Methods for color to black and white conversion not producing any obvious 'example' image
See our B/W conversion page for examples of -all- the methods we've found so far
Please feel free to send us any suggestions...
This one is from Michael Friedman in the US -- It's a much more complex and flexible version of the channel mixer version
- Create a copy of the original image, select it and then delete, leaving only the window. Alternately, you can simply create a new, blank file, but copying and deleting the original ensures that both files will be exactly the same size and your registration will be correct.
- Go back to the original image and view the three channels in the Channels pallet. It is usually the case that the information in one of the three is noticeably better than the others. (Note: which channel contains the best information depends on the image).
- Select and copy the best-looking channel into the duplicate (and now blank) image window. It becomes a layer.
- Go back to the original image and select a different channel, then copy and paste it into the duplicate image. It will become a 2nd layer on top of the first.
- Optionally, you can go back and create a layer from the third channel in the same way. I usually find, though, that two are all I need for this method. You will now have an image that has a BW layer for each channel you selected and copied.
- At this point you have many different options. You can blend the layers by changing the opacity settings of the upper layers.
- You can try the different blending methods (all will look different)
- If each layer contains areas that are superior, you can create a layer mask out of the top layer and paint in the better values from the layer below. (This is a very powerful method of getting great tonal values in all areas of the photo).
- This is where I will usually merge layers or flatten the image.
- Once you're satisfied with the results of the above procedures, you can use curves and levels adjustment layers to fine-tune the results or generate more contrast.
- If you need to, you can now do one of the Photoshop procedures for additional shadow recovery.
- If you wish to colorize, or warm/cool the image, this is a good time to do it.
- Sharpen to taste.
A very good set of conversion actions (Johny's B&W Package V2.0) can be found at:
It includes toning options and options to add back film grain
See also our reviews page which includes a couple of software packages that Keith regularly uses for prints in the gallery