DxO PhotoLab

Using DxO FilmPack 5 and DxO OpticsPro 10 to get a well-balanced black and white rendering

by DxO Image Master Mark Schacter

Traveling through the United States taking photographs, I gathered some great material and combined DxO FilmPack and DxO OpticsPro editing tools to produce all of the final images.

Before / After image

This photograph of a cowboy in a steer wrestling competition in Oklahoma was one of my favorites: I wanted to capture the emotion, action, and athleticism of the event.

Original photograph

My first intention was to produce the image in black and white. I felt that the starkness and simplicity of a black and white photograph would be the best way to convey the drama of the struggle between man and beast.

Using DxO FilmPack 5 plug-in, I first adjusted the image composition using the crop tool to heighten the emphasis on the cowboy and steer while leaving enough background to provide context.

I did two separate conversions of the same RAW file to black-and-white .tif files, applying the Agfa APX 25 emulation, with a Cool tone filter at a density of 200.

In the first black-and-white conversion, my objective was to get the right tones for the cowboy’s face and shirt. I used a green filter and set the reds slider of the Channel Mixer to 44:

In the second black-and-white conversion, I focused on getting the look I wanted for the other major elements of the photograph: the “Cowboy” banner in the background, the cloud of dust around the cowboy and the steer, and the dirt in the rodeo ring. To do so, I used a red filter and set the reds slider of the Channel Mixer to -37:

In both cases, I also made lighting adjustments using DxO Smart Lighting on Strong mode, slightly compensating the exposure manually. I reduced the HighlightsShadows and Blacks and increased the Midtones using the Selective Tone palette, and used the Contrast palette to slightly reduce the fine contrasts in the image with the dedicated slider.

Final Edited image

To learn more about DxO OpticsPro and DxO FilmPack, we invite you to register for DxO free webinars and to consult the tutorials available on the DxO Academy, as well as the dedicated products presentation pages.

Photos credits : Mark Schacter