In order to provide a complete, all-in-one black and white conversion solution, Silver Efex Pro 2 contains a large range of finishing options that can be used to polish the image.
The tools found in the Global Adjustments section are used to adjust the tonality and detail of the image. The Brightness, Dynamic Brightness, Contrast, and Structure sliders are all used to build up detail and tonality in order to create an interesting interaction of contrast and brightness.
Normally one of the first finishing adjustments applied to an image is a tint or toner. The third Sepia Tone option is selected from the Toning preset pull-down menu.
Next, the Balance slider, which controls which brightness levels receive toning, is moved all the way to the left. This ensures that only the dark values receive a sepia tone. Then, the Paper Toning slider is brought to 0% to ensure that the paper stays white. Finally, the Strength slider is brought down slightly to achieve the desired effect.
The edges of the image are darkened to keep the viewer’s attention within the center of the image. This is a technique often employed in the darkroom to prevent a viewer’s eye from going to a bright edge and then exiting the image. Darkening the edges creates boundaries that can help keep a viewer’s attention for a longer period of time.
Both the Vignette and Burn Edges tools are used to achieve this result. First, the Vignette preset for Lens Falloff 2 is selected. Then, the Shape slider within the Vignette section is move to the right, creating a slightly more ovoid shape for the vignette. This assures some of the vignette effect is applied to the long sides of the image.
Next, the Burn Edges section is opened, the left edge is selected, and the Strength, Size, and Transition sliders are all adjusted. This ensures that the tonality of all four edges matches and complements the image.
Finally, Image Borders are added to the image. Image Border Type 11 is selected from the Type pull-down menu, and the Size, Spread, and Clean/Rough sliders are all moved to the left. The Vary Border button is selected a number of times until the border created works well with the image.
Image by LoboStudio Hamburg on Unsplash