + Local contrast removal + Special FX

Samuel Beckett Bridge Dublin – Cables and Pylon Detail: without Special FX

Samuel Beckett Bridge Dublin- Cables and Pylon Detail with B&W Artisan Pro X Special FX applied to the cables and more fluent highlights/shadows in pylon

Pantheon Rome Detail – Without MicroZones

Pantheon Rome Detail – B&W Artisan Pro X Micro-Zones feature applied to increase contrast and hence details.

SHORT VIDEO (11S) SHOWING THE ENTIRE PROCESS WITH THE SPECIAL FX ADDED TO THE CABLES AT THE END

HOW IT WORKS – INTUITIVELY WITHOUT PLAN OR MASKS, OR WITH A PLAN AND MASKS, WHATEVER YOU PREFER

You can work completely intuitively without a plan or masks, or you can work with a plan and with masks, that obviously gives you more control and often better results.

A. Work without a plan or masks – without method to the madness

If you work without a plan and without masks, and you prefer to follow your inner madness,  then the old video tutorials, designed for the first versions of Artisan Pro, will be recommended. The panel comes with a set of video tutorials and there’s also the Youtube playlist. But the process is as follows:

  • Convert from color to B&W, by choosing the desired preset: neutral or more advanced or skip this and do it in color
  • Darken or lighten areas, with D (darken) or L (Lighten) presets, varying from soft (D+ or L+) to strong (D+++ or L+++) darkening/lightening, within a target area indicated with a freeform quick selection with the lasso tool for example. Any random selection is possible. At the same time, Artisan Pro X automatically takes care it blends in subtly with the surrounding area
  • Increase or decrease contrast and detail the same way as darkening or lightening areas you’ve indicated with a freeform quick selection like the lasso tool. Any random selection is possible because Artisan Pro X will subtly blend it automatically with the surrounding area.

Or see the videos below for an impression and how to work without masks and with random quick selections only (predecessor of Artisan Pro X is depicted in these older videos).

Accurately editing a landscape in B&W using quick, random, lasso tool selections with presets only

Accurately editing a still life in B&W using quick, random, lasso tool selections with presets only

Accurately editing architecture in B&W using quick, random, lasso tool and presets only

B. Work with a plan, or vision, and with masks – with a method to the madness

If you work with a plan, or better yet a premeditated vision, then the following process is suggested as the panel is designed for that:

First make mental or physical notes what to darken or lighten, what to increase or decrease in contrast and detail and where to create the correct depth. And this is exactly what you do in the panel. See the Figure-Contrast-Depth infographic image below or see the Youtube video tutorials. For all activities, except for using the ‘Creating Depth’ feature, you don’t need masks and everything can be done with random and carefree quick selections with the lasso tool for example. The Creating Depth features (new from Artisan Pro X and up) would benefit the most from using accurate masks.

  • Convert from color to B&W, by choosing the desired preset: neutral or more advanced or skip this and do it in color
  • Create depth and create subtle transitions from Dark to Light or vice versa to create and enhance the perception of depth in a photo. This is done just by choosing a direction of light to dark transitioning and then darken or lighten with D or L presets. The part of creating depth is usually done using masks that have been created prior to using the panel but aren’t always necessary especially if you combine it with the ‘Restore’ feature.
  • Darken or lighten areas, with D (darken) or L (Lighten) presets, varying from soft (D+ or L+) to strong (D+++ or L+++) darkening/lightening, within a target area indicated with a freeform quick selection with the lasso tool for example. Any random selection is possible. At the same time, Artisan Pro X automatically takes care it blends in subtly with the surrounding area
  • Increase or decrease contrast and detail the same way as darkening or lightening areas you’ve indicated with a freeform quick selection like the lasso tool. Any random selection is possible because Artisan Pro X will subtly blend it automatically with the surrounding area.

See videos below to get a visual impression

Editing an image in B&W using masks and Creating Depth and Restore features to shape the light and create 3-D depth in architecture.

