Apple picked Tonality as an Editor’s Choice because what it does is somewhat unique just south of the expense of owning and using Adobe’s Photoshop. The new Tonality CK, a part of the Creative Kit of photo enhancement apps, does what few Mac photo effects and filter apps do. Professional level black and white.
It’s Not Just No Color
This is the app that famed photographer Ansel Adams would have used on his Mac. Wait a minute. Isn’t it easy to strip color out of a photo and, ipso facto, presto change-o– black and white? Yes. And no. Merely stripping color from a photo doesn’t create the kind of black and white images you get in Tonality CK.
This app can create professional grade black and white images with a few clicks, vs. hours in Photoshop. Tonality CK comes with over 150 one-click presets, multiple layers, native RAW photo file processing, and a set of tools that add filters for luminance, saturation, lens blur, vignette and texture processing to .PSD, TIFF, and .JPG files. Here’s a sample.
Instead of merely removing color from a photo, Tonality gives you special tools to alter the tones, and with multiple layers you get options to blend, so even over exposed and underexposed photos can be turned into a masterpiece of the black and white genre.
Built in to Tonality are tools to recreate authentic film photos, including grain– all adjustable. Clarity and detail and shadows can all be controlled; enhanced, diminished, altered as the photo artist requires.
Tonality’s user interface is not simplistic, however, starting your journey into black and white is easy by using the wide variety of presets to match your photo; and a little experimentation and trial and error is in order. Presets can be customized and saved, then applied to photos in batches, which saves time.
I’m especially impressed with the film effects and lens blur which can add an authentic look from yesteryear to building and landscape. The Tonality CK version appears aimed at Mac users comfortable with Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop, so it comes with plug-in support for both (Apple’s Aperture, too, if you still use it; now discontinued). One option I like in Tonality CK version is the ability to take a source color from the original photo. It has more layers and controls, too, including one-click options like black and white HDR enhancements.
Tonality CK features support for Wacom tablets and other pressure-sensitive brushes so you can blend and adjust opacity in any photo. If you’re just getting into black and white photography, Tonality CK gives you a try-before-you-buy option. And lest you think that black and white is too esoteric for you, the developer has a bunch of video tutorials which let you see not only what can be done, but how to do it.