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DPChallenge Forums >> Tips, Tricks, and Q&A >> black white conversion
Showing posts 1 - 9 of 9, (reverse)
09/15/2007 07:55:14 PM · #1
I would like to know the best way to do b/w conversion. I have seen some really nice b/w photos, and when I try to do it, it seems like its lacking the pop that I see in other b/w photos. If you guys need examples, the I'll be more than happy to post some. Also, if you dont mind could you post yourself or a link explaining in detail how to do the method you like.
09/15/2007 08:03:45 PM · #2
Here is a copy of my black and white conversions.....

Photoshop -
Shadow & Highlights
Reduce Noise
Unsharp Mask
I now add color re hue & saturation,
and if necessary, do a little burning.
I also do any cloning at this stage, re marks spots or blemishes.
At this stage I brighten by 5%
Add thin border and re-size and save this color version for web

I now convert the color version to Black and White.
75 to 80 % of all my Black & White is done re "Gradient Map".
The other 10 to 15 % would be done re Greyscale.
Go to Image - Adjustments - Gradient Map, and then choose Black and White.
I now touch up with some more burning & dodgeing if necessary.

I then save this Gradient Map, black & white version for web.

I sometimes then convert to Greyscale, and then Duotone to get sepia or bluetone.

I hope this helps.

Message edited by author 2007-09-15 20:09:49.
09/15/2007 08:09:12 PM · #3
Check out optikVerve Labs' Virtual Photographer plugin. Gives you several options for different B&W conversions.
09/15/2007 09:06:27 PM · #4
I find the choice of method is entirely dependant on the nature of the image.
09/15/2007 09:11:11 PM · #5

Originally posted by routerguy666:

I find the choice of method is entirely dependant on the nature of the image.

What he said, plus, I find the simple desaturation never acceptable.
09/15/2007 09:36:47 PM · #6
I use four basic methods to obtain a B&W/Grayscale image. I almost always make an additional Curves adjustment and/or sharpening after the conversion to grayscale, regardless of conversion method.

1. Mode change, RGB > Grayscale
Entry: Resized original:

2. Channel Mixer adjustment layer in Monochrome mode, with or without adjustment of individual channels
Entry: Resized original:

3. Select the Green Channel data and copy/paste it onto a new grayscale document. Since most sensors have twice as many Green photo-receptors as Red or Blue, the Green Channel usually the contains smoothest image data.
Entry: Resized original:

I will instead copy the Blue Channel data if I want to emphasize the noise/grain in the image.
Entry: Resized original:

4. Shoot a B&W subject. ;-)
(this image has not undergone any color conversion)
Entry: Resized original:
09/17/2007 05:46:08 AM · #7
I found this technique somewhere on the net. Sorry but i can't remember the Url. You can convert a color photo to B/W and achieve results similar to specific B/W films.

Agfa 200X - 18,41,41
Agfapan 25 - 25,39,36
Agfapan 100 - 21,40,39
Agfapan 400 - 20,41,39
Ilford Delta 100 - 21,42,37
Ilford Delta 400 - 22,42,36
Ilford Delta 400 Pro & 3200 - 31,36,33
Ilford FP4 - 28,41,31
Ilford HP5 - 23,37,40
Ilford Pan F - 33,36,31
Ilford SFX - 36,31,33
Ilford XP2 Super - 21,42,37
Kodak Tmax 100 - 24,37,39
Kodak Tmax 400 - 27,36,37
Kodak Tri-X - 25,35,40

Numbers following the film name are R,G,B values for channel mixer.
(Layer / New Adjustment Layer / Channel Mixer)

Thought might be helpful.
09/17/2007 06:41:57 AM · #8
I now use the black & white adjustment layer found in CS3. It's similar to the channel mixer in CS2. Typically, I'll use several together masking different parts of the photo so the conversion emphasizes exactly what I want.
09/19/2007 10:33:23 AM · #9
Im a bit late for this one.

A great method of producing b/w shots is by downloading the draganizer action from atncentral. They have one especially for b/w conversion which works fantastically with some shots, as this will hopefully testify:


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