Editing an image in B&W using masks and Creating Depth and Restore features to shape the light, create 3-D depth and dark skies in architecture.

Editing an image in B&W using masks and Figure-Contrast-Depth principles. Creating Depth and Restore features to create 3-D depth in architecture.

|

[…] At the same time I downloaded your latest software I also downloaded the most recent TK action V6 panel and without praising you I have to say the latter is a very much bloated panel setup that’s not easy to navigate and most of it merely repeats what is in Photoshop anyway especially if you know your shortcuts. I see you have deliberately steered away from that approach and just focused on photo editing. […]

Peter Lee – Fine-art photographer, Australia

Artisan Pro X 2021 v2.0.0 Release November 26, 2020 – What’s New?

*Note regarding PS CC requirements:* 

The new panel is based on the latest PS CC2021 version and will only fully work with the latest PS CC versions. It will also work with PS CC versions from 2019 and higher but you won’t be able to take full advantage of the new advanced Styling feature in that case.

  • New Styling section: this new section can be used as a starting point after B&W conversion or as an endpoint or as inspiration. What it does is that based on the subject matter – architecture, landscape, or still life – the panel will automatically detect a sky or subject and then the panel will automatically apply a style to the image. Since the panel uses the new PS CC 2021 algorithm to automatically detect skies or subjects, this feature can only be used in PS CC 2021 or higher. As the panel also offers the option to load your own pre-created hard masks to generate a style, the user can use this option also in older PS versions. Obviously, the advantages of this new feature are more explicit when used with PS CC 2021.
  • New Color Grading section: this new section will apply a specific color scheme to your photos to give it a look that’s based on the color palettes of well-known movies, hence making it more uniform and harmonious. There are 18 presets that should be applied to color photos and generates a folder with 5 layers covering the 5 major tonal zones in an image that can easily be adjusted to your personal preferences: e.g. less or more saturation. The generated color palettes are taken from various scenes of the motion pictures and extracted to 5 dominant colors per zone and then automatically applied to a tonal zone.

 

  • New Local Contrast adjustments: contrast adjustments were always global in the previous versions of Artisan Pro X, but are now also available in the Advanced Adjustments section as local contrast adjustment presets. It works similarly to the Advanced Adjustment darkening/lightening features in that the adjustments within a random free form selection blend smoothly with the adjacent areas so no correction or masking with feathering is needed. Local contrast adjustments are ideal if more than just darkening or lightening is needed and also the contrast needs to be decreased or increased.

 

  • More luminosity masks granularity: 1/4 values for automatic creation of luminosity masks have been added giving even more accuracy and granularity to the already available 16-bit full and half values for luminosity masks. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Added diagonal restore features: the restore features under Creating Depth are a very important feature in this panel. We’ve now added the diagonal restore with 16 new presets to make the restore even more versatile, resulting in any type of restore. 

 

 

 

 

  • Added Global Contrast High Key: a new preset has been added to the Global Adjustments section, that works similarly to the Global Contrast Low Key preset in that it first removes the contrast and makes if ‘flatter’ and then makes it darker (existing Low Key preset) and now also lighter for a high key effect with low contrast with the new Global Contrast High Key preset. This preset is also available as a local adjustment as described in the New Local Contrast adjustment features. Furthermore, the Quick Access menu now has 2 quick access buttons with Save Selection and Add noise.
black and white artisan pro panel software for photoshop

$44.90

Quick Overview

NOTE THE BUNDLE WITH QUICK MASK PRO OR WITH THE NEW ‘NEXT LEVEL B&W FINE ART VIDEO‘ TO SAVE MORE. 

N

*NEW* Stylize presets

For PS CC 2021 or higher you can now push the Stylize preset that automatically detect skies, subjects or foregrounds and apply a style. With older PS CC versions you cannot use the automatic Stylize but you will have to load your own mask.

