How do you make a bw image? - Printable Version

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How do you make a bw image? - DennisM - 06-26-2019 05:04 PM

Manipulating digital color into b/w or monochromatic
So I thought maybe a thread on post processing might be fun to share techniques...

Using photoshop I'll take a color image and convert it to a b/w image via the mode command. Then, I'll work on balancing the light/dark places on the image. Sometimes I'll use the "diffuse glow" filter with the background set to white.

Then, I'll use the mode command and convert it to a duotone image, usually using either two shades of black or one shade of black and one shade of a dark brown. Then, I adjust the levels balance to lighten up the image to make up for the darkness the duotone bestows. Once I have the levels set, I use the mode command again to make it a rgb image.

Then, using the hue/saturation control, I'll play around with it and see if it looks better with a touch of sepia and warmth or shift into the blue for a cold image.

What do you do?

RE: How do you make a bw image? - Gerard Buckleman - 06-30-2019 08:10 AM

good question Dennis, thanks for your input on this, I will add my workflow. just want to see who else responds...

RE: How do you make a bw image? - DennisM - 06-30-2019 10:39 PM

I had wondered if anyone else would too!

(06-30-2019 08:10 AM)Gerard Buckleman Wrote:  good question Dennis, thanks for your input on this, I will add my workflow. just want to see who else responds...

RE: How do you make a bw image? - Gerard Buckleman - 07-12-2019 07:14 PM

my way of processing color digital images...first, let me say I don't use the jpg feature in any camera I use. I shoot raw, nef, etc... their is more manageability to the final picture, but this could be another "argument" of photographers that I have talked with...

Second, I do not have a calibrated screen, what I see in my viewfinder to what I see on my computer screen, to what I print has taken time, but isn't that what we had in the wet darkroom.

Just processing film, you had to worry about water temp, what developer you used to get the final negative (I sent my 120 film out and they cross processed it, came back different). I can't say how many 3x5, 4x6, 5x7, 8x10 prints I trashed in the wet darkroom. Just by a couple of seconds of filtered light(how many people still remember using filters in their cold-light heads) (and this is where "Photoshop plays its part)), swishing thru the developer, stop bath, fixer, hanging the prints to dry. Did I mention the different types of paper being used...but that is a different venue.

So with all this being said, I view my photos using breeze browser to select the pics I want to use. Then I will edit/develop using Photoshop, version CS6 (it is a shame how they charge you yearly now).

When I select the edit mode in breeze browser it opens in Photoshop giving me the latitude to process the image for the following:
white balance, temperature, tint, exposure, contrast, highlights,shadows, whites, blacks, clarity(=diffuse glow)(even though I can still use the diffuse glow in Photoshop)), vibrance(color only), saturation(which I select -100 (converts to a b&w image)), and sharping(amount - 145, radius - .06, detail - 4).
From this point on, it depends how I want the photo to be displayed. Since most of shots are based on the same settings within the camera, I can use Photoshop use of previous conversion to convert several shots (with some minor variations) easily. Even changing the color temp/ tint can give nice results.
Next is the curves feature in PS, even though B&W, you are still able to add cold or warm features, then again this is the photographer choice, which I always enjoy seeing.
I give you 2 examples of the same photo...
comments are welcomed


RE: How do you make a bw image? - DennisM - 07-20-2019 04:17 AM

That's a really detailed shot for a low res, lots of good contrast and depth to the blackness. DxO lets you simulate specific film outputs? Neat!