There are some photographers who think that post-processing is, if not cheating, then something to be minimised. I tend to think that way myself, in that I try to restrict digital manipulation to the equivalent of darkroom techniques; things like dodging and burning, contrast adjustment and so on.
Even that sort of limited post-processing can involve a lot of work, especially when you’re doing a black-and-white conversion.
I love black-and-white. I still shoot on B&W film, because I like the anticipation of developing it and seeing what comes out. There’s even a special frisson because your first look at your images is in negative.
Converting digital images to black-and-white has its own special challenges: how to map colours to shades of grey (different films would respond differently – one of the things that distinguished one from another), how much contrast to use (B&W images are supremely sensitive to contrast and tone curves – this can make or break a picture), grain – lovely, glorious grain; from the almost imperceptible dust of Pan F to the great boulders of Delta 3200, grain is indispensable to a B&W picture.
Given all that, I was quite excited to come across an image editing app that was devoted to a single task: creating black-and-white conversions. I like the idea of doing one job and doing it well, and Tonality Pro certainly does the job well.
I’m not going to do a full review of the software, I’ll just let some images do the talking. I will say, though, that if you’re a digital photographer who loves black-and-white, then you probably want this app†.
Bear in mind that I’ve produced these images with only a week or so working with the app. Wait till I’ve figured out how everything works…
† Unless you’re on Windows – MacPhun only make apps for Mac. Sorry.