N

Advanced B&W Processing Without technical knowledge

No need to acquire technical knowledge and years of practice in PS. This panel unlocks Joel’s advanced B&W techniques, from his iSGM method, with the single click of a button, sometimes triggering over 100 steps in PS. The artist retains full artistic control as the presets don’t have an ‘artistic effect’, but only cover the technical part of adjustments.

N

Create Depth & Special Effects

Easily add 3D depth and presence to buildings, skies, seascapes or any other object using the built-in dynamic gradients. Or add reflections or streaks of clouds to your images using the Special FX menu. With 200 new built-in functions, and with the highly customizable Special FX, anything is possible.

N

Powerful Local Adjustment features

24 presets – Precise and fast local lightening/darkening, using automatic variable feathering (NEW with X), are enabled by quick, free-form selections with a lasso tool, and then clicking darken/lighten for subtle and seamless adjustments

N

Advanced Micro Zone Local Adjustments

154 presets – For advanced local contrast/texture adjustments, the Micro-Zone adjustments only affect the tones in the range you’ve selected within the target area using 16 bits advanced custom-built asymmetrical masks and dynamic feathering.

N

Mask Optimization Feature

The panel has an automatic mask optimization feature that will reduce fringing and halos substantially.

N

10 B&W conversion presets and 4 random B&W generator presets

10 B&W conversion presets, from neutral to advanced fine-art presets that trigger over 200 signature steps in PS. Or use one of four random generator presets to give your images a unique look each and every time, or just to gain some inspiration.

N

22 Toning Buttons + 4 random toning generator presets + 18 Color Grading presets

22 single and split-tones based on Joel’s advanced toning method for unmatched subtlety. Or try out one of two new generator-presets to have a different random look. Also useful to color grade color images and acquire a cinematic look. New with version 2021: 18 color grading presets based on the color palettes of famous movies. Each color grading preset results in 5 adjustable color layers.

N

65 Luminosity Masks + 31 micro zone masks *NEW*

65 luminosity masks and 31 custom-built zone masks covering the 11 tonal zones for far more isolation than regular zone masks. All in 16 bits.

Product Overview

B&W EDITING SOFTWARE BY B&W ARTISTS FOR B&W ARTISTS

B&W Artisan Pro X 2021 is the latest evolution of the B&W Artisan Pro software panels and is a panel for Photoshop for pure and unrestricted B&W editing. It is software designed by a B&W fine-art photographer, educator, and highly praised expert on B&W photography, for other B&W fine-art photographers who need powerful but easy-to-use tools to support and express their artistic vision without any technical restrictions. The panel is designed for both beginners and experienced professionals in B&W photography.

THE iSGM METHOD FOR SOPHISTICATED DIGITAL B&W EDITING COMPLETELY AUTOMATED

With this version X, Joel Tjintjelaar, the designer and internationally acclaimed photographer and educator, states that he has finally succeeded in automating his entire manual workflow, iSGM, into this software. A manual workflow that was developed by Joel in 2010 with the objective to completely control an image and create atmospheric and dimensional depth and has been adopted by thousands of B&W photographers ever since. Many of them have now become award-winning photographers and B&W instructors themselves. Now anyone can create the typical B&W photos that Joel is known for and have been emulated by many, with just a bit of practice with the panel. Your imagination is the only limitation.

THE POWER OF X

With the introduction of version X, the importance of steps/features has changed significantly, compared to all previous versions. The now by far most important feature since version X are the ‘Creating depth’, ‘Special FX’ and ‘Restore’ features that unleash the power, speed, efficiency, and subtlety of linear and reflected gradients, applied in a dynamic way, and always relative to the size and position of the selected part it is applied to. What was previously considered the most important features, Advanced Adjustments, and MicroZone adjustments, are now only secondary features, intended for fine-tuning tonality and contrasts locally.

