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Intensify Black and White Photo’s in Camera Raw

Camera Raw is normally used only to tidy up photograph’s, whereas major editing work would be done later in Photoshop if required. This tutorial shows you how you can still achieve impressive results in a very short amount of time using the power of Camera Raw alone.
Open Bridge to browse your photo’s.
Right click on the thumbnail of your chosen image, then select Open in Camera Raw.
The adjustments we want to make are controlled in the panel on the right of the screen.
First off we will desaturate our photo.
Choose the fourth tab to view the grayscale options.
All we need to do now is tick the Convert to Grayscale box.
With the image now grayscaled, the next step will be to sharpen the image.
In order to see the effect of the sharpening process clearly, it is recommended that you zoom in to 100%.
You can do this by using the box at the bottom left of your photo.
Click on the sharpening tab, and first choose the amount that you want to sharpen the image.
Set it to at least 25 for now, you can always increase it later if necessary.
We will keep the radius fairly low because we want to emphasize the small details on the butterfly’s body, and wings.
To see more clearly the effect this is having, hold down the alt key as you adjust the slider to see the sharpening effect isolated.
Again, because we are concentrating on sharpening the finer details of this image, the detail slider must be adjusted with this in mind.
Taking the slider up to 50 is fine for this kind of sharpening, but if we were sharpening something like a portrait we wouldn’t take it quite as high.
The masking slider lets you control how much you want the sharpening effect to affect your image as a whole.
When the slider is at a low setting the sharpening effect will cover the entire image. But as you bring the slider up, areas of the image that are less detailed will be masked out, leaving only hard edges and details affected.
Again, if you hold down alt when you are moving the slider, you will see what will be unaffected (black areas) and affected (white).
Zoomed in at 100% you can see how your image has been sharpened.
Notice how the tiny details on the butterflies wings have been sharpened, but larger areas like the background remain smooth.
Next we will adjust the tone of the image, starting with the exposure.
The tone sliders are found in the first tab.
If you hold down the alt key while moving the Exposure slider you will see areas that are beginning to clip shown as white.
So if these white areas begin to appear, you are basically over-exposing your image in those parts.
Next we will strengthen the darker areas of the image.
The Blacks slider lets you expand the black areas of your image
If you hold down the alt key the black areas will be isolated, so that you can clearly see the effect.
Now, any detail lost in the last few steps can be brought back using the Recovery/Fill Light sliders.
The Recovery slider will recover any detail lost when raising the exposure.
And the Fill Light slider will return detail to any dark/shadow areas.
The only other slider I would use for this image is the contrast slider, which we will use to give an added boost.
Lastly we will go to the effects panel and add some noise to the photo, and a vignette.
In the Grain section the amount, size, and roughness of the grain can be adjusted.
To add a vignette, drag the amount slider to the left.
Choose Highlight Priority to decrease the effect the vignette has on lighter parts of the image.
With your adjustments complete you can now click Open Image to view your image in Photoshop, where you can save it.
However if you want to apply these settings to other similar photos, you can do so easily…
First click Done to return to Bridge with those settings saved to that particular photo.
Then select the other photo’s that you would like to apply these settings to, as well as the one you have just edited.
Right click to open in Camera Raw.
Once in Camera Raw make sure the photo with the settings already applied is selected, then click Select All.
Next click Synchronize to bring up a box where you can choose which settings to apply.
All the settings necessary should already be ticked as shown above, so just click Ok.
Now these effects are applied to each photo.
You can select photo’s individually to further adjust these settings if necessary.
So give Camera Raw a go, you’ll be surprised at the results you can achieve.
Bye for now!