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Photoshop plug-ins for retouching
Black definition

The Black definition controls

The three sliders are arranged in two groups. The first "Black content" will add or subtract black from the image. The next two define which areas of the photo are to be changed.

Quick introduction

This Photoshop plug-in lets you control black in an image as if it were a separate colorchannel, just like red, green and blue, or cyan, magenta and yellow. This is the Black Definition plugin’s control panel. Click on the image for a larger view. It works with the following image modes: 8 & 16 bit/channel: RGB, CMYK, Greyscale, Duotone, Lab.

Black content

This slider lets you adjust the black content of colors as if black were a separate color channel - like red, green, blue. The effect of the adjustment can be fine tuned by the two Include sliders or by the Retouch Levels sliders.

Of greys

This slider determines how much the plug-in will change the black content of grayish and unsaturated colors.

Of colors

This slider determines how much the plug-in will change the black content of more saturated colors. This control is not available in grayscale image mode.

Retouch levels

Retouch levels lets you control how strong the retouching should be in the highlights, lights, midtones, darks and blacks. If you check either of the alerts, the preview will mask areas that are pure black or pure white. You can change the color of the mask by clicking in the yellow rectangle.

Graduated effect

These controls are common for many of the Power Retouch plug-ins. Using graduated effect will cause the filter to apply it's filtering at full strength in one side of the image and then fade the effect out towards the other side. You can change direction by right clicking the preview. Midpoint will shift the balance between how large an area will be filtered at full strength and how much will have a faded out effect. Contrast will change the accelleration and spread of the fade-out.
Photographic mode is unique to Power Retouch. It integrates the changes into the original in such a  manner as would be seen in nature bu taking into account how light and colour are related in nature. In this example we applied a graduated effect towards the lower right corner. This removes the flat light in the original and enhances the romantic impression of the sunset.


These controls are also common to most of the Power Retouch plug-ins. If you use the brightness range, only areas brighter than "From" and darker than "To" will be changed. If you use Color-range, then only colors to the right of the "From" slider and to the left of the "Up to" slider will be changed. This also counts if you place the "From" slider to the right of the "Up to" slider. In this way any selection is possible. You can also use both controls to edit a specific color range of a certain brightness, like only the bright blue sky, for example. Mask unchanged will apply the color of the mask to areas outside of the selected ranges. This helps set the range sliders.

Histogram, Anti-posterization and Colorvalues

These controls are common to most of the Power Retouch plug-ins. The displayed histogram will be for the area in the preview. You can choose between individual colorchannels, all colorchannels or luminance. Anti-posterization should be set as low as possible. In most cases leave it off (at 0). The colorpicker allows you to pick a point (pixel) in the preview and get some interesting data about it. The d-values tell how much the pixel is changed in percent. L tells the luminance value (brightness) of the pixel.


By controlling the black content of the various levels, you can easily correct dull photos.
Removed black from lights. Added black to darks. Notice that though black is removed saturation is unchanged.
There is also a cold color cast. To correct this we ran the filtered photo through our White Balance Corrector on Auto-Lights.


Nothing is more subjective than the mood one wants in a picture. Here there are no rights or wrongs. The original image below is perfect as it is, but so are the two edited versions. One big step towards controling mood is to be able to control black.
Black enhanced
Used graduated effect to remove black from the foreground only

B/W images and greyscale images

The plugin can be used with Black & White RGB images as well as Greyscale-mode images. Be aware that if you filter a Black & White RGB image, the slider Color will still be available, but will have no effect. If the image-mode is grayscale, then the Color slider will be disabled.
Original image in greyscale mode
Filtered with the plug-in: Gray Include: 100. Adjust Blacks: 100. Highlights & Lights: -100. Graduated Effect: Photographic Mode. targeted at the lower left in order to keep the upper right side brighter than the upper left. Histogram: no anti-posterization needed.
Photoshops Autolevels. Notice the lack of variation in the background and the uniform dead black at the top. Histogram: heavy posterization.