DYNAMIC GRADIENTS AND DYNAMIC RESTORE – THE QUINTESSENCE OF iSGM FOR CREATING DEPTH

This software does what no other B&W editing software can do in an intuitive and easy way: creating dimensional and atmospheric depth using dynamic gradients and Joel’s method of ‘restore’ to shape lighting effects with the touch of a button, with unmatched subtlety and accuracy.

NEW SPECIAL FX FEATURE

Special FX is a new and unique feature to add highlights, pool or rays of light, any type of lighting effect, to objects like buildings or cars in a technically superior way. It completes and enables the concept of ‘creating depth and presence’ fully.

SMART ADVANCED ADJUSTMENTS WITH NEW DYNAMIC FEATHERING FOR INCREASED SUBTLE BLENDING

1. Advanced Local Adjustments with dynamic feathering: enable accurate and subtle local darkening/lightening by carefree and form-free indicating with the lasso tool the target area to be adjusted. The adjusted area then blends in subtly and smoothly with the rest. Version X improves on the already available accuracy and subtlety by using automatic variable feathering that changes depending on the size of the selection.
2. Micro-Zone Local Adjustment with dynamic feathering: the same as Advanced Smart Linear adjustment but now the local adjustments affect only a selected range of tonal values only, within the target area, to increase or decrease contrasts and textures, by using advanced 16 bits customized asymmetrical masks that work behind the scenes (no knowledge of luminosity masks is needed) for even more accurate and seamless tonal and contrast adjustments. Micro-Zone adjustments now also comes with dynamic feathering to enable even the smallest of adjustments that weren’t visible previously.

 

System Requirements

  • PS CC 2015.5 and higher for all versions of Artisan Pro X to v1.3 
  • PS CC 2021 or higher is required for B&W Artisan Pro X 2021
  • Mac and Windows compatible
  • Make sure that your computer can run the latest Photoshop version. See also Adobe’s website for specifics.
  • The panel runs language independently.

What’s Included

  • The B&W Artisan Pro X 2021 panel (new users don’t need previous versions of Artisan Pro X).
  • High-resolution original tif file of the Salk Institute photo with pre-created hard masks is included to practice with.
  • Free technical updates.
  • Easy installer.
  • Quick Start Manual.
  • Quick Reference Guide.
  • Addendum with an overview of the B&W Conversions and Split Toning presets.
  • Follow along videos on Youtube.

What’s New In B&W Artisan Pro X?

  • Added a completely new and groundbreaking section called ‘Creating Depth’ using dynamic gradients. This allows the user to create gradients anywhere and in any direction he wishes accurately. More specifically: this is great for giving presence or depth to buildings, skies, and waterscapes, but the possibilities are endless. What this basically does is fully automate my iterative Selective Gradient Masks (iSGM) technique. The user can now easily add depth or presence to anything, without going through the many steps and many weeks of practice the iSGM workflow would ordinarily require. Darkening or lightening with dynamic gradients is far more subtle than normal darkening/lightening and is THE way to determine the look of an image.
  • Under the ‘Creating Depth’ section is also a section called ‘Special FX’. This allows the user to create clouds, reflections, highlights on objects or anything he wishes. These special effects can be used in any size, shape or direction the user wants and is fully customizable.
  • The user can shape and stylize lighting effects accurately using the new ‘Restore’ buttons. It was a simple but quintessential part of my iSGM manual workflow.
  • The ‘Creating Depth’ section has a total of 200 new functions.
  • The ‘Zones’ under ‘Luminosity Masks’ are now replaced with custom-built ‘MicroZones’. These zones come in steps of 1/3. This means, for example, that Zone 1 will consist of ‘Zone 1’, ‘Zone 1 + 1/3’ and ‘Zone 1 + 2/3’. The user now has the option to generate a total of 31 microzones instead of the previous 11. Also new is the option to delete the microzones.
  • Added a B&W generator with 4 presets. The generator is based on handpicked values, giving the user a unique and different image each time it is used. The results of the B&W generator are non-destructive and always fully customizable. 
  • The ‘Default’ and ‘Strict’ buttons under ‘Advanced Adjustments’ have been completely overhauled and now work dynamically. The panel now recognizes the size of the selection and outputs a result accordingly with the right feathering for the right size. In previous versions, very big or very small selections would not give a result or an inaccurate result. This new feature makes sure you will always end up with a workable result.
  • The ‘MicroZones’ are also completely overhauled in the same sense as the ‘Advanced Adjustments’ buttons. This means that automatic variable feathering has been included in this section as well and every single part of the image, no matter how big or small the selection is, can be adjusted per zone.
  • Added a Split Toning generator with two presets. Just like the B&W generator, the values are handpicked giving the user a unique, a different, and a useable result each time the generator is used. The results are non-destructive and always fully customizable.

