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Case Study: Conversions to Black & White

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wattsbw2004 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote wattsbw2004 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 May 2008 at 22:15
What about using the calculations technique that Scott Kelby talks about in his Photoshop CS3 for photographers book. Thas also one worth mentioning because it creates some dramatic B&W images.
 



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Micholand View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Micholand Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 May 2008 at 18:11
Originally posted by wattsbw2004 wattsbw2004 wrote:

What about using the calculations technique that Scott Kelby talks about in his Photoshop CS3 for photographers book. Thas also one worth mentioning because it creates some dramatic B&W images.
Many thanks for pointing this out!
You're absolutely right, besides the described "basic" ways there is another special method to convert a colour photo to black and white which is using "Calculations" in Photoshop. It's quite similar to the channel mixer, but it does have it's own individual style of desaturating things. I disregarded it though as it's somehow an advanced method and also Photoshop specific, but it's certainly worth mentioning.


In short:

The Calculations Method allows you to combine two colour channels of your image into a black and white image. The Calculations dialogue lets you choose which channels to combine - the red, green, blue and grey channel - and how to combine these two by the use of different blending modes and amount of opacity.

There isn't a lot of "how-to" information about using Calculations, however I was happy to find this very good online tutorial "The Calculations Method - Photoshop Tutorials" that walks through the process in detail and with good explanation.

Edited by Micholand - 18 May 2008 at 18:13
/Michael

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Micholand View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Micholand Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 September 2008 at 19:45
Seems as the Calculations tutorial posted above is meanwhile down

But I recently found another one


Edited by Micholand - 30 May 2013 at 08:16
/Michael

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Post Options Post Options   Quote alpha_in_exile Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 September 2008 at 02:38
GIMP users will find this tutorial useful, though the menus of the current GIMP version have changed slightly from those of the version that was out when the tutorial was written.

Specifically, all of the functions were moved from the "Image" menu to the "Colors" menu.

The linked tutorial covers greyscale conversion, desaturation, decomposing, and channel mixing.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote romke Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 November 2010 at 17:15
Those who use Lr could perhaps find the following useful.

If having a color image open either in "Library" or in "Development" pressing the "V" key on the keyboard toggles between color and B&W. it thus gives a immediate view of what it could look like. the image is rendered in the basic B&W treatment, so it may need (quite) a bit of adjustment, but it is a easy way to screen a number of images fast on their suitability for conversion to B&W.

When converting color images to B&W in Lr there are various ways to do it. The most attractive way is to go to the "Color Adjustments Panel" and then reduce the saturation to -100 for all the 8 channels/colors. That is a bit of work, but it can be set to a preset

The nice thing about using the "Color Adjustment Panel" to reduce the saturation (in comparison to doing it in the "basic" panel) is that all the color adjustment possibilities still are available. You thus can for example change the luminance of individual colors to change the look of the image dramatically. this gives you far more control over the end result then other methods in Lr.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote EddyH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 November 2010 at 18:03
Nice post! I work in the printing industry and I know that people are struggling with B/W conversions...

But myself, I'm a bit lazy... I process my RAW-files with DxO, including DxO Filmpack, which is really great to similate the appearance of good old B/W films (21 of them, plus all kinds of tonings, with or without similation of grain). In the old days I really liked the Kodak Tri-X, developped in Rodinal. Now I can simulate it (more or less) with DxO.

Of course there are also other tools, which will simulate the properties of old B/W films. If you like B/W they're really worth while to test.
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