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Cnverting color images to Black & White - Is this a better mouse trap?

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  #1  
Old 05-09-2007, 02:39 PM
duwayne duwayne is offline
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Converting color images to Black & White - Is this a better mouse trap?

I don’t understand a lot of what I do so this should be called an “accidental discovery”. I have always loved black and white photographs and used the Film/Filters emulation method to convert a number of color images to black and white. Looking for something more dramatic, I added a third Hue/Saturation adjustment layer just above the color image layer and set the blending mode to Overlay. With this layer turned off, I adjusted the Hue slider of the “filters” Hue/Saturation layer to get the best tonality. I then turned the new Hue/Saturation layer back on and selected each color individually from the Edit dropdown box. Adjusting the Lightness slider to create dramatic improvements in the depth and tonality of the image.

I used a color image that had previously been posted on this site (forgot the source) to experiment with. Attached are the original, the best I could get with the Film/Filters method and the final version using the added Hue/Saturation layer (one with Overlay and one with Soft Light). You can also pay with the opacity level to reduce the intensity of the result.

Any comments on the merits of this approach or the end results. I haven’t tried it on a lot of images so maybe it only works in certain cases.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg bad_arm_2-a.jpg (76.4 KB, 23 views)
File Type: jpg bad_arm_2-b.jpg (65.6 KB, 23 views)
File Type: jpg bad_arm_2-c.jpg (77.2 KB, 31 views)
File Type: jpg bad_arm_2-d.jpg (74.4 KB, 36 views)

Last edited by duwayne; 05-09-2007 at 02:47 PM.
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Old 05-09-2007, 02:44 PM
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Swampy Swampy is offline
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Re: Cnverting color images to Black & White - Is this a better mouse trap?

I hear b/w conversion is awesome in CSPS3, but for me that will have to wait a while.
In the mean time, a lot of folks use a Selective Color adjustment layer and turn on Monochrome then play with the channel sliders to adjust where they want more black/white.
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Old 05-09-2007, 02:51 PM
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lurch lurch is offline
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Re: Cnverting color images to Black & White - Is this a better mouse trap?

Good technique - one more trick to add to the bag!

The middle one is excellent - is that the overlay one?
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Old 05-09-2007, 03:02 PM
duwayne duwayne is offline
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Re: Cnverting color images to Black & White - Is this a better mouse trap?

Lurch - the third in from the left uses Overlay. The right-most image uses Soft Light.

Swampy - I had never heard of doing it with Selective Color layer. It's just as much fun. I tried it on the attachment below. I like the results. A little softer the the third H/S layer. Using a Curves adjustment layer on top might give more dramitic results - Thanks.

Edit - I added a Levels adjustment layer to boost shadows and highlights to get the second image. I really like this approach.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg bad_arm_2-e.jpg (65.2 KB, 16 views)
File Type: jpg bad_arm_2-f.jpg (75.8 KB, 33 views)
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Old 05-09-2007, 03:59 PM
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byRo byRo is offline
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Re: Cnverting color images to Black & White - Is this a better mouse trap?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swampy View Post
I hear b/w conversion is awesome in CSPS3......

Conicidence, or maybe not, it works just like the Selective Colour trick.
The advantage is that it is quicker and easier and has built-in and personalized presets.
Ah, and you can put in a tint as well - so you can make your sepia version all in one step.

Very good, but nothing that you couldn't do before with a few layers.
(i.e. a bit short of awesome in my opinion)

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Old 05-09-2007, 04:25 PM
stosh7 stosh7 is offline
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Swampy

Hi;

Is is possible that you mean the Channel Mixer instead of the Selective color adjustment? Channel Mixer makes awesome monochromes and it has exactly the sliders and Monochrome check box you described.

Stosh
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Old 05-09-2007, 05:30 PM
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DannyRaphael DannyRaphael is offline
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Re: Cnverting color images to Black & White - Is this a better mouse trap?

See the following thread for a boatload I've compiled on this, one of my favorite topics:

http://www.retouchpro.com/forums/pho...yscale-bw.html

==============

IMO the most flexible method is the one by John Paul Caponigro.
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Old 05-09-2007, 06:15 PM
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DannyRaphael DannyRaphael is offline
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Re: Cnverting color images to Black & White - Is this a better mouse trap?

Meant to mention previously... GRr-eat shot to begin with. Almost a shame to convert it to BW, but I understand the urge.

----------------

Here's my interp. based on the John Paul Caponigro method mentioned previously. For effective BW (IMO), contrast is important... esp. in the eyes.

Using adjustment layers like Hue/Sat, Selective Color, etc. or Channel Mixer (set to Monochrome) are fine for 'global adustments,' e.g. tweaking all the reds, blues or whatever colors in an image.

But sometimes you don't want to mess with all occurances of a particular color. Utilizing masks is a great way to selectively apply effects of a given layer = you can have your cake (easy color tweaking with a slider) and eat it too (selective application using a mask).
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File Type: jpg BW duwaynes son2 djr.jpg (99.2 KB, 24 views)

Last edited by DannyRaphael; 05-09-2007 at 06:23 PM.
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Old 05-09-2007, 06:43 PM
duwayne duwayne is offline
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Re: Cnverting color images to Black & White - Is this a better mouse trap?

Danny - Very nice! - Thanks for the link to your old thread and collection of color to B&W information. It'll take a while but I'll try to get through all of it.

I have been asked to do a lot of conversions and have found that only about 5% of the photos taken as color result in really good B&W's. Even with all the "tricks", the composition and mood play an important role. Thanks again.
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Old 05-09-2007, 10:34 PM
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DannyRaphael DannyRaphael is offline
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Re: Cnverting color images to Black & White - Is this a better mouse trap?

Quote:
Originally Posted by duwayne View Post
Danny - Very nice! - Thanks for the link to your old thread and collection of color to B&W information. It'll take a while but I'll try to get through all of it.
Thanks for your kind words. Always glad to help when I can.

Not to worry. Trying different methods in PS is kind of like learning to cook... It takes awhile to make it through the cookbook. After you do you'll have found some recipes you like better than others, some that are better depending on the situation, etc.

Quote:
I have been asked to do a lot of conversions and have found that only about 5% of the photos taken as color result in really good B&W's.
I know what you mean. Most casual photographers don't think in terms of BW when they shoot a picture. That's where using the 'best' of the channels, masking and utilizing blend modes come in handy by enabling one to attempt to create tonal contrast not present in the color original.

But you are right... Sometimes no matter what you do, a great color pic is just mediocre in BW.
Quote:
Even with all the "tricks", the composition and mood play an important role.
Most definitely...

----------

Keep having fun. I look forward to seeing more of your color-> BW conversions in the future.

~Danny~
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