How to Create Black and White with Tonality Pro

In this article, we talk about how to create Black and White with Tonality Pro.

Hey there! I am happy to see you’re here! Today I am going to show few tips and tricks to make amazing black and white with Tonality Pro. There is a lot to cover and a lot of things you can do with Tonality Pro so let’s get started!

As usual, if you want the RAW files for this tutorial and all my other free presets and goodies; just subscribe to my newsletter here. You can also follow along on my video tutorial for this lesson here.

So I was in Normandie visiting this old village and I really liked the mood of it and I had to take a photo of it. I think that it would look so good in black and white so I am going to show you how to transform this photo with the best plug in for black and white; Tonality Pro.

I am not going to retouch the photo that much in Lightroom but just a little bit.

Step 1. Basic retouch. I bring the highlights to -100 and the shadows to +100 as usual. (You can get a more complete statement on why I do this in almost all my photographs by reading this how to article here.). Next I will increase my whites to +58 and my black to -44. (You can get a more complete statement on why I do this in almost all my photographs by reading this how to article here.):

Step 2. Lens correction. I am just going to enable the profile correction because I like what it fixes on the photo:

Step 3. Import the photo to Tonality Pro. To import the photo in Tonality Pro I am going to right click > edit in > Tonality Pro.

The cool thing is that for people who don’t have Photoshop, it is very convenient because you can create a lot with Tonality Pro. It is a pretty big software and there is a lot you can do so I am not going to show everything but I am just going to show you my workflow.

As we start in Tonality Pro, the photo is already in black and white. As you can see they also have a lot of cool presets:

They even have categories of presets which is really cool:

I am going to try out the dramatic categories and the different presets they have:

300 Bright:


Baby Blues:

Beached warm:

Dramatic dark:

Then I am going to the HDR category and try out some other presets:

HDR classic:

HDR only red:

HDR smooth:

HDR strong:

I don’t really like to use presets that much because I like to know what I am doing but it is just to show you that there is cool effects that you can create easily.

Let me show some more in the category Toning:


Copper & selenium:

Copper strong:

I am going to show you how you can work with presets and how you can use them part of your workflow. But for now let’s come back to the black and white original.

The cool thing about Tonality Pro is that you have layers and local retouch tools.

So first I am going to use the basic retouch sliders on the left; I set the adaptive exposure at -62 and the Clarity at +10 and the Structure at +9:

Then I am going to go to the layer section, you have a layer called 0 and I am going to rename it Basics. And now I click on the + sign to add a new layer. On this layer I am going to work on clarity and structure. I don’t like to add clarity to the entire photo because it gives a grungy look that I don’t like so I am going set the clarity at +22 and the structure at +17 but now I click on the brush so the clarity and structure will not be on the entire photo but on with the brush. And I am going to brush over the house the left and the one on the right in the foreground I just want to add a little bit of details but I don’t want it on the ground or in the background:

If you click on show you can see where you painted:

If you click on fill, it would fill the rest of the mask so the effect would be everywhere. If you click on invert it would invert the mask and give the effect where you didn’t brush. And if I press clear it will erase my brush. It is just to explain the different options you have here.

So now I rename my layer: Clarity. I am done with that layer so next I am going to press the + sign again and create a new layer.

Tonality Pro has a really cool options in the section called Glow, I am going to set it at +27 and that is going to add haze to the photo which is nice but I only want it in the back so I take my brush and I just brush over the background to give this nice hazy mood. I press show to see exactly what I did:

If you did a mistake you can take the eraser and just erase the part you don’t want.

I am happy with those two layers, it gives dimension to the photo. I rename this photo Glow and then I create a new layer.

On this new layer I am going to work with texture. So I go to the section called texture overlay. In there, you have different effects you can do like paper:

They even have different type of paper. And they have a really cool thing where you can load custom texture. I am offering for free if you are following my podcast, some clouds, photos of clouds that I took over the year to replace it on landscapes.

So if you subscribe to my newsletter you can get 4 high definition raw files of clouds that you can use as much as you want.

So out of the four different clouds I am going to try clouds day 2:

It works well, now I have the clouds all over the photo and I am going to click on multiply to make it more intense. I set the amount at 73 to make it dramatic enough but not too crazy. I like this effect everywhere on the photo but not on the way. To erase the effect out of the way, I take the eraser and set the opacity at 22:

Now we have more texture. I am going to rename this layer clouds and I click on the + sign to create a new layer.

I am going to use something you probably already know because it is in Lightroom, the graduated filter, so first I lower the exposure to -50 and then I take the graduated filter and put one on the top of the photo and a second one over the first one to give this vignetting effect that I like:

Then I take another one, I turn it and set it on the bottom of the photo:

I am going to lower this effect and set it at 50% so it is not too crazy. I rename this layer vignetting.

Sometimes I also use their vignetting effect, I am going to set the amount at -54 and the size +37:

We are done with this layer so I create a new one called dodge and burn. You know a good black and white without dodge and burn is not a good black and white.

I am going to boost the exposure to +18 and I like to add a little bit of glow to my dodge and burn, so I set the glow to +9.

So I just brush over the parts of my photo, I want to highlight, for example the way to guide the eyes in the photo, some parts of the houses:

So once I am happy with my dodge and burn, I create a new layer that I name Tint. I am just going to use one their presets, I choose copper strong because it works well with the old village mood.

Check it out, this is the before photo:

And this is the after with all our layers:

Then last but not least I am going to add a new layer called overall (just make sure that the layer “Tint” is on top.) with basic retouch so I am going to use the smart contrast and set it at +31, then I bring the highlight to -49, midtones +47 and the shadows -36:

I am also going to add a paper effect to the photo and select multiply and make sure that the amount is at +25 so it is discrete but still do the trick:

We are done with Tonality Pro so I am going back to lightroom.

Step 4. Remove spots. There is just a little sensor dust that I want to remove with the removal spot tool:

Then you can double process your photo if you want, you can really play around with the different software and create a unique shot.

So here is the before photo:

And this is the after photo, after the retouch of Tonality pro:

I tried different look on the same photo so I am going to show them to you:

And this is another photo:

So here you go, I hope that you liked this article and that you are going to play around with Tonality Pro because it is worth it and you can really create a lot with it.

If you haven’t already, don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter here to get all the RAW files and other free goodies! Thank you for your support and Au revoir!

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