Home
Head's Up: I'm in the middle of upgrading my site. Most things are in place, but there are something missing and/or broken including image alt text. Please bear with me while I'm getting things fixed.

Black and White Conversion

The ability to easily convert from color to black and white is one of my favorite things about digital photography. Most of the time when I used to shoot film it would be black and white. Part of this was because it was less expensive. I also just liked it better.

Using photoshop, I was never really happy with just converting to grayscale to make an image black and white. It always looked flat to me. Back about photoshop 3 or 4, I discovered that you could use the "Channels" of the color image to pull a black and white image from the color and get better results. I especially liked the red channel which had a tendency to look a lot like infrared.

These days I use a channel mixer adjustment layer to do my conversions. After setting the channel mixer to "Monochrome" by marking the checkbox at the bottom, I set the following :

This makes a balance of the skin tones that I like a lot.

If the specific image has a lot of green or blue in it you might have to tweak it some, but it's a good base level to start with.

The last thing I do is make a curves adjustment layer and bring up the midtones just a little. Say something like an Input of "75" and and output of "85" to add just a little more punch to it. If you haven't played with the channel mixer before to do black and white conversions, give it a try.