FX1 Tab Sheet

 

The FX1 tab sheet of Advanced Mode offers options for adjusting the conversion to black and white, simulating polarizer and ND-Grad lens filters, increasing local contrast, simulating the tonal look of famous b&w photos and lab effects as well as adding effects that make the image look aged. Click on the sub tab bar at the top of the tab sheet to switch between different control groups. The arrow-down button displays a menu with various presets that activate the effects on the selected sub tab. So depending on the selected sub tab a different menu is displayed.

In Advanced+ Mode these effects are located in the first section of the Effects combo box.

 

BW

 

The BW effect is for adjusting the b&w conversion process. It offers six methods, which can be chosen from the Type combo box.

The Color Filter method lets you choose a color for doing the b&w conversion. For example, if you choose a red color with the Hue slider, the red areas of the color image will get bright in the b&w image. As Cyan is the complementary color of red the cyan image areas will get dark. All other areas will have gray tones that are in between.

The Standard method converts to b&w by using the luminosity of the color image. The Desaturation method converts to b&w by using the lightness of the color image. It desaturates the color image by removing all colors. Average calculates the average of all color channels and uses it as the b&w image.

The Infrared method tries to recreate b&w photos that were shot with infra-red sensitive film. The Range slider simulates red, yellow and green lens filters that were traditionally used to produce infrared looks.

Split B&W is a unique method for b&w conversion which produces results that are not possible with the other methods of the Convert tab sheet. Its Shadow-Hue and Highlight-Hue sliders let you select individual color filters for the shadows and highlight areas during the b&w conversion. The Threshold slider lets you shift the borders between the shadows and highlights. A medium value of 128 defines shadow and highlight areas of equal width whereas a value of zero suppresses the shadow hue and a value of 255 suppresses highlight hue. The Transition slider adjusts the smoothness between the shadow and highlight areas. A slider value of zero usually creates ugly aliased edges in the image, so it is best to use a higher value for a smooth transition. A value of 255 on the other hand blends the shadow/highlight borders too much and produces a b&w conversion that is very similar to that of the Color Filter method.

Please note: Also try the Brightness and Contrast controls on the Select tab sheet of Advanced mode. For the highest degree of control over the b&w look use both features in combination.

All b&w conversion methods offer Saturation and Lightness sliders. They influence the b&w conversion itself and are based on color differences in the original color image. Slider values above zero usually produce a contrast-richer or brighter result whereas values below zero result in a flatter or darker image. Both sliders allow quite extreme adjustments, so be careful not to overdo it.

 

Polarizer

The Polarizer effect simulates the brightness changes of a polarizer lens filter. Such a lens filter darkens the sky and brightens the foliage in landscape photos. It usually has no influence on skin, but such an effect was nevertheless added as a bonus.

Positive values of the Sky slider darken blue and cyan image areas whereas negative ones lighten them. On the other hand, positive values of the Foliage slider brightens green and yellow image areas whereas negative ones darken them. Positive values of the Skin slider brightens red and orange image areas whereas negative ones darken them. So positive values of the sliders simulate a polarizer lens filter and negative ones produce the contrary effect. The Brightness slider lets you darken or brighten the image. It brightens various image colors differently and keeps gray areas mostly untouched. So it works quite distinct from the Brightness slider on the Tone sub tab of the Main tab sheet.

 

Dynamic Contrast

The Dynamic Contrast effect can produce very dramatic contrast enhancements and make small image details better visible.

The Intensity slider adjust the intensity of the effect. A slider value of zero means no effect and a slider value of 100 applies the effect at full intensity. The Detail slider adjusts the size of the details that are emphasized. Low slider values focus on large details in the image whereas high slider values reveals the contrast in small details. The Shadows, Midtones and Highlights sliders remove the Dynamic Contrast effect from the shadow, midtone and highlight areas of the image.

 

Tonal Look

The Tonal Look effect applies certain tonal distributions to the image. The first five options from Dark to Bright produce generic tonal looks whereas the other items simulate the tonal look of typical photos from famous b&w photographers like Ansel Adams. The Intensity slider controls the strength of the effect. If the effect is quite strong, it can also make the photo appear a bit more antique.

