Color to B&W to Sepia (long)

Discussion in 'Graphics Programs and Photo Gallery' started by Wally, Jul 22, 2005.

  1. Wally

    Wally TPF Noob!

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    Hello all, I have been a big fan of B&W and Sepia images for a long time. I fell in love with it back in high school in the early 80s in shop class and that love goes on.

    I have been shooting digital and playing with photoshop for a long time also and have tried just about everything and everyway to turn color images into B&W and Sepia.

    First let me start off by saying there are MANY ways to do this, this is what I find works best (and it's free!). If you surf the net you will find many other ways to do this. Also this way will work with both the full version of Photoshop, and also Photoshop Elements. It will also work with other programs I am guessing that can use Photoshop Plugins.

    You will need to download the free B&W Plus plugin from Fotomatic http://www.cybia.co.uk/bwplus.htm

    What this does is give you a very quick and easy conversion from color to B&W. The beauty of it is that is also has "color" filters that simulate the effects of a color filter and B&W film. What it really is doing however is playing with the color channels just like in Channel Mixer. So since Elements does not have a channel mixer no need to fear. There is a nice preview window that will show you the different tones with the different colors. Pick the one you like best and run it.

    So here is an example of the color picture. The picture stinks but it will work as a great example.

    [​IMG]



    Then run the B&W Plus plugin. For this one I used the red filter

    [​IMG]

    Not bad but it lacks the tonal range to be a good B&W picture. All the data needed is there, it is just not being displayed. Take a look at the histogram

    [​IMG]

    You computer does not know, and really has no way of knowing what should be black and what should be white. That is why the histogram has nothing on the right or left hand sides. The Histogram confuses a lot of people, but think of it a chart or graph that displays the color of every pixel in your image. In B&W images it is even easie to think about since black is on the left and white is on the right. However this image like so many other digital black and white images on the net has no blacks and no whites so it is dull. Many people use contrast or curves to adjust this, but all you really need to do is tell the computer what is black and what is white. You do this with levels. So open up a new adjustment layer and select "levels"






    [​IMG]
     
  2. Wally

    Wally TPF Noob!

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    Part 2

    Once Levels is opened slide the black (left) slider over until it touches the first part of histogram, then do the same on the white (right) hand side. The middle slider is for midtone balance adjust to taste. Play around a little bit to get it exactly the way you want it.

    [​IMG]

    Notice the better contrast, and tonal depth. The after is above here is the before

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Wally

    Wally TPF Noob!

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    Part 3


    Now if you want to Sepia Tone the image that is very easy to do. All you need to do is open another Adjustment Layer only this time choose Hue/Saturation.

    [​IMG]
    Click on the colorize check box and slide the top slider over to around 32 or so, then slide the bottom slider over to around 25 or so. The top slider will give you a nice brownish orange tint, the bottom slider adjust the level of tinting. Play around with different settings.

    The final result

    [​IMG]

    Hope you found this helpful, and happy shooting
     
  4. cillie

    cillie TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for sharing Wally!!!
     
  5. Meysha

    Meysha still being picky Vicky

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    Oooh thanks for that Wally, I do mine in a slightly different way (as always happens with PS). Instead of your last step of using the Hue control. I convert to a duotone, pick the colour I want, and then I can also play around with the curve of that duotone colour. It just adds in one more way to control the colour.

    But I'm going to definately try your way, next time!
     
  6. Sergiozal

    Sergiozal TPF Noob!

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    I use channel mixer to convert it to B&W, then use the duotone like this one:
    [​IMG]

    or this one:
    [​IMG]
     

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