Showcase

Product Images

All images processed with B&W Artisan Pro including split-toning

Testimonials

Testimonials

A BIG THANK YOU to Joel. I have been following Joel for a long time silently since I am just a hobbyist and own his magical B&W Panels that I use for my personal creations, as I learn to use them in my limited time. I would like to say a few words about something very special that happened today. Kindly excuse the length of this.

It’s very rare that something truly honest like this happens in today’s world. It so happened that I had upgraded to the Version X a few days back but missed to apply the discount coupon. When I received another reminder on the expiry of the Version X offer via email today, I popped an email to Joel saying that I had paid the full amount. There was an immediate response with an offer of partial refund and I replied that I am happy without the refund since the panel was that beautiful but if it was offered I would accept with appreciation and if not possible, I would still be happy owning the X Panel for the original price I paid. NO SIR! The refund with difference came within minutes and all this in 20 minutes! I have never experienced such service and for that, I say a Big Thank You to You Joel.

Finest Service! Cheers!!!

 

Peter Trindade

Photographer

I spent some time looking at the upgraded panels and watching and readings tutorials. I have been using the quick selection for quite some time but just the basic mask selection. I didn’t really manage to fully master the refine part. I would like starting using the artisan more frequently, especially the adjustments, in view of faster and more accurate post-processing. All I can say is: brilliant! Congratulations, you made an amazing job which goes well beyond of being a photographer. I would like to suggest something. Probably this is just me getting older and dumber but I think that what would support even more these fantastic products is a single thorough comprehensive spoken tutorial for each of them, focusing especially on what I think are the most valuable parts, meaning advanced/microzones adjustments in the artisan and refine in the quick mask, showing what is doing what on the image, the differences, and maybe keeping the behind the scene theories in a separate document. While you have a number of resources for the artisan, I find the non-spoken videos for the quick mask too fast for my aging brain. There are several resources for the artisan in the dropbox but maybe they could be consolidated. Again, this is just me, I am sure other people can pick it up much faster than me, but I think that these are brilliant software, venturing in areas where nobody, without having the resources of Adobe, has ventured since Ansel Adams. I think they are revolutionary.

Giulio Zanni

Photographer

I have used the Artisan Pro panel extensively now, and not just for FineArt images, but to enhance and improve all sorts of B&W photographs. To 1) quickly and accurately bring out very subtle details in precise areas of shadows, 2) to pull down highlights that my printer cannot find enough info to fill the print area with ink (greater than 210/255 in my case) and 3) create a hugely improved final result, particularly when trying to produce a balanced set of b&w tones across 3 shots to be presented as a group, is a godsend. Without this panel I don’t think my patience would have been robust enough to attempt this in Photoshop and/or Lightroom alone. This is an indispensable tool for me now. Highly recommended. My thanks to Joel and his team

Mike Rook

Photographer - Isle of Wight, UK

Joel your new panel is amazing, I just did some quick edits with it. The way to select subtle parts in an image and play with light and shadows is brilliant. I was on my way to get more and more used to your ISGM2 method, but with your new panel, processing is much easier. I must admit that for ‘big’ corrections on the sky I used a gradient, but that’s more due to the fact I have to get familiar with the new panel. In other words get the right effect with the lasso tool. As I am used now to look first to the correct luminosity mask(s) and apply a gradient.

