Black and white photography made easy: tips for pro-quality results from start to finish
Using the Levels sliders
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.
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.
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.
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
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
on Monday, November 5th, 2012 at 2:00 am under B&W, Photography Tips.
Tags: black and white photography, photo ideas, Shoot Like A Pro