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I do not process many black and white photographs, I do however take pictures where there are few if any colors and where the composition depends on light, shadow, tone and contrast and not color alone for impact.
I thought this would be a good time to talk some more about post processing based on some comments I have had.
In camera I try to ensure that the raw photographs have a good mix of highlights, shadows and mid-tones, and that as little as possible is blown out. To this degree the histogram is helpful, as the highlight advisory on the back screen of the camera.
I use Lightroom 5 spot removal tool to remove any dust bunnies that appear in the file and I crop the image. I can see if there are any adjustments needed to exposure or white balance. I use the “remove chromatic aberration” function in the lens correction tool as well as the lens correction for the specific lens used in the photograph. I also look to see if the camera calibration (the color presets) need tweaking).
I use Photoshop CC (expensive but impressive) for more serious editing and as a platform for some other software, for example, (Nik Dfine 2.) to remove noise.
It is at this point that in Photoshop CC any corrections, removals, spot healing etc. is done. I then return the file to Lightroom for carefully masked sharpening (the file will also be sharpened by Lightroom on export). If at any point the file falls apart and looks the worse for processing, and it happens, I abandon my process and turn to another file.
I have experimented with HDR, and I have some of the Topaz applications, so I have a fairly robust post-processing suite. My computer is calibrated with Integrated Color’s Coloreyes Pro, which makes a world of difference in color management.
I realize that not everyone likes post-processing and we would all prefer out of the camera solutions, however what I do is limited and retains the realism of my photography while ensuring a clean result that takes full advantage of the original capture.