Craft & Vision is out with their latest eBook, The Power of Black and White – In Adobe Lightroom and Beyond, by Piet Van den Eynde. Coming in at a healthy 100 pages, this is their largest eBook to date.
The world of digital photography has largely been dominated by color. However, black and white has a special place for many photographers and art lovers for its minimalist look and ability to convey emotion without the use of color. Although I would argue that black and white photography never really went away, until relatively recently the technology and tools we had were never quite able to replicate the subtle nuances and tonal gradations of film. Diehard film buffs may still make that argument – and they may be correct – but we are certainly a lot closer now than at any time in the past.
In The Power of Black and White, den Eynde walks us through the post-processing of black and white images, primarily in Adobe Lightroom. Using a number of beautiful photographic examples as case studies, he shows not just the how, but also the why. As with Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom often provides more than one way to complete a particular task. In particular for black and white conversion, there are several methods that can be used, one of which was new to me. He also discusses the use of the Graduated Filter and Adjustment Brush, in addition to the many other tools that can be used to bring out the most from your black and white images. Some suggestions for work flow and the use of presets as time-saving tools are also touched upon.
As powerful as Lightroom is, it does have its limitations. In addition to the tools available in Lightroom itself, den Eynde also discusses using Photoshop to complete some tasks, as well as some of the third-party Lightroom plugins that are either specific to black and white processing or useful for it, including Silver Efex Pro 2 by Nik Software and several different HDR processors, among others.
I certainly learned a few things from this book. Although I wouldn’t have gone so far as to call myself a power user, until reading this eBook I did consider myself to be fairly proficient at Adobe Lightroom, at least within the Library and Develop modules. I could still probably say that I’m proficient, but reading The Power of Black and White showed me how much I don’t know and how much there is still to learn about Lightroom in general, and black and white processing in particular.
If you are a Lightroom user and enjoy the art of black and white photography, you may find this eBook useful. At only $5 it’s hard to beat. But wait! For the first five days only, if you use the promotional code BWLIGHT4 when you checkout, you can have the PDF version of The Power of Black & White in Adobe Lightroom & Beyond for only $4 OR use the code BWLIGHT20 to get 20% off when you buy 5 or more PDF ebooks from the Craft & Vision collection. These codes expire at 11:59pm PST April 16, 2011.