show us your b&w shots!

Started Jan 10, 2004 | Discussions thread
Shutter. Forum Pro • Posts: 12,629
My b/w conversion process...

Yesterday in CSLR Petteri and I had an interesting discussion buried inside another thread.

In reference to the first shot below, the following was my approximate conversion process, but it changes every time, depending on the photo, but it always incorporates some combination of the following (taken from yesterday's thread).

Anyway, my conversion process varies a little each time, and I don't remember all the exact settings, but I can tell you the steps I typcially do.

The original was shot at ISO 800, underexposed (intentionally) about 1 stop. I underexpose a little bit intentionally to allow more control in post developing. Oh, I only shoot in jpg and use Paint Shop Pro.

1. General levels to bring it up a little brighter, but at this point it's just to get it "close".

2. Convert to B/W using channel mixer (my settings here always vary, sometimes I'm heavy on the red channel, sometimes the green, but not usually the blue because it introduces more noise).

3. Duplicate layer, dodge property, maybe at about 3-5% opacity, merge
4. Dup layer, soft light property, about 15-20 opacity

5. Now I start fine tuning the exposure. In this case, the faces and dark shirts were still too dark compared to the rest of the scene so I selectively levels and curved them to desired look. I use the lasso tool at about a feathering of 60 or so. This brought out the detail in the shirts and faces.

6. If I remember, I duped this one again and re-applied a dodge, then merged, duped again, and used the multiply property at about a 5% opacity.

7. To finish off most of my b/w's, I colorize with about a 3-5 saturation and hue to get rid of the blueish look that so often accompanies digital b/w.

I think that's about it. I don't do that much to every b/w, but always do some dupe layers with combinations of the dodge, burn, multiply, and soft light properties.

I suppose the whole developing of this one was about 20 minutes, I guess.






Andy Williams wrote:

winter is especially a great time for b&w. i've seen a ton of
great shots from stfers, let's see some more or replay the better
ones! also, please describe your preferred method of "going b&w"

  • briefly describe your conversion process.

i'll start. i use ps8, channel mixer, monochrome, then tweak the
sliders to my liking. then, i'll sometimes use selective
color> blacks, and bump up the blacks a tad. after these
adjustments, contrast adjustments aren't usually necessary but
sometimes i'll work on that, too. normal sharpening, resizing,
etc. follows.

let's learn from each other. what technique do you use?

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Jim Fuglestad

  • You're not in third grade anymore. Take as many recesses as you want!

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