 

Lab FX

 

The Lab FX effect group offers various effects that can be achieved in the traditional photo lab or darkroom. The Intensity slider is available with all Lab methods. It adjusts the intensity of the effect. A value of zero means that no effect will be applied and a value of 100 applies the effect at full strength.

The Lith Film effect imitates the look of lithographic film, which can be adjusted with the Range slider. A value of zero and 255 produce no effect at all, but values in-between create a faded and dried out look.

The Monochrome effect creates b&w looks that do not use the full spectrum of gray values. Its most extreme effect keeps only black and white without any gray tones. You can control the number of gray tones in the shadow and highlight areas with the help of the Shadows and Highlights sliders. Their values indicate the number of gray tones, but you can also see the number of gray tones from the gray Levels label below them. The Threshold slider lets you include some image details and exclude others. It is best to use medium values for it, because low and high values can remove some essential details from the image.

Posterization is another way to reduce the number of gray tones in the image. The more you move the Amount slider to the left, the more gray levels are removed. The number of remaining gray tones can be read from the gray Levels label.

Solarization simulates the effect of a partially developed b&w film. The Amount slider lets you adjust the development time from fully developed to not developed at all. The values in the medium range create the most interesting effects. The Double check box produces a double solarization effect, which looks like solarized negatives of the same scene that were overlayed. If you activate the check box, the Amount slider will be split into an Amount A and an Amount B slider.

The Pseudo-Solarization effect produces more extreme effects that look similar to solarized photos. The Cycle slider lets you vary the effect. The Double check box allows you to produce more complex effects and displays two Cycle sliders.

 

Aging

The Aging effect group lets you add various types of aging signs to your photos: Dust, Vapor, Spots, Stains and Drops. These effects are synthetically created, but look quite natural if you do not use too extreme settings. You can select them from the Type combo box.

The Intensity slider blends the effect into the image and the Size slider controls the size of the particles. The Softness slider blurs either the particles edges or the particle details whereas the Details slider makes the particle edges either more fuzzy or increases their detail resolution. Finally, the Reduction slider either makes the aging particles brighter and darker or reduces or increases the image area that is covered by them.

Clicking the Rand button produces another random effect pattern. The Hard check box makes the aging particles more obtrusive. It can be used to make it look as if particles lie on top of the photo instead of being blended with the photo. The Invert check box inverts the brightness of the aging effect. You can also click on the color box to select the color of the aging particles. By default they are mid gray. The cross tool can be used to position the particles over the image.

 

ND-Grad

    

The ND-Grad effect applies a gradient-shaped brightness and contrast adjustment to the image, which simulates a graduated neutral density lens filter. You can choose between a linear, linear middle and circular gradient from the Gradient combo box. The Linear Middle option applies the brightness and contrast adjustment in the center of the image and fades it out to the top and the bottom. This option can be used to simulate a white or silver reflector that is often used in portrait photography.

The Invert check box makes the gradient cover the parts of the image that it did not cover before. A linear gradient then runs from bottom to top instead of top to bottom and a circular gradient covers the center of the image instead of the corners.

The Intensity slider activates and adjusts the strength of the color gradient. The higher its value, the stronger the color of the gradient.

The Brightness and Contrast sliders define the brightness and contrast adjustment that is applied with the gradient. The Shadows and Highlights sliders remove the gradient from shadows and highlight areas of the image. For example, if you have a photo with a bright sky and dark building, you can increase the value of the Shadows slider to weaken the effect of the brightness and contrast adjustment on the dark buildings.

The Offset slider shrinks or expands the linear gradient effect and moves it towards the top or bottom of the image thus making the gradient effect cover more of the image. If you apply a circular gradient the same slider will be called Size and move the circular gradient towards the corners of the image. The Density slider controls the softness of the gradient edge. A low slider value will produce a hard edge between the unmodified image areas and the gradient and a high value will result in a soft transition. For the circular gradient you have an additional Elliptical slider, which transforms the gradient from a circular to an elliptical one. Finally, the Rotation slider rotates the gradient. It has no effect on circular gradients, only on linear and elliptical ones.

Activate the cross icon and click with it on the preview to relocate the center of the gradient. For more information see the Tools & Reset page.