B&W Conversion


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photobum

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#2
As above, anybody care to show the techniques and tips to produce a B&W image using Photoshop CS2. Thanks :D
There are several methods; from simple to complex. Each yields different look and mood. Which level (beginner or advanced) do you wish to learn?
 

photobum

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#4
Would love to have it simple yet comprehensive... how about beginner's for a start? Thanks :)
If you are using CS2, try using Channel Mixer with the monochrome box checked. Vice versa, you could use Gradient Map in the Layer option.;)

If you have Adobe Lightroom. This software produces excellent B&W imagines (better than CS2, but similar to CS3 in my opinion).
 

photobum

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hmm.. i hope i'm not asking too much, but is there a step by step procedure how to go about executing the steps? Thank you very much..
There is no much step-by-step procedure I can share with you. It all depends on the kind of mood you want to ingrain into your imagines.


Fujifilm S5 Pro + Carl Zeiss 50mm f1.4 ZF, 1/400 @ f4
(Image #1) Shot in color RAW and converted to B&W in Adobe Lightroom


(Image #2) Shot in color RAW, processed with ACR, and converted to B&W in CS3 using Channel Mixer.

As you can see, both methods produce very different looks on the same image. Compare wooden decks and the ripples in the water you will understand what I meant. Both images were processed without burning or dodging.

For darkroom terminology: The first image looks like it is printed on a Grade 3 paper (with selective burning and dodging), while the second image looks like it is printed on a Grade 2 paper.
 

ozora

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Simple steps!
Here u go:

a. Goto the menu bar and click on "Image" -> "Adjustments" -> "Hue/Saturation"
b. U will get a dialog box. Drag the "Saturation" slider all the way to the right
c. There u get ur B&W photo

Note: this step will change ur image directly and does not allow changes later on.

To be able to make changes later, go to the Layer's palate, click on the adjustment layer icon and click on Hue/Saturation. In this way, u can create a new layer of B&W which u can change it later or hide to see the different effect.

;)
 

Dream Merchant

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#8
Snapperz,

As part of my attempt to give back to the very generous individuals here in CS that have helped me selflessly in the past, here's my humble (read: amature and non-expert) attempt to assist. PS/CS experts, please fell free to correct my amature attempt to explain the steps in a simplified manner if you see mistakes or ways to help TS achieve great B&W conversions with the least confusion. ;)


All methods, open the colour file you want to convert.

GTP means 'Go to Top of the Page' where you'll find the list of menus entries like File, Edit, Image, Layer etc. It should be at the top of your page. I'm using the full PhotoShop suit so it might be placed differently than in CS, but the main sections should be the same

I use > to mean click, or go to next.


Method #1 - The laziest, fastest, simplest and probably the least satisfying results, but adequete for non-critical usage.

Open File GTP>IMAGE>MODE>GREYSCALE. TA-DAA! B&W Image.




Method #2 - Channel Mixer. Fairly easy and straightforward to use. Lots of leeway in range of controls.

Open file GTP>IMAGE>ADJUSTMENTS>CHANNEL MIXER>MONOCHROME box at bottom>Adjust each channle as desired.





Method #3 - Desaturate - Fairly Easy to use and adjust. Also gives different colour channel mixing abilities via means of the curves box OR the Colour Balance box.


Open file GTP>IMAGE>ADJUSTMENTS>DESATURATE At this stage, the results are pretty much the same as converting to Greyscale mode (Method #1). To take it a step further and improve the quality of the image, add tones etc do this:


Using the Curves box:

>control key and 'M' on your keyboard, or >IMAGE>ADJUSTMENTS>CURVES

then

select each Red, Green or Blue CHANNEL and then click on a point along the diagonal line you see in the control box. Move it around and see the effect it has on the picture.

Adjust each R, G and/or B channel till you get the effect/result you like.



Using the Colour Balance Box:

GTP>ADJUSTMENTS>COLOUR BALANCE. Under 'Tone Balance', click 'Shadows'. Next, play with the sliding controls till you get the effect/results you want.



Method #4 - Gradient Map - I have absolutely NO idea how to use this. :bsmilie::embrass::angel:


Hope this helps.
 

photobum

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#9
Simple steps!
Here u go:

a. Goto the menu bar and click on "Image" -> "Adjustments" -> "Hue/Saturation"
b. U will get a dialog box. Drag the "Saturation" slider all the way to the right
c. There u get ur B&W photo

Note: this step will change ur image directly and does not allow changes later on.