[…]

I just processed a photo, you and your team did a very well job.  It’s unbelievable how subtle transitions between the different tonings can be created. And so easy, it’s a very powerful tool Joel. Thank you for sharing and making this panel available to the world.

Marco Maljaars

Photographer

Hi Joel, that panel is excellent. I still have a lot to play with to understand. The 8 videos are very helpful. It makes your work easier and you can let your imagination run free. I find the Tonal-Option very successful. Very good work the new panel BW Artisan Pro.

Michael O.A. Klapper

Photographer - Germany

This simple email to tell you all the good I think of B&W Artisan Pro. This is really the product I’ve been waiting for. Very intuitive. Thanks Joel for offering us such applications. I wonder what else you could do to help us enhance our images…???
Pierre
Pierre Zeler

Photographer

Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge about Black and White photography and post-processing. Your tutorials and videos have cut my learning curve in half.

You get to the point. Others just show how to do it.  You don’t, you “explain why” and then show how to use your panels. By the way, your panels are the best for Black and White. Sophisticated in what they do, yet simple to use.

Keep up the good work.

Miguel A. Holguin

Mesa, Arizona, USA

Miguel Holguin

Photographer, Mesa Arizona, USA

Joel,
The split one generator is a bit of a lottery but as you said you can customise it in the layers. I was feeling a bit sorry for myself when I said i would revert back to the old software. I really like the simplicity and user friendly interface which to my mind is designed for photographers.
At the same time I downloaded your latest software I also downloaded the most recent TK action V6 panel and without praising you I have to say the latter is a very much bloated panel setup that’s not easy to navigate and most of it merely repeats what is in Photoshop anyway especially if you know your shortcuts.I see you have deliberately steered away from that approach and just focused on photo editing.
Thank you very much
Peter R Lee
Peter R. Lee

Photographer, Australia

[…] From there the file is taken into Photoshop, I do not use Lightroom at any stage during my edit. In Photoshop I run the Nik ‘Define’ Plugin to eliminate any small areas of noise which may be present. I then convert to monochrome. To do this I use Joel Tjintjeelar’s B&W Artisan Pro Panel, using the standard neutral setting. That panel also affords me a host of other excellent editing options. It is quite possibly the best £25.00 I have ever spent on my photography.[…]

Quote from an interview with Jim Graham in LEmagazine.

Jim Graham

Photographer

Joel – Just wanted to let you know I’ve been using the new panel a lot for landscape work and it’s fantastic. You really came up with something outstanding. I have so much more control than I did before in a very easy and intuitive way. It lets me experiment with different directions so quickly and easily and the panel is totally seamless in terms of its effects on the image. There are no harsh edges, it blends in very naturally. Congratulations!
Rodrigo
Rodrigo Etcheto

Fine-art photographer / writer / philosopher - USA

I downloaded the panel yesterday, what an amazing piece of work! its still incredible! I like the new toning presets a lot, but especialy the new sections, which allows a very fast post processing and most of the time without creating accurate masks, what is always horrible. I really like the panel!! could you make a short tutorial where we can see some more steps than in the actual videos? I ask for a specific reason, I’ve edited an image which I’ve already edidet with ISGM technique, the result with Artisan was still great and in a very short time. But I would like to see, how you combine the new functions with your isgm technique, because I like those reflecting metall look, which comes from the reflecting gradient, a lot. here is a part from an image where you see the difference […]  I tried it in the way how you have described, and it works fine and especially fast. For example creating a vignette is still amazing with the smart linear adjustments (based on an accurate sky selection), no need for iSGM what takes some time also for a vignette. Here is the result, I’ve made all with smart linear or the micro zones, only the bright reflecting of the “grid” from the building was done with iSGM. but looking forward for a complete workflow tutorial.

