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Excellent B&W conversion technique...

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Old 07-02-2007, 03:16 PM
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Default Excellent B&W conversion technique...

Well, as most of you photoshop pro's and noobs know, there is a 1001 ways to do something in photoshop. Many of us love black and white shots, myself included. However, many make the mistake of just converting the image to grayscale, or just using the Image>Adjustment>Desaturate route. This is a no no to your finely captured photograph, as it is NOT what it could be. Over the past few years, I have tried a million different ways to do a million different things in photoshop, and have collected what I believe are the best examples of said techniques. So, here IMHO, is one of the best ways to convert your images to B&W while retaining all the quality, and have great results.

B&W Conversion

Experimenting with black and white conversion methods in Photoshop. I tried the channel mixer and a couple of third-party plugins, but I like the results from the method here, which is apparently due to a gentleman named Rob Carr. I
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Old 07-03-2007, 05:04 AM
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I built a custom action to change saturation and contrast through USM. Then I convert with channels.

Your way sound pretty interesting Dave - I'll have to give it a shot. How about some examples?
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Old 07-03-2007, 07:05 AM
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Just tried this method out... I think I'll play with it a bit more with different source images.

Original (Random Flickr image with CC rights)


Image > Adjustments > Desaturate (CTRL+SHIFT+U)


The above method.

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Old 07-03-2007, 07:30 AM
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This conversion seems to have worked a lot better. Let's see if you can tell which is using this method and which is a simple desaturation.
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Old 07-03-2007, 07:51 AM
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Just seeing how my way stacks up:

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Old 07-03-2007, 07:52 AM
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I guess my way needs a bigger RAW file to hold its quality.
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Old 07-03-2007, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by e3opian,Jul 3 2007, 09:05 AM
Just tried this method out... I think I'll play with it a bit more with different source images.

Original (Random Flickr image with CC rights)


Image > Adjustments > Desaturate (CTRL+SHIFT+U)


The above method.
i like the desaturation method... look at the details in the windows, it still holds up whereas, the third one, it disappears.
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Old 07-03-2007, 08:28 AM
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Yea, but think, the details in the windows aren't really the subject of the photograph. Sometimes losing those distractions enhance what you really wanted people to look at.
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Old 07-03-2007, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by e3opian,Jul 3 2007, 10:28 AM
Yea, but think, the details in the windows aren't really the subject of the photograph. Sometimes losing those distractions enhance what you really wanted people to look at.
if the purpose of the B+W conversion was to lose the details in the window, then I would agree that was a good conversion, but if that was a side effect then I would say its not a good method.
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Old 07-03-2007, 12:12 PM
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I do this in a pretty similar way, except I go to Image> Adjustmenst> Gradient Map. It always gives me the right balance of black and white that i want. Example:



adjusted the composition

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