When The Photographic Process In A Camera Ends – Great Software Brings A Photographer To The Final Rendering Of The Image As He Or She Perceived It – re edited March 2016

When The Photographic Process In A Camera Ends – Great Software Brings A Photographer To The Final Rendering Of The Image As He Or She Perceived It

A quick walk back
It was not that long ago that photographers would load their cameras with a roll of black and white film, shoot their images, and go directly to a darkroom to wet process the film and then dry it, cut it in strips and make a contact print.

While it was simple enough to choose a paper, project the image on to the paper, and dump it in developer and other solutions to get a “final Image, the advanced darkroom photographer knew that it was always possible to enhanced the image by burning and dodging (controlling the light) the print and then hand rubbing the print as it developed to retard or accelerate the development process.

Remember, that film came and still comes in different emulsions that allow for very different looks. Today we have digital negatives, which we  call RAW files.  Raw files, like film, are not done until they are further processed.

And here we are today

Quote from Macphun “Crafting a great black & white image takes more than a click on “gray scale.” It takes precise control over how every color is converted to black & white. In this webinar hosted by Digital Silver Imaging & Macphun software, photography professor and artist Dan Hughes will walk you through the black and white conversion process to produce incredible black & white images.”

For quite sometime, Adobe products such as Lightroom and Photoshop have been the premier image editing  programs and they still remain at the top of the food chain.
In order to expand the creativity of these programs, other software companies have developed both stand alone and “plug-ins” that work in conjunction to help photographers produce even more incredible images.
One of the companies who recently gained a spot in my heart is MacPhun.  I know, it’s a funny kind of name.  But don’t let that fool you.  They have a series of “pro” programs and plugins that are in my opinion the finest and most creative I have ever used.  These have wonderful presets, as well as full manual control through the use of tools that go beyond top of the line image processors.

This one I am telling you about right now is called Tonality Pro and I have provided links to the youtube video as well as MacPhuns website.

There are quite a few other excellent plug-ins and presets out there are worth taking a look at whether you are wanting black and white or color or both.  Companies like NIK which is now owned by Google, offers a complete package opening up wonderful opportunities for the creative photographers we all want to be.

Then there are presets.  Two companies come to mind.  One is Seim and the other is Vsco.  Both of these companies make a full range of film effects, to emulate color and black and white films and both companies do a superb job.  One other which I am only just getting to know is Alien skin Expose Pro.  It really has some incredible features.

I guess the big question is why are so many people wanting to step back and get their digital images to look more like film images, which would provide a more organic look, with subtle tonal changes and grain textures?

Digital images through in camera processing as well as external as noted above provide a harder looking image out of the camera.  In some cases the term plastic look has been tossed around.

As for me, whether it is black and white (which I love) or color (which I love), I cannot stop my hands and my brain from making adjustments that I feel will enhance the images so therefore I really like working with so many of the software alternatives.

With the exception of Vsco and Seim, there is generally a fifteen day trial period so you can work with the software.

Photography always should record life accurately.  Modifying an image so it does depict the real story is wrong.  But……..enhancing an images tonal range, exposure, and colors as you remember them is art.

Go ahead.  Start being artistic.

This is an edit to an earlier blog.


5 thoughts on “When The Photographic Process In A Camera Ends – Great Software Brings A Photographer To The Final Rendering Of The Image As He Or She Perceived It – re edited March 2016

    1. Nik is an excellent collection of products which I have used for several years. The problem however is that since it was taken over by Google through their purchase of Nik they have not really provided any real updates and they have also caused some crashes when trying to open them through Lightroom, especially Viveza.

      The MacPhun programs which are both stand alone and plugins for Lightroom and Photoshop on Macintosh computers appear to be technically ahead of Nik at this point with a great many more creative options within each program.


    2. Hi Georgette,
      Niks plugins are truly a work of art although I would like to see some upgrades, but I am not sure what needs to be upgraded.
      SilverEfex pro 2.0 is excellent for black and white images from color images and I use it quite a bit. The presets in some cases are good head starts and the controls are wonderful and accurate and faster than other competitive products.


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