To be able to make changes later, go to the Layer's palate, click on the adjustment layer icon and click on Hue/Saturation. In this way, u can create a new layer of B&W which u can change it later or hide to see the different effect.

;)
Of course, desaturating an image is a 'no-brainer' method. The results can be disappointing at times. Therefore, this is my second least favorite method after 'convert to grayscale'.
 

photobum

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#10
Snapperz,
Method #2 - Channel Mixer. Fairly easy and straightforward to use. Lots of leeway in range of controls.

Open file GTP>IMAGE>ADJUSTMENTS>CHANNEL MIXER>MONOCHROME box at bottom>Adjust each channle as desired.
Channel Mixer is a bit tricky. You will have to total all three channels to 100, otherwise, your image will look either too contrasty or too dull.
 

photobum

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#11
Snapperz,

Using the Curves box:

>control key and 'M' on your keyboard, or >IMAGE>ADJUSTMENTS>CURVES

then

select each Red, Green or Blue CHANNEL and then click on a point along the diagonal line you see in the control box. Move it around and see the effect it has on the picture.

Adjust each R, G and/or B channel till you get the effect/result you like.



Using the Colour Balance Box:

GTP>ADJUSTMENTS>COLOUR BALANCE. Under 'Tone Balance', click 'Shadows'. Next, play with the sliding controls till you get the effect/results you want.

Hope this helps.
Who is the 'sifu' who taught you these two methods? I will like to meet him or her. These methods do not yield true B&W images. As a result, you will not getting the tones right when you send your images for printing (either inkjet or minilab). It is as good as desaturating your colors but in a Russian Roulette way.
 

Dream Merchant

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#12
You're absolutely correct!

I was just eloborating on the possible steps that could be used.

Personally eventhough the desat method is limiting, I use it in conjunction with the colour balance to achieve different tonal densities and, well, tones withing the selinium or sepia range.

I'm still very new at all this so it's very much a journey of discovery for me as well. I read those method in some US or UK consumer photo magazine.

I would really like to learn more ... 'Hint' 'Hint'
 

photobum

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#13
You're absolutely correct!

I was just eloborating on the possible steps that could be used.

Personally eventhough the desat method is limiting, I use it in conjunction with the colour balance to achieve different tonal densities and, well, tones withing the selinium or sepia range.

I'm still very new at all this so it's very much a journey of discovery for me as well.
I print B&W images in the darkroom and I selenium-toned my fiber-based prints. You can never achieve true selenium-toned lookalike prints with digital.
 

Dream Merchant

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#14
Sigh ... I wished and I wished.

I totally miss selinium toned prints on Rekod Rapid and Portiga Rapid.

But how do you achieve a "true" B&W file in digital since we have no silver hallide to play with?
 

photobum

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#15
I read those method in some US or UK consumer photo magazine.
Refrain yourself from reading these magazines. They will pollute your mind like nobody's business. I read only books from Ansel Adams, John Sexton, Michael Kenna and Art Ross. These are master B&W photographers and printers. Learn your tricks in Photoshop BUT read what the real 'sifu' do to their images.
 

Dream Merchant

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#16
Noted. But what do the real 'sifus' do to achieve a true B&W digital file?

Could you share your workflow please or could you share a link to what steps to take?
 

photobum

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#17
Sigh ... I wished and I wished.

I totally miss selinium toned prints on Rekod Rapid and Portiga Rapid.

But how do you achieve a "true" B&W file in digital since we have no silver hallide to play with?
You can get digital B&W giclee prints that look decent. Even world-class art gallery will purchase them for their collections. BUT you can forget about achieving the selenium-toned look. It cannot be done with today's inkjet technology yet.
 

Dream Merchant

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#18
I searched giclee here before, and another person asked about it in 2004 in CS. No one replied, and we digital newbies have no idea where to turn to to learn...
 

photobum

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#20
Noted. But what do the real 'sifus' do to achieve a true B&W digital file?

Could you share your workflow please or could you share a link to what steps to take?
It is the inkset and the papers they use. Of course, the printer, the RIP program and profile they use also contribute greatly.

Adam is dead since 1984. Sexton and Ross don't print digitally. Michael Kenna did an interview recently on how he made the switch from darkroom to digital, BUT I doubt you can watch the interview online. Hopefully, he will write a book on it.
 

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