Lightroom Presets and Brushes Convert Images to B&W

Adobe has a color-to-black-and-white conversion feature in Photoshop and Lightroom but recently, there's been a growing number of third-party conversion plug-ins. Now, enter BlackMagic from PSKiss with a different approach: It's a set of more than 50 distinctly different, black-and-white Lightroom presets and brushes to convert color files to black and white. It's simple, efficient, and smart. Instead of learning yet another plug-in's interface, you stay in Lightroom, select a BlackMagic preset, and take advantage of the familiar image-editing tools in Lightroom to tweak your image.

While BlackMagic includes presets for specific special effects, such as toning, solarization, high-key, grain, and more, the emphasis is to use the presets to achieve black-and-white images with the widest tonal range, smooth gradients, and good tonal separation. PSKiss has a good tutorial on their website, showing their process on how to get the most out of your images. The presets are organized for a progressive workflow. First, convert your image using one of the presets categories, such as Creative B&W or Wide Range Grayscales. Then, using the Additional category presets, you can make progressive, incremental, tonal adjustments, such as adding contrast, brightness, opening up shadows, or recovering highlights. To add another dimension to your image, you can then add a toner—sepia, selenium, or my favorite, albumin.

As my images evolved during testing, I used Lightroom to make snapshots of possible options, and BlackMagic includes a Zero preset to let you revert to your original color image at any time. The interplay between BlackMagic and Lightroom works well. With one click, BlackMagic gives you a creative start that's worth looking into.

Company: PSKiss
Price: $29.90
Rating: 5
Hot:  Presets can be combined; inexpensive