Black and White from the beginning...

Started Jan 15, 2013 | Questions thread
jbf Veteran Member • Posts: 3,501
Re: Black and White from the beginning...

Krystal Vision wrote:

I am using a Canon 7D and CS6. I have never done any B&W photography before and as I live remote, do not have access to photography courses in person. Any advise on B&W photography would be super helpful, either with the camera itself or in photoshop...thanks so much:-)

I have a different Canon camera and a different version of Photoshop, but I'm guessing there isn't much difference in the process.  I recommend shooting using your standard camera settings so that you get color photos.  For photos that will be converted to B&W, you need to pay great attention to the light in the scene and how it affects the image.  Start with simple, clean compositions.  B&W enhances shapes and textures as well.

For the conversion to B&W, the Desaturate menu command in PS isn't very good, so avoid that obvious choice.  There are some popular software plugins you can buy like Silver Efex Pro.  I've never used it, but it does a very good job creating B&W images from what I've seen.  One cheap and easy method that I like is to open the image in PS and create a blank layer above it.  Fill that layer with black, then change the blend mode of that layer to 'Color'.  Then you can create one or more adjustment layers (Curves, Levels, or whatever you like) to adjust the brightness and contrast, and you can mask the adjustment layers to apply the changes to specific parts of the image.

There are numerous other methods for converting to B&W.  Search this forum and the Retouching forum and you'll find many posts on the subject.

The final step is to post your B&W images so we can see all of our great advice in action.


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