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Converting image to black and white

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    24 Mar 2013 - 2:45 PM

    Hi all,

    Do you any special software or technique to convert your photo into black and white?

    Thank you,


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    24 Mar 2013 - 2:45 PM

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    saltireblue Site Moderator 43928 forum postssaltireblue vcard Norway25 Constructive Critique Points
    24 Mar 2013 - 2:53 PM

    Silver Efex pro2 from Niksoftware is an excellent tool. Available as a plug-in or stand alone.

    Last Modified By saltireblue at 24 Mar 2013 - 2:54 PM
    rhol2 e2 Member 3299 forum postsrhol2 vcard United Kingdom1 Constructive Critique Points
    24 Mar 2013 - 2:57 PM

    I simply use my basic "FastStone" image viewer/editor to convert to greyscale then adjust contrast, brightness, gamma and colour balance etc. as required. Specialist software is more sophisticated than I need for my purposes.

    Last Modified By rhol2 at 24 Mar 2013 - 3:01 PM
    capto e2 Member 21162 forum postscapto vcard United Kingdom6 Constructive Critique Points
    24 Mar 2013 - 3:09 PM

    I prefer to use the tools available in Photoshop. I find that way I have full control and can apply global adjustments or right down to single pixels if needed. I have also seen top class work on the site using the already mentioned software. The best method for you will always include plenty of practice and experimentation.

    redhed17  8658 forum posts England
    24 Mar 2013 - 3:25 PM

    There's so many ways to convert an image to B&W, other than just desaturation. It depends on what software you have.

    I use the Convert to Greyscale option in Adobe Camera Raw. It gives the option to adjust the underlying colours of the B&W image to brighten or darken tones. ACR lets you adjust 8 underlying colours. You used to have to do lot of messing about in Photoshop to get anywhere near the same control.

    Now there is a B&W adjustment layer in Photoshop, but that only allows you to alter 5 underlying colours. You can edit Jpegs in ACR though. Either option is still the easiest way to convert to B&W with some control. If you have the software. Wink

    Third party plugins may give you more control, but you have to have Aperture, Lightroom or Photoshop to start with, and also buy the plugin. Wink

    24 Mar 2013 - 3:36 PM

    Currently I'm just using convert to black and white using PS6 and a bit of filter adjustment...I don't think I'm achieving the best result.

    widtink  2406 forum posts Scotland2 Constructive Critique Points
    24 Mar 2013 - 4:26 PM

    Lightroom is pretty good for B/W conversion I use that and my Nikon software at the moment although iam thinking about the onone software suite Smile


    24 Mar 2013 - 4:53 PM

    If you use Nikon. Capture NX2 will make exquisite mono conversion with full control.

    cameracat  108578 forum posts Norfolk Island61 Constructive Critique Points
    24 Mar 2013 - 6:19 PM

    Pretty much all camera manufacturers provide a software of some sort, Most if not all have a means of converting to grayscale/mono/B&W, Then its just a case of tweaking contrast/brightness or whatever Knobs they provide so you end up with something you like.

    The other option may be in your camera brand/models own menu, ie: Providing some sort of take on B&W at the time of shooting, If your shooting RAW once again makers own software can interpret said mono/B&W, Then once again its down to your final tweaks for personal taste, Same probably applies to images shot in Jpeg, But I am not sure as I rarely if ever shoot Jpeg.

    Quote: I don't think I'm achieving the best result

    Both the above do not involve spending any money, But some peeps feel they can get better results by paying for more exotic software's.....Grin

    Whatever....Its a case of each to his and all that jazz, However True Grayscale/Mono/B&W can only really be produced by a medium that only See's things that way, Digital butchery gets close, But it is not entirely the real deal, Is it....Wink

    Paintman e2 Member 8858 forum postsPaintman vcard United Kingdom173 Constructive Critique Points
    24 Mar 2013 - 6:56 PM

    Quote: Currently I'm just using convert to black and white using PS6 and a bit of filter adjustment...I don't think I'm achieving the best result.

    Quite honestly, if you can't get a decent mono conversion with PS CS6 then you need more practice and to understand what makes a decent mono in the first place. Software will only get you so far, in the end it is down to the skill and talent of the photographer to identify subjects that are mono friendly. Understanding how colours have different tonal qualities will help in your selection of subjects to photograph too.

    There must be some good tutorials on the net on how to do mono conversions. I'm sure epz and epztv have tutorials to help you.

    Last Modified By Paintman at 24 Mar 2013 - 6:58 PM
    cats_123 e2 Member 104023 forum postscats_123 vcard Northern Ireland25 Constructive Critique Points
    24 Mar 2013 - 8:04 PM

    Lightroom for me.

    wicksy  879 forum posts United Kingdom
    24 Mar 2013 - 9:25 PM

    Another vote for lightroom, unless i want to bring back colour selectively then photoshop

    24 Mar 2013 - 10:23 PM

    Lightroom for straightforward B/W conversions.

    Photoshop for duo-toning etc.

    capto e2 Member 21162 forum postscapto vcard United Kingdom6 Constructive Critique Points
    25 Mar 2013 - 2:46 PM

    There's nothing you can't do in photoshop, all you need to do, is find out how.Wink

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