7 December 2013

Let's talk matte black and white edits

I don't edit that many of my photos but I do play around with black and white filters quite a lot. 
One effect i've noticed that is becoming more popular is the matte effect. 
Don't get me wrong, I really like black and whites with a lot of strong contrast, but I am enjoying playing with these slightly greyer toned photos. 


Unlike ordinary black and white I find that it doesn't work on all photos. 
Photos with strong dark and light already don't work so well with this filter. 
Photos of people tend to work better too. 


I also think it's quite a flattering filter for photos that are imperfect or blurry or have some funky lighting going on. 
I use this effect quite a bit in project life because the photos make a nice background to add words to as the tones are far subtler. 


I am interested to know what you think? On the whole I think I prefer the stronger contrast black and white photos but I do like the greyer tones with this filter. 
Have you seen this effect being used? 
Do you use it or do you prefer not to edit? 


I used an action in photoshop to achieve this effect. You can find it for free here

13 comments:

Fiona@Staring at the Sea said...

I think, on most occasions, I prefer a stronger contrast. However, I can see this would be very useful to camouflage a less than perfectly focussed shot. I took an O Level (showing my age now!) in Photography alongside my A level Art and your pictures remind me of those prints made in the school darkroom.

Gail said...

I think like you that I prefer the stronger contrast but this really looks good too. Thanks so much for the link. I do some editing and it's mainly black & white or the sepia tones.

Barbara Eads said...

I really don't know much about photography---but I can appreciate it when I see it! Great job!

Niina - It seems pretty obvious. said...

I really like this, I think stronger contrast look a bit too "hard" on some photographs. But this is a really soft and nice effect :)

Mel said...

Some gorgeous pics - i like to use a black and white filter when too many colours are clashing!

Sandra said...

My goal next year is to really get to grips with Photoshop and play more with effects than just on Instagram

alexa said...

I am a fan of grey for its softness and delicacy - though sometimes a really strong contrast is great if the subject is simple rather than complex.

alexa said...

PS I meant to say how much I like those monochrome photos!

Louise said...

hmmm...I don't like having to edit photos, i have photoshop and haven't a clue how to use it so when i do try it takes forever and i give up!! Turning a photo to b&w is as far as it goes for me. I do think i prefer the stronger contract too x

Prairie Jill said...

These are beautiful. I tend to use the more dramatic b&ws myself, but I really love the softness of this effect. Must start experimenting with it! Hmm ... I'm just about to start this week's Project Life - maybe a good time to try it. Especially with all the snow on the ground - not much colour there anyway!

Sian said...

I'm with Alexa in being a grey lover! but I do like the stronger contrast, especially if it's for a photo which will end up being reproduced..like a photo on a layout which is itself photographed or published

Sinead said...

I really like black and white photos (and often wonder why I don't change more of my photos to b&w, especially for printing), and this is a lovely variation. I agree that maybe not all photos will work with this effect, but definitely worth a try for a nice change. That last picture of you is so pretty :D xxx

Lizzie said...

B&W can be great on a photo where you have a strong "central figure" (which may not, of course, be central, or a figure as such, but I hope you know what I mean!)... Changing to B&W cah remove the distraction of a busy background and bring the central focus forwards. However, sometimes the strong contrast of "black" and "white" is too much. Then the softened tones-of-grey idea can be lovely. A bit of subtlety and softness.
Love that final shot of you in the garden! X