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.