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Photo Retouching "Improving" photos, post-production, correction, etc.

Converting from color to B&W

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Old 04-02-2002, 02:40 PM
DannyRaphael's Avatar
DannyRaphael DannyRaphael is offline
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Near Seattle, Washington, USA
Posts: 6,300
Convert to Black and White PRO plugin

Inspired by DigitalGuru's post, I installed the demo of Convert to B&W PRO. There's a lot to like.

Reminded me of a combo of channel mixer (monochrome) + the adjustment layer sandwich Jeanie posted above + color balance + hue/sat + the ability to add "colored filters" + options such as paper or film characteristics, e.g., Illford or Tri-X, all rolled into one.

I converted 2 pics & compared them: I liked the results of the plug-in better each time.

Did I like the results $99 more than the "not-quite-as-convenient-plethora-of-PS tools"? Not sure yet. Gotta give it additonal thought. But there's no question about convenience. You can do A LOT from a single interface.

How useful is it as a retouching tool? Maybe once repair work is done, running the final result through this plugin might yield a desirable "unifying touch." Guess it depends on your style/customer preference.

Bottom line: Intuitive/EZ to use, flexible, fast rendering.

- DannyR
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Old 03-16-2004, 11:08 AM
DrStrangelove DrStrangelove is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: New Jersey
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New guy's 2 cents...

Hi: Just joined moments ago after searching for the past couple of days for a decent online forum. I think I found the spot. Glad to be along!

I just downloaded the pdf and it does a nice job instructing. However, my problem has never been converting to B&W (I use Elements by the way). I kinda figured this out on my own.

My biggest problem isn't CONVERTING, it's PRINTING from my color photo printer (Canon i960). Also, this is where I have the least amount of experience. I read a bit about how to get rid of the color cast (usually green when I print b&w)-- to tell you the truth, I haven't wrapped my hands around it yet.

I *know* there are probably hundreds of threads here regarding printing b&w's on a color printer. I'll have to search them out. Good to be along though-- hope to learn lots (and share as I grow in my knowledge).

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Old 03-16-2004, 12:40 PM
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DannyRaphael DannyRaphael is offline
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Near Seattle, Washington, USA
Posts: 6,300
Hey, Brad:

Welcome to RetouchPRO.

Regarding the slight green cast when printing, I struggled with that one myself. My solution won't help you directly because I have a tool in Photoshop not available in Elements called a "Color Balance" adjustment layer, but hopefully this will help from a conceptual perspective and you can run with the ball go from there.

Essentially what you want to do is neutralize the green by adding a little magenta. Why magenta? Using the letters that represent the RGB and CMYK color spaces here's a way I found helpful in remembering color pairs:

- K

Magenta is the opposite of green. To reduce green, add magenta.

This is a simplified solution, since your green may actually be bluish green which may need a little yellow to offset the blue, but you get the idea.

If you haven't discovered it yet, a book called "Hidden Secrets of Photoshop Elements" reveals oodles of functionality available in PE that's not apparent. The author of that book, Richard Lynch, is one of the modrators here at RetouchPRO. See the following forums:

If anyone can tell you how to do this type of color balancing in PE, he can.

Again, welcome aboard.
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Old 03-17-2004, 09:24 AM
Hunter Hunter is offline
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 82
Just to add my 2 cents here... there is also a set of plugins that I've heard good things about (but have not used myself). Go to and check out the various filters for going from color to b/w.
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Old 03-17-2004, 01:01 PM
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Leah Leah is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: London, UK
Posts: 518
And (probably ought to be mentioned here for the sake of completeness) we have a tutorial here on RP about different ways of converting colour to black and white.

Doesn't cover the printer calibration problem, though...
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Old 04-02-2004, 09:04 AM
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grafx grafx is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Northeast Florida
Posts: 229
This is probably really past due, but make sure you are using OEM products. I have an Epson and if I don't use the Epson OEM paper and inks my b/w's look awful. I also cheat with my b/w's and use the "Enhanced" mode for the printer and set it to monochromatic.
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