monochrome Picture Control

I used Silver Efex Pro 2, a plug-in made by Nik software for Photoshop and Lightroom, to convert this image to black and white. With this software I can create images impossible to replicate using the monochrome Picture Control. Monochrome Picture Control filters In the monochrome Picture Control, the colour tone and colour saturation settings are redundant and have been replaced by filter and toning effects. Learn more at and

Those of you familiar with black and white film photography will probably know what these parameters are for, but if you are not then it won’t make sense straight away. The two handiest settings are contrast and filter effect. Contrast is useful because black and white images created using the monochrome Picture Control often come out a little flat. You can compensate for that by increasing contrast. The filter effect helps you control the way the camera converts colours to black and white. The red filter effect, for example, darkens blue skies. It is a useful filter for taking landscape photos. The orange filter does the same, but the effect is not so strong. The yellow filter is useful for portraits. It lightens most skin tones. The orange filter does the same, only more strongly. The red filter is stronger and may be too much. You can use toning effect to create a colour tone such as sepia or blue. In general, it’s a good idea not to touch the toning parameter as the effect is too strong. Toning is most effective when it is subtle. The photos below shows the effects I can create on my Canon cameras. You will be able to do the same with yours, you may even have more flexibility than I do. Check your camera’s manual for full details. Landscape Picture Style Monochrome Picture Style (contrast 0, filter effect: none) Monochrome Picture Style (contrast +3, filter effect: none) Monochrome Picture Style (contrast +3, filter effect: red) Alternatives to Picture Control With so many ways of processing images available these days, you would be wise to wonder how relevant the Picture Control setting is. If you use the JPEG format and don’t intend to do any post-processing, then setting the right Picture Control is very important. You need to get it right or the photos won’t be as good as they could be. If you go on to process the images in Photoshop, you still need to select the most appropriate Picture Control. The closer you can get to the result you want to obtain in- camera, the easier it is to process in Photoshop. If you use the Raw format, then the Picture Control selected in-camera is irrelevant because you can set it in the software you use to process the file. Lightroom Lightroom is used by many photographers to process Raw files. When you process the file, you start by setting the Picture Control that best suits the image. Then you process the image in Lightroom to create the look you want. The Picture Control is used as a starting point, but nothing more. Another way to process files in Lightroom is to use presets. These are settings that you can apply to your photos. Learn more at