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Perfect Black and White from onOne Software

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onOne Software recently released version 7 of its Perfect Photo Suite, which includes a variety of Photoshop and Lightroom plugins, including popular apps like Perfect Portrait, Perfect Mask, and Perfect Layers. Photoshop expert Dan Moughamian explains how version 7 has introduced a brand new plugin for styling our photos, called Perfect B&W (Perfect Black & White), which allows you to create black and white photos from color originals using a large library of presets and robust controls.
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Once you’ve installed the plugin, you can open it from your Adobe editor of choice (we’ll use Photoshop CS6). Choose File > Automate > Perfect BW 1. This will open the active photo into the plugin environment (see Figure 1). Perfect B&W takes advantage of the latest user interface enhancements from onOne, making it easy to find your way around and get a quick start.

Figure 1 The latest user interface from onOne’s Perfect Photo Suite 7. The Presets are listed down the left side with an easy search feature, and a variety of powerful tone, film simulation, and color filtration controls are available at the right.

Choosing a Preset

The first step towards getting the right result in Perfect Black & White is choosing a preset that provides an approximate match to your creative vision for the shot. Keep in mind that a preset is just a starting point most of the time; each one is built from a combination of available settings, and those settings can be tweaked to get an even better result. For this image, I wanted to create something with dramatic contrast and interesting lighting effects.

To start, I searched the word “dramatic”; this produced two presets that match the term. When I clicked on the Dramatic Light thumbnail to apply the effect, the result was pretty interesting! It almost gives the appearance that the shot was taken at night, under a bright moon, or perhaps under clouds with late afternoon sunbeams coming through to illuminate parts of the scene (see Figure 2).

Figure 2 The Dramatic Light preset can create interesting high-contrast lighting effects in many cases.

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