New Black and White workflow / by Andrew Dacey

Florence side street in the rain

I've wanted to sort out a new black and white workflow for some time now. I fell in love with Silver Efex Pro 2 from Nik Software, and that's been my go-to black and white tool for several years. Unfortunately, it's not been updated for some time, and while I love the conversions, it creates they aren't without problems. One of the things I've noted is that I get random artefacts in the corner at times. Usually, this is a one-time problem that's easily fixed by re-opening the smart object and closing it again, but it's annoying.

One of the things I liked about Silver Efex Pro was that the structure sliders were fantastic for pulling out detail. Because of that, I'd usually keep my images fairly flat and add the drama in Silver Efex. I'd tried other tools and found that I just couldn't get the same kind of look.

With working in Luminar, I've been falling in love with the detail extractor, and there is also a black and white conversion filter. I was wondering if I could adjust my workflow to do a more dramatic edit in Luminar and then adding the black and white conversion at the end. I'm still getting used to this workflow, but I'm starting to be happier with the results that I'm seeing. It's a different workflow than I'm used to with regards to having to work on the colour image a lot more before I apply the black and white conversion, but it does seem to be working for me.

Florence is full of these wonderful narrow side streets. I took a lot of shots of them, but I'm not very happy with most of them. I've realised that the best ones do need to have a person in them to provide some extra interest.