A while back I released some presets that simulated one of my favorite effects in Photoshop plug-ins – the Tonal Contrast effect. onOne Software’s Perfect Effects has it, and Nik has it as well. But I know that lots of people still don’t use 3rd party plug-ins, so I set out to recreate the effect in Lightroom. Well, as with many of the presets, I find that sometimes a black and white version always works out well too. So that’s what I have for you today. Black and White Tonal Contrast presets. There’s actually 3 of them (Light, Medium, Strong) for various levels of the effect.
Also, don’t forget that there’s definitely something in the “special sauce” that the plug-in companies use. So if you have the plug-ins (or are thinking of getting one), I’d still use them. Given the choice, I’d use the Perfect Effects Tonal Contrast effect before I’d ever use the one that I have here. But for those that don’t, this is a great alternative to help get that gritty/edgy/contrasty look right in Lightroom.
NOTE: I’m going to put my usual HDR disclaimer here too, because I find that tonal contrast effects have a similar HDR-ish feel to them. So, here goes: If HDR (or tonal contrast) is the kind of thing that incites anger and criticism from you, then these presets aren’t for you. Don’t download, don’t try them out and don’t leave a negative comment on how HDR (or tonal contrast) is bastardizing photography and how everyone that uses it is a horrible person 😉
Here’s a few samples. You really have to try the presets out though, since they don’t show up as well when the images are small.
- The preset downloads for Lightroom 4 are below (I made them for LR4. You can try them in LR3 but they’re tuned for LR4 specifically):
- Click here to download the Lightroom Black and White Tonal Contrast Effect Presets.
- And here’s a link to a video on how to install and organize Lightroom presets if you don’t know how.
Hope you enjoy. Have a good one!