Converting to Black and White - advice please

Started Nov 13, 2012 | Discussions thread
JulesJ Forum Pro • Posts: 45,144
Re: Converting to Black and White - advice please

ML_Digital_nYc wrote:

Some tips...

Always process in color, then bring your image into photoshop and use adjustment layers above your image to turn your image into a greyscale. There will be a day when you may have done some retouching to one of your images, and say I wish I had this image in color.

-A great technique for portraits, especially images that were shot well with lighting, is the place a hue/sat adjustment layer a the top most layer, set to -100...completely desaturation the image in appearance only. Then add a curve adjustment layer underneath that hue/sat adjustment, and apply a very steep "S" curve to the R & B channels. Of course each image will need fine tuning. But this method spikes the green and reds in your image to create a very contrasty look... you could make a person look as if they're coated in paint or some sort of shiny silver makeup if you go far enough. But that's up to your taste!

-Fast Eddie

-- hide signature --

Your favorite retoucher's favorite retoucher.

I'm amazed all you guys suggest anything but using the tool designed for this in CS5 and 6. It's in the adjustment layers and unsurprisingly called Black and White. But before you do that open a curves adjustment layer and a levels adjustment layer just as you would with any photo. Using these three layers you can get a B&W conversion as good as you will ever get with third party plugins. Master the use of these adjustment layers and you need nothing else. If people are in your image then try the Red and Yellow sliders and the B&W layer.

Our business specialises in B&W portraits and prints, apart from general retouching and spotting those three layers are 90% of the time all I need for the B&W conversion.


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