We’ve all seen those sharp, yet soft moody looking Monochromatic Black & White, or Sepia toned images that have that timeless look. I have found an easy way to create that look and I want to show it to you.
First, let me show you the look I’m referring to.
This sort of look, or something like this in Black & White
Interested? Okay, let’s make one.
Now to complete the steps I’m about to show you, you will need Photoshop and the NIK Collection. I am using the new NIK Collection by DXO, but it will also work with the older version.
So, for our purposes, we will use a Super Color image of a lone tree in the Maasi Mara National Reserve. This was made with a Super Color converted Canon 5DMKIV, using the Tamron 150-600mm lens.
This image has already had the basic adjustments done, plus a Red/Blue Color Channel Swap. It’s okay, but not the moody look we want.
So, first let’s open the NIK Collection. Go to Filter, then Nik Collection, then Color Efex Pro4
Now we are going to stack two filters on top of each other.
First up select Detail Extractor.
This will bring up the dialog box for Detail Extractor
I don’t suggest moving the Detail Extractor slider past 25%. The Contrast slide you can adjust until you like to look. Saturation is not important for this step.
Next, click add filter
Then select the filter Duplex
Go with the presets for that filter and then click OK
Now we have an image that is sharp and soft.
If you like the look at this point, you are done. If you want that monochromatic look, we next move onto Image, Adjustments, Hue/Saturation.
When your dialog box opens, click the box next to Colorize.
Then move the Hue slider to the right, and play with the Hue, then the Saturation to create the monochromatic color tone you like. If you looking for a standard Black & White, adjust your saturation accordingly.
Now we have this image.
There’s one step left. We want to make sure this image doesn’t have noise when we go to print it, so we will use Nik Define 2.
So, we’ll go to Filter, Nik Collection, Define 2
There is an automatic setting for Define 2 that will work well for this,
So when the word “Working: goes away, click OK at the bottom right corner.
That is it, you are done.
Here’s a couple of images I made following these steps.
Now, is this going to work with every image, every single time, . . . . No
But, if you have the right image it will work well, and you can do it in less time than you spent reading this piece.
Try it out and see what you think.
I’ve written a Photoshop Action that will complete these steps with one click.
Email me at Danwampler@lifepixel.com and I give it to you for free.