Take your photography to the next level and beyond...

  • NEWS

Why not join for free today?

Join for Free

Your total photography experience starts here

Ticket discount with EZPTPS18 for The Photography Show 2018

B&W Conversion

21 Oct 2004 6:55PM
I'd like to read about your techniques to convert a color image in a fine b&w print. I know about image mode-grayscale or desaturation but they don't produce nice b&w.


Join ePHOTOzine for free and remove these adverts.

sillyconguru 13 4.4k
21 Oct 2004 6:58PM
bpa Plus
13 1.2k
21 Oct 2004 7:01PM
Try THIS , they do a good plug in for Photoshop where you can alter for different film effects, filters etc.
wing Plus
14 456 United Kingdom
21 Oct 2004 7:44PM
The best method I have found, giving by far the most control over the conversion, is called the 'Russell Brown technique'.
Look at the bottom of THIS page, for a rough guide to his method.
I'm not saying it is the best method you will find, but I am saying it is the best method I have found so far.

takui neko Plus
14 849 11 Spain
21 Oct 2004 7:50PM
I normally use 2 layers over the main picture, the first one a Selective Color layer and the second one a Hue/Saturation Layer, I put the Hue/Sat layer on the Master Channel at -100 and then play with the Selective Color Layer.
When that is ready I touch up with Burn and Dodge brushes. Smile
I like that way cause I do not touch the main image and I can always change/adjust things later, very non destructive technique. Smile
21 Oct 2004 7:50PM
I may have some tips for you Eric.... have a look at my portfolio and at 2 shots posted the first one is called Twinkle Twinkle both shots are the same but different methods were used to achieve end results..

If this is what you are trying to do then drop me an e-mail on


21 Oct 2004 7:58PM
The Virtual Photographer software (see bpa's link) is simplicity itself to use. Good for creating those nice grainy Tri-X (anyone else remember the smell of D76?)style images and for toning in any colour you like.

wing Plus
14 456 United Kingdom
21 Oct 2004 8:24PM
Thanks for the link to the VP plug-in BPA.
Downloaded, but not tried it yet. Looks like it could be very useful.

BOB S Plus
15 2.6k
21 Oct 2004 9:07PM
In my experience it is not the conversion to B&W that is the problem, the issue is with ink jet printers producing Black and White very poorly.

By generating blacks, greys and white by mixing the coloured inks it is very difficult to get real black and white without some slight casts. Is this the root of your probelm as you talk about a "fine B&W print"?

keithh Plus
14 25.4k 33 Wallis And Futuna
21 Oct 2004 9:10PM
An excellent point Bob...hope you don't get shouted at like I did when I made the same point.
bpa Plus
13 1.2k
21 Oct 2004 9:22PM
I believe the new Epson printers have a light black cartridge for that very reason.

strawman Plus
14 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
21 Oct 2004 9:30PM
I find two issues. First when you convert I find it best to split the image into the RGB channels and the blend them together to adjust contrast etc. On inkjet printing, I am happy with the black being black on my Epson photo 870 its more how it creates greys that bothers me, in that it tends to speckle the image a bit to create Grey. I believe you can get special graduated Grey inks to replace the colour ones but then you tend to get a problem of needing to flush the printer if you are switching between colour and B/W, or having a dedicated B/W printer.
BOB S Plus
15 2.6k
21 Oct 2004 10:46PM

If you use just the black ink with your inkjet printer to generate a fully toned B&W image you lose the ability to generate real grey tones - you get a simulated grey by changing the placement of black ink dots - hence not a fully trnsitional tone is available.

You are right about the grad grey inks - this is my point, they replace the colour inks so you can generate a continuos tonal range from black to white. You are also quite right in that they are not really a good proposition unless you can dedicate a printer to using them - I spoke to Permajet who make such inks and they did NOT reccommend changeing from colour inks to B&W on anything like a regular basis.

debster Plus
13 693 3 England
22 Oct 2004 9:23AM
Hope you don't mind me joining in but..... can anyone explain how to do this in Paint Shop Pro? I've played with several times but am not 100% happy with results. To me, the photos have a very slight green tinge to them when printed. I have an Epson photo print and print just in greyscale. Is this where I'm going wrong?

BOB S Plus
15 2.6k
22 Oct 2004 10:58AM

See my post above yours !


Sign In

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.