B&W photography gained more interest after the advent of digital photography as more photographers realized that it offered unique expressive and artistic capabilities even when the starting point was a color photograph. Over the years much has been written on how to make this conversion and features of popular image editing software made this better and easier. I have been making B&W, or monochrome conversions for quite some time now using the rich tool set in Photoshop, and later, Lightroom. I have experimented with tools ranging from simple gray scale conversion to channel mixer, from desaturate to gradient maps, from multilayer Hue-Saturation techniques to the newly introduced B&W conversion tool in Lightroom and Photoshop. I have even written up on them and made presentations here at PSRI. I am very pleased with my results to the point of exhibiting or publishing folios of my work.
I recently worked with a tool from Nik Software, Silver Efex Pro. The results are remarkably good and the ease of use makes further exploration of many different looks possible. In the review I have written you will get a sense of what it does with examples and my objective evaluation of Silver Efex Pro. If you are interested in acquiring this plugin, don’t rush to get your copy until you get your 15% PSRI discount code. It will be announced at the meetings, starting this evening, and distributed in our weekly e-mail newscast.