Take Control of Your Digital Life with Mylio Photos: Try It; Itís FREE

How To Make A Coloured Portrait Black & White

Ben Boswell shows us how he converts his coloured portraits to interesting black & whites.

| Portraits and People
Article by Ben Boswell -

When I was asked if I would like to write about black and white portraits I thought I would write about how in black and white it is the tone and contrast that makes things work. But most of you know that already. However, what some of you won’t know is that in the past many photographers working with black and white film routinely used yellow or green filters to give the ‘most natural’ tonal rendition. When you shoot digital you can achieve the same effects in Photoshop.

This picture of my wife is shown here as shot, just a bit of sharpening after I reduced the size.

How To Make A Coloured Portrait Black & White: Colour portrait

Many people simply change the image to greyscale or desaturate to make it black and white and if you do, what you get is this: Here I have additionally clipped the Histogram just to improve the lightness, I have done the same for the other black and white pictures too.

How To Make A Coloured Portrait Black & White: Desaturated Portrait
If you use the ‘channel mixer’: Image>Adjustments>Channel Mixer you will find a dropdown of preset filters. On this image the first here is Green:

How To Make A Coloured Portrait Black & White: Green filter applied 

Here is Yellow:
How To Make A Coloured Portrait Black & White: Yellow filter applied
Both are an improvement on the simple desaturation, especially when you look at the freckles. Both of these are preset filters, but the purist Black and white photographers in the past would have used a yellow-green which isn’t on the list. If you look at what the filters do to the channels however it is easy to see what a yellow green would do too and this final image is a combination:
How To Make A Coloured Portrait Black & White: Filters combined 

Using filters like this adjusts the way that skin tones are displayed and gives you much more control than simply playing with the contrast. The same can be done with landscapes, try the red for dramatic skies or the green on foliage.
How To Make A Coloured Portrait Black & White:

How To Make A Coloured Portrait Black & White:

Find out more about SmugMug's products by clicking these links:
MPB Start Shopping

Support this site by making a Donation, purchasing Plus Membership, or shopping with one of our affiliates: Amazon UK, Amazon US, Amazon CA, ebay UK, MPB. It doesn't cost you anything extra when you use these links, but it does support the site, helping keep ePHOTOzine free to use, thank you.


Other articles you might find interesting...

4 Top Tips On How To Photograph People In Markets
5 Top Gig Photography Tips Every Music Fan Needs
Shoot Better Environmental Portraits With These 5 Tips
3 Top Tips On Shooting Stunning Summer Silhouettes
12 Essential Tips For Capturing Images At The Edinburgh Fringe
How To Take Great photos At A Re-Enactment Weekend
5 Basic But Essential Top Portrait Photography Tips
7 Top Carnival Photography Tips


auragraphic7dthelightmaster Avatar
the best nice contribution .Your so kind,keep up.

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join for free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.