Combo Apps/Beautiful Black & Whites

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Black & white photos are a classic that will never die and the very basics of how we learn photography. It’s becoming more and more of a dying way to learn photography. Now that digital has pretty much taken over it’s harder to find those nice black and white films and paper to print on them. I was really lucky to have learn how to use the film and chemistry. I came at a time where film has reached it peak and then film started to die off. It’s a real art to make a really nice black and white photo. Even in the digital world it comes close, but it’s still not there. Black and White is still the only type of photography that can make time stand still. You have to really look at the photo and for all it’s details. Color adds content, but black and white is still the nuts and bolts of basic fundamentals of photography. The things you learn are zone system, highlights, shadows, high and low contrast, details and last the zone system. We all pretty much know who Ansel Adams was with his amazing and beautiful black and white photos. I’ve seen his real photograph on display. They are true works of art. His work and what he left behind was something he wanted to share with the world. You can read more about him by clicking on Ansel Adams.

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Now lets get started with a shot I took with Qbro, it’s just you basic tattoo shop. I will be transforming this photo into a beautiful black and white.

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This app is called Lo-Mob, not the most popular app. If you want to pick this app up, it’s $1.99 at the App Store. It’s a very nice app if you want your photos to have the retro look to them.

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Now the photo has been loaded onto the app, I’m going to tap on “Filters”.

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You can see that there’s a list of different filters to choose from, if you scroll down with your finger there are more filters to choose. For now I’m going to tap on “Tri-Black Film”.

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This is what your photo will look like after the pick this filter. It has this dreamy and classic look to your photo. The thing is I want to bring out the blacks in the details and bring out the whites a little more…plus that black hole needs come details to come out.

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So this is my secret weapon for bringing out details in my photos, Dynamic Light. I use this app a lot.

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This is really important and this was taught to me in Digital Class. If you want to make nice detail black and whites, use the original color photo you shot. The reason is when you want the details to come out in black and whites, each tone is broken down in color tones/hues. We can’t use the zone system in digital so we revert back to colors tones/hues. Certain colors will bring out certain details, like red and yellow seem the the one to bring out the most darks and lights in your photos. Make sure you do all you detail tones in color before you convert it to black and white. Also I wanted to add that if you wanted to make nice Black and Whites you would use the Channel Mixer in Photoshop, it uses colors tones to mix your black and whites.

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Now I’ve change it to black and white and pumped up the toning as high as I can. I know it looks like crap, but trust me you want to do this to bring out all the highlight details.

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Let’s blend the saved images in Image Blender, this is another great way to blend both photos together and bring out details and shadows together. You want to merge them together and find the best blend you like.

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I picked “Plus Lighter”, because I want to show more details in the photo.

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Now you see the crappy stuff in the sky because of the toning, well I’ll show you what to do next in masking that part out.

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I’ve loaded my photo in Filterstorm because I’m going to blur mask out that sky.

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The sky is masked out at 50% blur, you don’t want to use more than 50% because your photo will look weird and not on the normal side. But hey if you love that look by all means do what you like, it’s your photo and maybe will fit with the theme you’re looking for.

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Now the sky is blurred out and next I will show one last thing to do in blending your photo even more, so it will all come together.

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This is one of my favorite apps, Photo Toaster. I got this app when I saw it on Facebook, it was on the iPhoneography and Life in Lo-Fi. It’s a very handy app for doing quick and manual edits. The App is $.99 and you can use with the iPad too. I highly recommend you pick up this gem of an app.

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I’ve loaded the photo and you will noticed the 3 star are highlighted. I’m going to use a vignette to blend the photo better. A simple vignette can bring wonders to your photos, but I don’t want the vignette to look real harsh. I want that blended in look with the photo.

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Solution is simple, tap on the sliders button up above the “No Vignette” section. Now your in manual mode of how you want your vignette to look. It has three option and the results are great. Sometimes you want more than preset to edit your photo. You have total control of how you want to edit your photos with Photo Toaster.

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Your photo will look beautifully blended together, you don’t see the noise or the crap details that come out in your photo.

Classic Tattoo

Last I added a frame around my beautiful black and white photo for a little dramatic and retro effect. The frame is from Pic Tools.

