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Converting image to black and white

TonyCoridan 5 137 United Kingdom
24 Mar 2013 2:45PM
Hi all,

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

Thank you,


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saltireblue Plus
8 8.0k 33 Norway
24 Mar 2013 2:53PM
Silver Efex pro2 from Niksoftware is an excellent tool. Available as a plug-in or stand alone.
rhol2 7 369 1 United Kingdom
24 Mar 2013 2:57PM
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.
capto Plus
6 5.2k 8 United Kingdom
24 Mar 2013 3:09PM
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 12 839 England
24 Mar 2013 3:25PM
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
TonyCoridan 5 137 United Kingdom
24 Mar 2013 3:36PM
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 5 406 2 Scotland
24 Mar 2013 4:26PM
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

thewilliam 9 6.1k
24 Mar 2013 4:53PM
If you use Nikon. Capture NX2 will make exquisite mono conversion with full control.
cameracat 14 8.6k 61 Norfolk Island
24 Mar 2013 6:19PM
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 Plus
11 1.2k 177 United Kingdom
24 Mar 2013 6:56PM

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.
cats_123 Plus
14 4.8k 28 Northern Ireland
24 Mar 2013 8:04PM
Lightroom for me.
wicksy 12 79 United Kingdom
24 Mar 2013 9:25PM
Another vote for lightroom, unless i want to bring back colour selectively then photoshop
Jestertheclown 9 7.7k 252 England
24 Mar 2013 10:23PM
Lightroom for straightforward B/W conversions.

Photoshop for duo-toning etc.
capto Plus
6 5.2k 8 United Kingdom
25 Mar 2013 2:46PM
There's nothing you can't do in photoshop, all you need to do, is find out how.Wink

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