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

    | B&W | Photography Tips | 05/11/2012 02:00am
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    Using the Levels sliders

    Using the Levels sliders to adjust highlights

    Highlights
    These are controlled by the white triangle to the right of the histogram. The most common adjustment is to drag this to the left until it just meets the end of the graph. Drag it further left and you will lose detail in the highlights.

    Using the Levels sliders to adjust shadows

    Shadows  
    These are controlled by the black triangle to the left of the histogram. Dragging this to the right darkens the shadows, but it’s a good idea to drag it slightly inside the end of the histogram to make your images look punchier.

    Using the Levels sliders to adjust midtones

    Midtones
    Along with the highlight and shadows controls, Levels also allows you to darken or lighten the midtones using the grey triangle in the middle of the histogram. To darken the midtones, drag to the right. Drag to the left to lighten.

    What can go wrong?
    While the Curves adjustment gives you more control than Levels, it’s also easy to take adjustments too far. If you drag any section of the curve so that the line gets close to horizontal, these tones will look flat and unnatural in your image.

    Top Tip
    Elements 9 or later has a limited curves control, known as Color Curves. Go to Enhance>Adjust Color>Adjust Color Curves. Instead of adjusting any point, it only has sliders for Highlights, Midtone Brightness, Midtone Contrast and Shadows.

    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

    READ MORE

    The black and white photographer’s guide to light and contrast
    The black and white landscape: make a mono masterpiece
    Photo Ideas: 5 unbeatable ways to convert to black and white portraits


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

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