Black and white photography made easy: tips for pro-quality results from start to finish

    | B&W | Photography Tips | 05/11/2012 02:00am

    Take control of conversion


    Black and white photography: take control of conversion

    The biggest problem with in-camera black and white is that contrasting colours can end up with a similar tonal value in your images.

    There are a number of ways to change the way that individual colours are converted into black and white, including in-camera filter effects, but the best way to learn is by using the black-and-white adjustment tools in either Elements or Photoshop CS.

    These adjustments allow you to use sliders to control how individual colours are converted into black-and-white tones. Darkening or lightening the tones of these colours can transform your final result compared to a more basic conversion.

    To use these tools you’ll need to use a colour original, so you should either turn off the black-and-white picture mode on your camera, or simply shoot in raw format and then process the raw file without using the black-and-white effect.

    Shooting colour images you can convert to black and white

    Shooting for success
    This conversion technique relies on contrasting colours in your original image, so we chose to shoot a simple pink flower against a blue background. The basic set-up was positioned on a table close to a window, but not in direct sunlight.

    This diffuse lighting was deliberately chosen to provide a soft light without there being too many shadows on the flower or the background.

    With your image open in Elements, you simply need to go to Enhance>Convert to Black and White.

    This will open up a new window that contains a whole range of preset styles to choose from, along with the manual controls for adjusting the red, green and blue intensity, and a contrast control.

    On the next page we’ll take a look at some of the Preset options available in Photoshop Elements.

    PAGE 1: How to compose for black and white photography
    PAGE 2: Good subjects for black and white photography
    PAGE 3: Try using in-camera filters for your black and white photography
    PAGE 4: Shooting images you can easily convert to black and white
    PAGE 5: Black and white conversion in Photoshop Elements
    PAGE 6: Black and white conversion in Photoshop CS
    PAGE 7: Master Photoshop Levels and Curves
    PAGE 8: Using the Levels sliders
    PAGE 9: Master the Dodge and Burn tools
    PAGE 10: Toning techniques for black and white photography


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    Posted on Monday, November 5th, 2012 at 2:00 am under B&W, Photography Tips.

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