Best way to convert to B&W

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How do you convert color digital files to B&W with either photoshop or gimp other than just using levels and curves?
 
R

rocketliv

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I love the black and white feature on PSCS3. It allows you to adjust the colors which when reducing red gives a very smooth skin tone.

Its under Images>Adjustments>Black and White
 
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How do you convert color digital files to B&W with either photoshop or gimp other than just using levels and curves?

Colyn,

Greetings. Not sure where I learned it (one of the many PS books I've pawed through) but I always covert using Channel Mixer.

The steps, in Photoshop:

Look at each individual channel (red green blue) to see where the detail you want to portray is rendered the best.

In the Channel Mixer, click on Monochrome and mix the channels to taste.

Correct contrast with curves. (I usually use multiple curves layers to selectively apply contrast as desired).

You can reintroduce color by adding a solid color fill layer and adjusting opacity and blending to taste. I use an orange fill layer for sepia for instance.

_DSC0450.jpg
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_DSC0450-Edit-Edit.jpg
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Cheers,

-Yamo-
 
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Look at each individual channel (red green blue) to see where the detail you want to portray is rendered the best.

Cheers,

-Yamo-

In addition to Yamo's suggestions, it is sometimes helpful to simply look at the histogram and determine where the tonal levels are for significant objects and areas in your image. If there is too much overlap between adjacent objects/areas, B&W conversion will render the objects indistinguishable (or nearly so). In such cases, it may be desireable to work within the framework of the HSV color model to remap (i.e. selectively brighten/darken) objects or areas. This will make working with curves to enhance contrast a little simpler.
 
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May 10, 2008
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North Texas
I am certainly not an expert, but I can recommend the August 2008 issue of Digital Photo magazine. It has an article on converting to mono, detailing 5 different methods. Hope this helps.
 
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This is a simple method that almost always gives me good results


convert image to lab mode
click on the channels and then delete either the "a" or "b" channel
two channels now remain , delete the lower channel
convert back to gray scale and then rgb
play with levels and brightness/contrast
 

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