Writing with Light

Old Montreal City Hall with Topaz B&W Effects

Ok…I’m excited. Last week Topaz announced the release of its new plug in, Topaz Black & White Effects. As an avid user of Topaz plug-ins such as Topaz Adjust and Topaz Lens Effects (just to name two) I’ve been wondering when they were going to come up with a plug-in for black and white conversion. I’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to test their  beta copy and really give it a trial run.  Topaz Black & White Effects has the same look and feel as other Topaz favorites like Adjust, Simplify and Lens Effects. Its very intuitive and easy to use and the results are pretty impressive. One of my favorite new features is the selective brush tool for dodging, burning and selective color. With that there’s also an “edge-aware” slider which ensures that you stay within the area that you’ve selected when, for example, you’re burning a selected area.

I was in Montreal last weekend and thought I would test out the plug-in using some of those shots. This image of City Hall in Old Montreal was a 3-shot bracketed exposure which I processed and tonemapped with Photomatix and then brought into Photoshop and adjusted levels and unsharp mask.

Canon XTi, Sigma 10 - 22mm, 3 Exposure HDR Tonemapped with Photomatix

Black & White conversion with Topaz B&W Effects

Topaz B&W Effects is a black and white converter and image enhancer that gives you a variety of tools, making it easy to create stunning black and white compositions. More than your traditional black and white conversion tool, Topaz B&W Effects offers more tools and flexibility for a diverse range of looks. It includes 8 Effect Collections with over 120 presets (more coming with the release version) that simulate traditional and alternative BW processes, offering the ability to create traditional and stylized looks. It also features a simplifed, yet intuitive, selective brush, creative effects and finishing effects for high-impact black and whites.

Here are just some of the unique features found in Topaz B&W Effects:

1. Selective Brush. Intuitive selective adjustment brush for burning, dodging and selective color – plus edge-aware options.

2. True Grain Filter & Grain Creation. Choose from your favorite films or create your own grain.

3. Adaptive Exposure. The power of Topaz Adjust is infused with B&W Effects to help create dynamic detail and exposure.

4. Quad Tone. Allows for 4 different tones to be selected and applied to different tonal regions within an image.

5. Creative Effects. Includes popular Topaz effects to creatively enhance images.

6. Finishing Touches. Includes effects to give your image the perfect final touch.

While we haven’t been given an exact release date or pricing, Topaz Black & White Effects will be available this week at a special introductory (discounted) price. Watch the blog for more information.

25 responses

  1. Beautiful!!! Is there a big difference between Silver Efex?? I have been using the heck out of that program recently. Love this shot Edith!!! Beautiful! Both of them. I think i’m partial to the color one though.


    August 29, 2011 at 3:38 am

    • Thanks Adam. To be honest I haven’t used Silver Efex. I was actually considering getting it when I found out that Topaz was coming out with a B&W conversion plug in.


      August 29, 2011 at 2:58 pm

  2. Thanks for the briefing on the new Topaz offering Edith. I’m not much of a B&W processor and have used Silver Efex Pro once in awhile. I do like the results and may try it when it comes out. Very nice image by the way.


    August 29, 2011 at 6:55 am

  3. Really well processed here Edith, have always been a Nik Software guy myself, but I love the result here!


    August 29, 2011 at 9:04 am

  4. Nicely processed images Edith. I’m going with the B&W version as my favorite. It seems to give the sky more depth.


    August 29, 2011 at 9:11 am

  5. Wonderful work, Edith. Of these two, I like the B&W best. Nice processing.

    I’ve been waiting on the release of this since I didn’t get to beta test it. Will grab a copy for sure when available. With all the presets and features, it’ll be a sure winner.


    August 29, 2011 at 10:10 am

  6. This is really cool Edith! Nice work. I guess you convinced me, I’m gunna have to try this out. 🙂


    August 29, 2011 at 3:22 pm

  7. Both look great but the B&W just shades it for me. Old buildings look great in B&W and the HDR effect on the sky makes it look even more dramatic. Great job!


    August 29, 2011 at 3:24 pm

  8. Rick

    Those are some nice images. I may have to give Topaz another demo.


    August 29, 2011 at 4:04 pm

  9. I love all the shots of Montreal architecture! This is a fabulous image and to be honest I like them both and can’t really pick a favorite.


    August 29, 2011 at 4:56 pm

  10. Wonderful Images Edith! I think both of them are great. Each one expresses something different.


    August 29, 2011 at 11:16 pm

  11. Edith, I am having a great time with this one. I think they hit a home run! Nice conversion.


    August 29, 2011 at 11:51 pm

  12. Wonderful images Edith! I haven’t had the opportunity to download my beta copy yet but from what I hear it is really nice.


    August 30, 2011 at 9:28 am

  13. Very well done. Digging the color one.


    August 30, 2011 at 11:01 am

  14. Very nice Edith! I can’t wait to try out Topaz’s latest tool since I really like using Topaz Adjust. Thanks for the preview!


    August 31, 2011 at 8:00 pm

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  18. Nice work on this one, I really like the way the sky pops in the black and white conversion (it’s pretty good in the color one as well!)


    September 4, 2011 at 5:05 pm

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