Converting color images to crisp BW

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by gabelimom, Feb 29, 2008.

  1. gabelimom

    gabelimom TPF Noob!

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    Hi all-

    I've been converting my color images to BW via Greyscale. The result? Very grey, darkish images. I've tried Desaturate, and it looks almost identical to Greyscale. And when I've used Brightness/Contrast, the images took on ghastly tones.

    I would like my BW images to have this tonality:

    http://www.heatherrivlin.com/index2.php

    Does anyone know how to achieve this? As always, thanks in advance!!!!
     
  2. RKW3

    RKW3 TPF Noob!

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    Use photoshop or a similar program and they usually have it so you can adjust the B&W conversion. Simply desaturating pics often turns out poor.
     
  3. Dubious Drewski

    Dubious Drewski TPF Noob!

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    There's got to be a bunch of photoshopping going on there to get some of those shots to look they way they do. Though I bet most of the look could be achieved through playing with each RGB curve before desaturation. Could you link a medium/small sized photo of your own that you'd like B&Wed? Maybe us guys could fiddle around with it in photoshop for you.
     
  4. GeorgeUK

    GeorgeUK TPF Noob!

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    On the advice of a friend of mine (who wrote the tutorial) I do it like this:

    Much much better results than standard conversion to greyscale. :thumbup:

    Hope that helps :)
     
  5. Dubious Drewski

    Dubious Drewski TPF Noob!

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    Ah, the channel mixer does what I was thinking you had to do....but it does it much easier than I would have thought.

    Nice.
     
  6. Fiendish Astronaut

    Fiendish Astronaut TPF Noob!

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    Here's how I do it. And it's such a great way to experiment easily with the balance of your b&w image. Once I discovered this technique I've never used anything else.

    Create a new Hue/Saturation layer. Don't adjust anything. Press okay. This is layer 1.

    Create a second Hue/Saturation layer. Whack the Saturation slider down to zero so you've taken all the colour out of the image. Press okay. Then in the drop down menu in the layers box (it's next to Opacity) select "color".

    Immediately you'll see an improvement.

    Then re-open your first Hue/Saturation layer dialogue - layer 1. Play around with the Hue slider and you'll see how the different colour balances change the way the b&w image looks.

    The beauty of this is that the sum of your colours will always add up to 100%...
     
  7. djrichie28

    djrichie28 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks GeorgeUK, I was wondering this same thing myself. Tried it out and it works really well. Gives much desired control of converting.
     
  8. GeorgeUK

    GeorgeUK TPF Noob!

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    No probs :)

    I was also pleasantly surprised to see the improvement in b&w conversions following this method. :thumbup:
     
  9. gabelimom

    gabelimom TPF Noob!

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    Thank you SO much, guys! I tried it and it's EXCELLENT!!!! I knew the images in the link I provided could not have been done with a simple BW conversion.

    You guys RAWK!!!! :lol:
     
  10. Samurai Photographer

    Samurai Photographer TPF Noob!

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    Jennifer,
    Are you using Photoshop CS3? If so, add a Black and White Adjustment layer to the image. The default Auto setting does a good job of converting the image to black and white. You can change the opacity of the layer to bleed some of the color back in and get a hand tinted look. Another option is to paint on the layer mask to selectively bring the color back to certain areas of the image. Here's a link to a video tutorial on converting an image to black and white and selectively painting the color back. Selective Color Tutorial.
     
  11. raw-bee

    raw-bee TPF Noob!

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    If you use a gradient map layer and then adjust curves with an 's' curve you will get very similar results - very easy. :)

    Robbie
     
  12. raw-bee

    raw-bee TPF Noob!

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    Looking at your sample website, those may have a mocha tint to them as well. To add that, just do a color balance with cyan/red at +15 and yellow/blue at -10 after you adjust the curves the way you like.

    Robbie
     

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