November 16, 2022

I’m going to show how to make sure your black and white is perfect!

I can demonstrate that the Black and White Photoshop style gives you more nuance while the RAW style of LR and C1 gives you more speed. So how do you decide?

“Gavin should I use, Silver presets, or BlackRoom actions?” customer ask in relation to the presets and actions I make. But this answer applies to however you edit. Let’s start with basics in this video.

Lightroom VS Photoshop for Black and White…

Don’t forget to grab the Silver 5 free sampler presets to try this yourself. Also you cab get BlackRoom and Emulsion here for more advanced PS edits.

Lets see more examples then……

PRESETS” I always start with presets and Styles in Capture One such as Silver or Filmist. These are recipes that combine many settings to instantly create an edit in LR, RAW, etc. Presets can be used from Photoshop from within the Camera RAW filter (see this video on my channel)

This edited just fine in RAW. But by going into Photoshop and useing BlackRoom actions I was able to refine it that much more.

Actions in Photoshop are like mini apps that run in PS. Commands that are run with one click. I create actions like BlackRoom, Lumist, and others. They use the native tools of Photoshop without PlugIns and can create in 30 seconds which would take me an hour to do manually. Giving me layers and effects to mix as I want, but without the manual labor. Lightroom can’t use actions.

Look at this edit in LR vs Photoshop…

Actions make advanced edits in Photoshop much faster. Often people have Photoshop and take a file from Lightroom only to find they don’t know how to make it any better. But with time, or with actions that make atmospheric edits natural, Photoshop is easy and will always give you more tools.

This first photo is only a Lightroom edited using my Silver presets and some easy manual tweaks.


Next is the same shot editing in Lightroom buy then taking into Photshop where I used layers and BlackRoom actions. At a glance they may not seem that better. But if you look close see se much more control in specific tonal ranges, details and more. When you make a print, these details matter.

LR RAW + Photoshop Layers and BlackRoom Actions

Yes these are subtle things. But for serious black and white shooters, they change a lot of things.

Don’t edit ONLY in PS thinking it’s better. You will experiment less because it takes longer. Often making you less creative. Start with that basic RAW edit and go to Photoshop when you are ready for more by restoring the color channels while leaving your RAW tone edits in place. In my Silver pack this can be done with the included mod preset.

LR or C1 is the starting point because its sliders, channels, and fast shadow control helps you create. Photoshop will give you more advanced and refined edits that you save right back into your photo library. If I use BlackRoom actions, the Photoshop part is fast with more detailed layer style controls that I don’t have in Lightroom.

So Lightroom VS Capture One for black and white?

There’s always more choices and while I make tools for LR and C1 users, you need to decide how that fits in. Those are both RAW apps and neither replace Photoshop or even other pixel editors like Affinity. So in this second video lets’ compare the apps LR and C1 in relation to Photoshop.

Photoshop is for when you’re serious!

You can almost think of Lightroom and Capture One as black-and-white film choices back in the day. It’s how you start. Then Photoshop is your Darkroom where you us native tools and layer mixes to make your image Ansel Adams-level perfect.

On a small screen, you may not see much difference. As a photographer who wants gallery quality, it’s a big difference. Black and white photographers who want the best do the final work in a layer-based editor like Photoshop. But I use a RAW editor for 90% of the photos. Having well-planned presets/styles, and actions is a must to expand creativity. Even if you make your own!

All of this matters. Even if you only use Photoshop in 5% of your photos, that 5% will be your best work. Think overlook how much those images can improve.

I hope you find this helpful in your Lightroom vs Black and White Photoshop questions. It’s really not a dilemma. Both are good! If it’s still confusing, let me know in the comments and I’ll try and address it in future videos on my channel.

Gavin Seim

Here we have a good Lightroom edit made quickly using Silver presets. One or two clicks and little adjusting are needed.
The final photo, taken further in Photoshop. I used BlackRoom actions to make it fast. It’s the control over details and atmosphere. On a small screen, you may not see the difference. But on my best photos going to print, the black and white Photoshop edit is more refined.
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September 16, 2022

I’ve been thinking for a while about how to make today’s video. People keep asking me for an overview of my tools but I’ve wanted a way to make that video useful, even for those who don’t have any of my tools or who just use my free tools.

What is Native editing?

This is when you use the tools already in your app like Lightroom instead of plugins. It can mean presets, actions, or all manual. And usually, it’s better because it uses all the engineering built into your favorite app.

Today I’ll show you why native editing in Lightroom, Capture One, Photoshop, and the rest is usually better than a plug-in and how to decide what kind of edit to do.

But I’m also going to show when you need to go beyond LIghtroom and a RAW edit and go to Photoshop.

There’s a lot of confusion on this and I get questions all the time about what native tool to use, why Silver 4 presets or when to Use Blackroom, Filmist, Lumist etc.

So Why do you need Photoshop?

I’m covering this more in the video. But where LIghtroom and apps like it are RAW converters. They are fast, you can copy and paste settings. You can batch edit. That’s great

You really can’t do that in Photoshop. Actions speed things up rapidly, but you can’t just apply settings from one photo to another or import a batch and edit on import. The difference is that in Photoshop you can do high-level refinement on your best photos. The keep is knowing how to use your RAW converter and your pixel level; editor like I show in the video.

There are a lot of ways to achieve your goal in photography.

I think the best way to get there is to know your options and most importantly to start making your editing plan. You need a system in place that guides you thru your own process each time.

I hope you found today’s video useful because I want this editing approach to make sense. If you have feedback just leave me a comment and I’ll see you next time.

Gavin Seim

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