Topaz B&W Effects is often referred to as “black, white and beyond” as it offers many filters that go beyond black and white conversion (Cyanotype, Opalotype and Albumen to name a few of the collections that contain presets outside of the typical grayscale black and white realm).

Photographer and Topaz user Robyn Aber has portrayed this with a single shot of an escalator captured in the Seattle Central Library.  “The Central library has ‘poison’ yellow neon glowing escalators – as you can see in the before shot. They looked very Pop Art-ish to me,” describes Aber. Several derivations were conducted with the original shot shown below from the application of the Topaz B&W Effects collections and filters.

Original image:


Before bringing the image into B&W Effects, Topaz Clarity was used to boost contrast and saturation. The boost in the two dimensions helps when converting color images to black and white. Aber recommends to either do this in the raw conversion or in Clarity before turning the image into black and white.

Shown below are several variations using B&W Effects with a few other tools such as the fog feature in Lens Effects. It can also be noted that the black and white processed image was sometimes brought back into Ps with a blending mode used or reduced opacity applied. “My goal was to not produce the one perfect look, but to show there’s a lot of flexibility regarding what can be done inside of B&W Effects to give an given image different personalities,” explains Aber.

Image 1

 1) Topaz B&W Effects-> Stylized Collection -> Infrared Platinum filter (Apply)->VanDyke Brown Collection -> Wenge Dynamic filter (Apply) 

2) LensFx -> applied Fog and Vignette

cRobynAber2013_SeattleCentralLibraryEscalator_BWFx-IRPlatinumVanDykeLensFxFogVignette-resizedImage 2

1) Topaz B&W Effects-> Stylized Collection -> Dynamic Grunge filter (Apply) -> Added Diffusion in finishing touches

2) Photoshop -> blending mode set to ‘Luminosity’

cRobynAber2013_SeattleCentralLibraryEscalator_BWFx-CreativeDynGrungeDiffusionLuminosBlendMod-resizedImage 3

1) Topaz B&W Effects-> Opalotype Collection -> Milk Memories

cRobynAber2013_SeattleCentralLibraryEscalator_BWFx-OpalotypeMilkMemories-resizedImage 4

1) Topaz B&W Effects -> Traditional Collection-> Classic filter 

cRobynAber2013_SeattleCentralLibraryEscalator_BWFx-TradClassic-resizedTopaz B&W Effects is on sale for $29.99 until November 21st with the coupon code: “NOVBW”. Version 2.1 of B&W Effects was released in spring of 2013, so if you are running BW Effects 2 or a prior version, then this is a free upgrade. See our knowledge base article for additional information.

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