Tonality Pro: Black & White in the digital Age

click on the image and purchase your copy today 
For those of you that follow my work either on this blog or via my website and social media know that I have a deep passion for beautiful black and white images. In the digital age we need the help of special software to create the perfect B/W shots. Macphun is a photography software made for Mac only. They believe this focus ensures the best user experience possible to their customers. 
This post is dedicated to Tonality Pro; a new updated version was just released and I have been creating some pretty cool images. Tonality Pro has presets and unique tools to create striking photos that can quickly become works of art, as well as spark some extra creative mojo into my work (we all need extra bursts of inspiration) -- that's what I found while using Tonality Pro.
So here goes a quick breakdown of my first impressions after a month of expanding my creativity via Tonality Pro:

installing software as a plugin

B&W Conversion with Tonality Pro 

The first images I used are from my personal travel archive: three images full of color, shapes and lines. They are all very graphic and that's exactly why they made such perfect images to convert into Black & White. This set of images allows me to properly see all the mid-tone conversions. 
RAW Image shot on Canon 5D Mark III
B&W Conversion with Tonality Pro

RAW Image shot on Canon 5D Mk III

B&W Conversion with Tonality Pro
Raw detail  aboard the Leao Holandes 
B&W Conversion with Tonality Pro
Another creative image using the built in presets that come with Tonality Pro.

Tonality Pro’s presets give you a variety of ready made black and white conversions. Of course, not all of them will be suitable for your photo, but with over 150 to choose from, you are bound to find at least a few that do good things for your images. If you don’t like using presets, just skip them and move on to the other editing options available.

Tonality Pro has two options  in their presets that really make this a very powerful creative tool. The first is a slider that lets you adjust the strength of the preset. This is useful because the number one problem with presets of any kind is that they can be too strong. Sometimes (most of the time) subtle is better, especially when it comes to post-processing and many presets are far from subtle.
The software will install as a trial version. This needs activating once you have purchased a copy (Save 10% using promo code JOAOMACPHUN10). The software installs as a stand-alone application. To use it as a plugin for other image editing programs, you'll need to install the plugin options. Fortunately, Tonality Pro finds any relevant software and will install as needed. 
I'm using the software within Photoshop, since that's what I often (but not always) use for processing my RAW files, and will then use for further processing before printing.

The next image is from my trip to the Caribbean. You can see all the mobile versions on my Vimeo page. I shot both with a mobile phone and a Dslr but I never got around to editing the images. I figured now is as good a time as any.

The second feature (I’m really excited about this) is that Tonality Pro has layers. With layers, you can apply a preset on a new layer, then create a mask using Brush mode so that the preset is only applied to part of your image.
Take a moment to think about what that means. For example, you could apply one preset to the subject (in this case the man in the photo) on one layer, and another to the background on another layer. It’s got the potential to be very powerful, and it’s something that I haven’t seen in any other plug-in. This allows for huge possibilities in editing, especially with textured layers.  When you add on a new layer and insert a texture via the Texture Overlay panel, you can brush through via masking and only texturize parts of the image, like the background in this image below, using multiple layers and textures to edit the image . 

Raw Image straight from Camera.
When you first up load an image, the native conversion is already quite nice.

My first step is to up load a border. I want the borders done at the start of my editing so the layers blend nicely


By adding some vignette it creates more interest in the image. Another advantage to Tonality Pro is the possibility


Original image of Model Fransico Cipriano from Central Models 

Black and white image processing with masking and layers support. Simpler preset options give easy way into using the software.

Works as a standalone or plugin application.
System requirements:
Mac OS 10.7 and above;
Intel Core 2 Duo, Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, or Xeon processor;
4GB RAM and more;
Plug-in for:
Adobe Photoshop CS5, CS6 or CC;
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4, 5 or later;
Apple Aperture 3.2 or later;
Photoshop Elements 10 - 12 (App Store version is not supported due to Apple Sandboxing)
Other tools:
Advanced Layers functionality
Blend Modes for layers
Ability to use source colour from original image
Higher maximum number of layers: 5 in standard and 8 in Pro
Colour Temperature tool
Place Centre for Vignette
Histogram improvements
Show histogram clippings
Zone System (on histogram)
Zoom navigator window.

Image formats handled: 
  • PSD (Intensify Pro)
  • RAW images 8-bit, 16-bit (Including .NEF for Nikon and .CRW2 for Canon)
  • TIFF 8-bit, 16-bit
  • PNG
  • JPEG
  • Possibility to save progress (.MPI)
  • RGB 8- and 16-bit
  • Proprietary grain engine with over 20 emulated film types

Tonality Pro features works as a plug-in Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements and Apple Aperture
 Toning option is very nice and creates some great colors.