If you have an questions you can leave a comment on the blog or e-mail me You can also follow me on Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram @ashcroft54. Please check out the Combo Apps Group on Flickr, take a look at the creative edits of other member in the group pool. The group is starting grow little by little each day.

From the Fog comes the Dewthru the dayBeam me upCharlotteStreet Musician
319/i365 • landscapeX-Mas TropedelicTree-TropedelicThe End To My Black FridayEquinox 4Blue Light
Some things cannot be undoneGlimmerLooking for another girlCrushLost in TransportationEnergia
Dinosaur Exhibit / Natural History Museum, South KensingtonDinosaur Exhibit / Natural History Museum, South KensingtonDinosaur Exhibit / Natural History Museum, South KensingtonDinosaur Exhibit / Natural History Museum, South KensingtonAudrey IIIDinosaur Exhibit / Natural History Museum, South Kensington

Another group I would like you all to check out is called iPhoeography: Before and After. The group is about taking your photo from your phone and showing a step by step of how you edit your photos. It’s like doing mini blogs of your work. The rules are shown in the group, if you interested in joining the group and showing your step by step photos. Then I highly recommend you join this group. The group admin is Maansee who I follow on both Flickr and Instagram. You might want check out her work.

ShowoffSeeking wisdomEnlightenmentMyPuppetAddictedGardening 101
Make love, not warafter editingoriginalCan you hear me now?Searching for my destinyBlooming for you (after)
LostThe WordAlien EyesBlue -- final

iPhoneography: Before and After, a group on Flickr.

About ashcroft54

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11 Responses to Combo Apps/Beautiful Black & Whites

  1. Wade Moline says:

    Great post. I’m always combining apps on my iPhone for unique looks. Black and white always seems easiest to do. Sometimes combining apps that have totally different photographic effects makes for some weird or wild looks.

    • ashcroft54 says:

      For some people black and white is the easiest, for me it’s not because I’m extremely anal about how my black and white looks. Even when I convert them I’m not always happy with the conversion, so I’ll so this type of editing. Black and white is not as easy as everyone thinks, especially if you’ve used black and white film and made enlargements from the darkroom.

  2. Mansi says:

    Thanks for the plug, Miss Tina. Truly appreciate it. Also, I suck at black and white photos. This is, indeed, a VERY helpful edition.

    • ashcroft54 says:

      This is where it starts with photography Black & White. When you can see what you can do with B&W, color becomes a whole new world. This is how you learn to find and bring out details, after you do a few B&W edits. Try & do Broonoo Blur Edit, you will see differently & things will start to pop out.

  3. DeeAshley says:

    Excellent post! You’ve done a great job conveying the info with plenty of illustration and explanation, as well as some very awesome apps! All the apps you’ve mentioned are favorites of mine, and I’ve actually learned a lot from this post- my mind is already playing with some ideas you’ve given me. Thanks!!
    Dionne (DeeAshley on instagram)

    • ashcroft54 says:

      Well wait until the next blog, it’s going to be interesting who will do the next thing I blog about. It all came to me the other night. A lot of the people on IG haven’t taken or used a real camera, so what I’ll do is give an assignment to help people see. Then tell them edit your photos anyway you like but make sure you have the theme of the blog itself. It’s going to be a helpful lesson and expand the way you see everyday things.

      I’m hoping that people will do the challenge and read the blog.

  4. DeeAshley says:

    I’ll be checking out the new flickr group too btw.., it will be a little more time consuming, so it’ll probably be a couple days before I can do one of those. Awesome idea though.

  5. Carry says:

    helpful blog Tina, I love doing black and white and you’ve showed me some new things. Thanx!

    • ashcroft54 says:

      Your welcome…it’s like I said if you can make beautiful black & whites. Then color will be a snap !!! A lot of people have trouble making black & white photos, hopeful this will help people understand the basic fundamentals. Then apply it to color & I’ll do a segment with color in the future. I’ll show you how not to blow out your highlights, why they get blown out & how to avoid it. Then show how to get better shadow details.

  6. rtyecript says:

    I really liked the article, and the very cool blog

  7. Pingback: Black And White Photography Tips – 4 Tips For Great Black And White Pictures | adobe photoshops

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