Photoshop CS5 – Create High Impact Photos with Topaz B&W Effects Plugin

Do you like experimenting with B&W photography?  Sometimes too many colors can make a photo too busy.  Converting an image to black & white can refocus the viewer on the intended subject and mood.  Nik’s Silver Efex Pro has been around for a while; but at $100, it can be hard to justify the cost.  Leave it to Topaz Labs to come up with a more economical solution – Topaz B&W Effects.

If you are familiar with the other Topaz Labs Photoshop plugins, then you already know how to use Topaz B&W Effects.  Just start with any of the 150 presets on the left and tweak further using the tools on the right.  It is very easy to experiment until you find the best combination to produce the desired effect.

B&W photography is not only blacks and whites.  Topaz studied the effects of some classic emulsions, mediums and developing techniques to simulate the color effects ranging from sepia, gold, copper, selenium, cyan and antique, as well as those true blacks, whites and grays.  But, it’s the extras that really get your creative juices going.  The image above was created using the “Steel Cyan Dynamic” preset under the Cyanotype Collection.  I then allowed some of the original color to bleed through using the Transparency Slider Under the Finishing Touches. The final effect creates a “nighttime” shot in Times Square which is impossible to create in real life.  (Times Square in NYC  is just too bright, even at night!)

Also under the Finishing Touches area are tools that will add paper effects, silver effects, film grain, Quad-tones, borders, edges and vignettes. And, yes, there are 6 different Infrared presets to start you off.  Even these presets can be tweaked further using the Color Filter slider and the Color Sensitivity Filter (in the Conversion section) and well as the Quad-tone tool.  There are plenty of tools to experiment and perfect your image!  There is even a “Shaky Camera” effect.  It’s an impressive plugin.

Topaz Labs is introducing B&W Effects with a special limited time discount – it’s only $29.99 with the coupon code of bwandbeyond (for a $30 savings).  Just like the other Topaz Labs plugins, you can download it direct from their website and try it before you buy it.  It also works with Lightroom 3, Aperture and iPhoto using Topaz Fusion Express.  Topaz has a series of webinars scheduled to walk you through all of the features of B&W Effects.  So, if you like B&W photography, download it today!

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