conversion to monochrome

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conversion to monochrome

Postby Leen Koper » Sun 9 Aug 2009 07:50

What do you people use for B&W conversion of your images?
The in camera option (Fuji S5) for B&W doesnot work for me, as I frequently use a Nikon camera as well.
Until now I created a layer, desaturated the top layer, chose the blending mode "color", and used the bottom layer to move the hue slider to get the results I want.

Is the B&W preset in Lightroom a better way? It gives you full control too, even a more extended control.
Leen Koper
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Re: conversion to monochrome

Postby pam.meier » Sun 9 Aug 2009 21:03

Hi Leen, I think the best way would be either the Channel Mixer or a black and white layer.
There you have the option of dosing RGB channels. Think b/w filters on analog cameras.
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Re: conversion to monochrome

Postby ddk » Sun 9 Aug 2009 21:34

Prior to CS4 the channel mixer route was what I liked best too but things changed with CS4, now I use the BW menu in PS, you have all the controls of channel mixer and a few more, its great. This is what I use for my so called art work, otherwise I love the Grayscale command in LR too. IME the desaturation method isn't the best way to convert to BW.

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Re: conversion to monochrome

Postby Luke Kaven » Sun 9 Aug 2009 21:54

I use the BW layer in CS4, which can be modified by any degree of color mixing underneath. But then I put a gradient layer on top of that and have a few gradients set for toned BW images. By using fine adjustments in the gradient layer, you can get more precise layering of varied tones, and end up with a 16-bit BW image. I think it beats using duotones, which only work on 8-bit grayscale images.

I only wish Photoshop would let you edit curves/levels/gradients/etc using 16 bit quantities rather than forcing everything to a 0-255 scale. To be honest, I think Photoshop has run its course and its terrible user interface should be discarded for a smarter design. Of course you can still do serious work with it, but the possibilities go far beyond anything imagined by its designers to date.
Luke Kaven
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Re: conversion to monochrome

Postby ChrisBergstrom » Mon 10 Aug 2009 01:45

I personally use Nik Silver Efex Pro. It's an awesome program that runs in Photoshop and you have a lot of options to get some amazing B&W photos.
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