Perfect B&W provides several tools for brushing in lightness and darkness, more or less detail, and more or less contrast. Having the ability to make these types of edits with a stylus and brush is really helpful in putting the finishing touches on a photograph.
For this shot (see Figure 8), the Contrast Brush (T) was useful to reduce some of the contrast on the rocks, in the hopes of making them look smoother in the “glow” that was created earlier. When you press T or click the Contrast Brush icon (second from the top in the toolbar that’s attached to the preview), several options appear above the preview. These include a mode menu (More Contrast or Less Contrast), brush Size and Feather controls, and an Amount. There’s also a control that lets you change the opacity via stylus press (W icon), which I turn off.
I chose the “Less Contrast” option in this case, and an Amount of about 35. From there, it’s simply a matter of brushing corrections over an area and changing the remaining settings as you go to get the look you want.
Figure 8 The Contrast Brush can help add subtle areas of increased or decreased contrast, using standard Photoshop brush conventions and parameters.
While I didn’t need to use the Detail Brush or the Selective Color Brush for this case, I did use the Brightness Brush to Lighten certain areas of the frame, particularly along the bottom of the bushes in the background (see Figure 9). The steps for using this brush is the same as the Contrast Brush: select a mode, a Brush Size, and Feather value; choose options for Opacity and Amount; and start experimenting. If at any time you don’t like the changes you see from a particular brush, click the Reset Brush button (it will carry the name of the active brush, such as “Reset Brightness Brush” in this case). The button is located near the top-right portion of the preview.
Figure 9 Use the Brightness Brush to lighten or darken small areas of the frame.
When you’re finished, click the Apply button for Perfect B&W to process your changes and open the image back into Photoshop. This may take several seconds as the plugin processes each group of controls individually. The results will be applied to a new layer in your original document, so that you can blend the layers for effect if necessary, and maintain your original as well. The final image is shown in Figure 10.
Figure 10 Caption: the final image, after being processed by Perfect B&W