updated 12:00 pm EDT, Thu July 31, 2014
Brings styles, filters, fine controls to RAW, JPEG monochrome pictures
Photo software maker Macphun has unveiled a fourth tool in its suite of image-editing apps, this time creating one aimed at the art of black and white photography, whether the image was originally shot in color or not. Called Tonality, the program works with up to 16-bit RAW images or JPEG files and offers a range of tools that go far beyond simply removing color. In addition to serious tools like adaptive exposure, smart contrast and structure detailing, the program brings various styles and filters into the mix.
A wealth of B&W options
Filters and effects have proven to be popular for color images, but few programs offer much for B&W options apart from a few color filters or "antique" effects. Tonality offers different film stock and grain effects, vintage and grunge filters and many more, with the ability to "stack" looks on top of one another in layers, and control each layer's opacity, blending and even color data. This allows photographers to create savable combinations of imaging controls and effects the can apply anytime or run a picture through a selection of presets that look interesting.
In our testing, we found that a moon shot we took last month actually benefitted greatly from a "architecture" set of controls designed to bring out details. Adding a blue exclusionary filter dramatically changed the emphasis of the pock-marked landscape. In addition to being highly customizable, the edits are entirely non-destructive until an image is exported. None of the images seen in the gallery below are promotional images; they were all made by MacNN in the course of our testing with a preview version of the program.
Supermoon before (L) and after (R)
"For many photographers, crafting dramatic black and white images is their favorite form of creative expression yet presents uniquely difficult and time-consuming challenges," said Paul Muzok, CEO of Macphun. "We designed Tonality to overcome those challenges, and be not only the best app for those passionate about monochrome image making but also appeal to the casual photographer who is exploring the genre."
Tonality retains color data if available
The program is available in two versions. The "consumer" edition is purchased through the Mac App Store or the Macphun store, and costs $25. The "Pro" version, which can act as a plug-in to photography programs such as Aperture, Photoshop, Lightroom, and Photoshop Elements and adds a few more fine-tuning options, retails for $70 and is only available through Macphun directly. It is also now included in the company's Creative Kit, which offers Pro versions of all four of its photo-editing programs for $150. Copies of the program or the Creative Kit on a reusable SD camera card will be available in photography stores and other online retailers next month.
Customizable 'vintage' effects