Lukas Zitz

Photographer

I purchased the new panel and am impressed with its ease of use and results. Great job!

Alfredo Mora

Photographer

Hello Joel

The B&W Artisan Pro panel is a great tool that saves a lot of time. The update that offers the possibility to keep the selection is really a plus. One can dream that the panel can allow to integrate certain shades of grey predefined as for example silver grey, metallic grey etc in a click in a selection but it is certainly easier to imagine than to program
in data processing. In any case the B&W Artisan Pro is now my tool of construction, creation as well for the black and white as for the color . Well done master Tjintjelaar

Philippe Lagabbe

Photographer, France

Hi Joel,

just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your new video – From RAW to final image.
It was filled with a lot of great tricks and tips.
Made me slow down and take the time to really analyze the image.

It was a treat to watch you work and see how you approach different parts of the image.
I was never much for post-processing until I came across the artisan pro panel. Now I can’t stop, haha.

Thank you,

Matt Fimio, Canada

Matt Fimio

Photographer, Canada

Joel: Panel X is a tour de force. Though I did not truly understand the sculpting parts of it until last nights session, you have created something that over the years I have had to do by hand with subtle D and B techniques. To subtlety craft the light around a building or shaped is so much easier to think about now and when I am in the field just responding to the light falling on shapes. Now I can craft that, tweak it, refine it to what I saw. That part of the panel is just brilliant and I so appreciate the work and thought that went into it. Just wanted to let you know that. hope you are well! Bob

Robert H. Clark

Photographer / Educator

Just purchased the @joeltjintjelaar Artisan Panel for black and white images. I’m blown away with how easy it is to use.

Jasper, as stated on Instagram

Jasper Shadloo

Photographer

Yesterday I tried the BW Artisan Pro panel, and it showed to be excellent. I experimented with different types of photos, architectural and portraits, also scanned 4×5 inch BW negatives (file sizes up to 400MP), and it worked fast, accurate and very subtle. The panel itself is clear, uncluttered and intuitive. I would like to encourage every genuine BW photographer to try this BW Artisan Pro panel. Bravo, Joel

Henk Bijl

Oncologist and Fine art photographer

Dear Joel,
I procured recently your panel,  ‘B&W Artisan Pro’. Indeed the title covers the subject. This panel makes it truly easy to focus on the development of your creativity instead of on the technical aspects. That makes a huge difference with other panels. The choice of the right technical aspects is facilitated and therefore made easy by the ‘simple’ interface (panel). Therefore there is less distraction on the technicalities and but more  on the creativity.
The panel is only a part of the product you are offering. The manuals and videos guides you  through the panel and that is a huge advantage and makes the difference with other panels. The language used in the manuals is simple with a lot of easy understandable graphics. The videos are of a high quality. Full screen shots of Photoshop, the picture and the panel. Luckily no focus on the teacher, which often distracts your attention from where it is all about. The use of the software. Your explanations in the videos are underlining the most important aspects on how to use the panel. You are using an easy understandable English. Not many technical terms. That is important for the many non native English speakers, which is a big part of your audience. May be I am too enthousiastic. That might be true, but it brought my pictures to a higher level. A big thanks and both thumbs up.
Deem Vermeulen

Photographer

I’m a nature photographer and I’ve had the B&W Artisan Pro for a week now. It’s incredible. The blending it does from my selections is amazing. It brought detail back to my dark shadows that I’ve had a really tough time with previously. Well done and thank you for this.

Justin Mulder

Photographer - Canada

Joel, thanks for publishing this plug-in. There’s a certain elegance to the approach you’ve used – enabling beautiful subtle adjustments!

Scott J. Loftesness

Photographer

BWVISION.COM

Join our mailing list to receive the latest blog posts and free tutorials first!

You have Successfully Subscribed!