I do not take a one-size fit all approach when editing black and white photographs on my iPhone. I use an app called Snapseed, which can be used to edit both color and black and white images.
Snapseed, which is also available on Android devices, gives me total control when editing my photos, down to the finest details. I edit and tone each image by manually adjusting the different tools the app offers. Whether it’s burning or dodging, which means making a specific area darker or lighter, increasing or decreasing contrast or using the rotate tool to straighten out or tilt the horizon, there are many ways to enhance images to make them more visually appealing.
The app offers many tools, but I stick to most of the traditional ones. I start by cropping my picture and taking all of the color saturation out of the image, rendering it to its purist form of black and white. Then I start making adjustments, both subtle and dramatic, to the contrast, highlights and shadows. Watch the above video to see a step-by-step example of how I adjusted an image.
I have found that there is no perfect science to editing the black and white on the iPhone, so I just go be feel. I enjoy playing with the tools until I get the desired results.
Give it a try. If you post your results on Instagram and tag me, @lloyd1fox, I would be happy to give you some feedback.