B+W with Digi cams

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by bace, Feb 6, 2006.

  1. bace

    bace TPF Noob!

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    I get the impression that most Digi SLR's don't come with a "Black and White" feature, and that if wanting to change a picture to black and white, one must use Photoshop.

    Are their any tricks to making a colour picture into a really nice contrasty B+W?

    Any options I should learn to use in photoshop to make B+W's really stand out?
     
  2. Well, the odd thing is that fundamentally, a digital camera is a B+W camera. The sensors each record RGB intensity, and then that data gets turned into a color image.

    There are some great tricks for turning color digital images into B+W. You WILL need an image editing software, but the basic steps are not that sophisticated.

    I am crushed for time right now, but can post more detail later tomorrow. This is such a common (and fun issue) that Googling it should provide you with a number of quick results.
     
  3. kemplefan

    kemplefan TPF Noob!

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    most of the programs that come with a camera have the efect of color b+w and sepie i am stuc whitht aht becaus i am to cheep to by photo shop can u get me an ilegal copie (just kiding)
     
  4. ChopstickHero

    ChopstickHero TPF Noob!

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    most cameras have a black&white feature. some have more like sepia, inverted, etc etc to get different looking pics. personally i like to shoot in full colour and just use Photoshop to turn pics b&w. i turned this pic into B&W... you can play with the tones and contrast in Photoshop to get it looking how you really want it.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  5. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You will probably find the channel mixer the most helpful for b/w conversion in PS (Image/adjustment/channel mixer). As a starting point, I will typically use 60/40/0 (R/G/B) and make sure that the monochrome box is checked in the lower corner. I then will bump up the contrast about 15 points, and sometimes screw with the brightness as well until it suits me. With the Channel mixer, you can use any combination you like, but you will generally want them to add up to 100 +/-.
     
  6. Peanuts

    Peanuts TPF Noob!

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    I do the same as Johnboy2978, expect I add a gradient map layer prior and then bump R down to 75% and just play around with Green and Blue 'adjusters'. Then there is also calculations, which I have only dared to try once and didn't really understand.
     
  7. Check out Photoshop - it is uniquely good at handling such things. You can evaluate Adobe Photoshop Elements for free, and it costs very little money compared to its big sister application.

    Also, there's Gimp. I've never used it, but here's a tutorial on converting color to B+W. I gather Gimp is free.

    Ummm, ok. This is waaay too hardcore for what you're asking, but others reading this thread may have an interest in this little thing I found:

    http://www.adobeevangelists.com/photoshop/actions.html

    There's a free 'Action' that you can download for Photoshop from the link above. It allows you to take a color image, and churn it through 16 variations of B+W. When you find one you like, you can apply those settings to any number of images. It comes with a sample image, but obviously you're going to want to run it over one of your own images. Only annoying this is that you need to do it with a square image. It'll auto-resize, but you need to crop something quickly and then run the Action.
     
  8. hobbes28

    hobbes28 Incredible Supporting Member

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    There is a list here somewhere, too, that shows different values for different film looks with the channel mixer. I'll dig it up later. Great info.
     
  9. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    I tend to use Wally's action, see what it looks like side-by-side with a straight de-saturate and then occasionally try channel mixer if neither please me. Wally's sepia is easily the best sepia effect I've seen and makes my duotone efforts look pants.

    Wally is very good with Photoshop, and his action is quite complex and often yields the best results!

    Rob
     
  10. Arch

    Arch Damn You! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I use similar techniques as above except all my adjustments - channel mixer - bright/contrast - levels - are all on adjustment layers. This is the best way to get the correct balence and tone as you can go back and re-adjust each one untill its right.
     
  11. Link?!? Please!!!
     
  12. bace

    bace TPF Noob!

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    For the record I use PhotoShop CS, I just don't properly know how to use all the functions.

    Thanks for all the suggestions. I find myself enjoying the colour in my pictures more now, but I always forget to change them to black and white.

    It's weird though, I'm so used to film that I KNOW is gonna be black and white and film I KNOW is gonna be colour. I seems so odd to just pick a few pictures and say "THose are gonna be black and white".

    I don't know, digital photography is something I'll have to get used to I suppose.
     

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