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Canon 1d Mark II--color to black and white

i’m relatively new to the digital end of things. i’ve been having problems converting my digital files which i shoot raw, from color Tifs, into decent looking black and white images. lots of weird noise issues and the shadows and blacks get all out of whack depending. does anybody have a system in photoshop that they are willing to teach me? i’m photoshop fluent, but just a little techno-shocked at the moment.

missing the tri-x

by [a former member] at 2005-11-26 05:24:28 UTC (ed. Mar 12 2008 ) Amman , Jordan | Bookmark | | Report spam→


Here are four color to B&W conversions that I tried. I have a preferred method but I would not want to bias anyone, so try each as see if you like any. Some methods work better with specific outputs (I know there are more ways than these to make the conversions too.)

Method #1-
Covert the image from RGB to grey scale. (Image>Mode>Grey scale) Click “yes� when your asked if you want to discard the color information. Use “Undo� (Edit>undo) and you back to RGB.

Method #2-
Use the channel palette and click on each of the channels (red, green, and blue) individually to see which you prefer. Click back on RGB to get back to the original image. (The red channel can look like a B&W film shot with a red filter)

Method #3-
Change to LAB color (Image>Mode>Lab Color) then click on the Lightness Channel in the channel palette. Also you may want to adjust the mid-tone in the levels (usually slightly to the right)

To save a channel for future use you may have to create a new background then use File>New and set everything up for your print then click “OK�. Now you copy and paste the image to the new background using Select>All then Edit>Copy then click on the new background to bring it to the front of the screen. Then use Edit>Paste, make any adjustments (Levels) then do a File>Save As and Name it. You’re done.

Credit for the methods 1, 2, and 3 go to Mr. Steve Burger of Pro Digital Image in Phoenix AZ. I am not affiliated with PDI but was a student of his.

Method #4-
• Create a new saturation layer.
• Move the saturation slider to 0%
• Click on the background layer.
• Create a second saturation layer with the mode set to “color�.
• Click on the “colorize� option.
• Adjust the 3 sliders to your liking. (Usually only the top one)
• Flatten the layers
• Transform to grey scale mode. (Gamma 1.8 for mac)

I learned this from a website (I cannot remember where) but it is credited to Mr. Bruno Stevens.

I hope some of these methods help. Best of luck!


by Scott Grane | 18 Dec 2005 13:12 | Phoenix, United States | | Report spam→
I use The Imaging Factory’s "Convert to B&W Pro" http://www.theimagingfactory.com/data/pages/info/cbwp/cbwp.htm

It is very nice…

by David Harpe | 18 Dec 2005 13:12 | Louisville, United States | | Report spam→
Some one just emailed me a link to this site. (http://www.fredmiranda.com/shopping/BMW) There is a PC version as well. I have never used any of the plugins listed. (http://www.fredmiranda.com/software/)

by Scott Grane | 18 Dec 2005 14:12 | Phoenix, United States | | Report spam→
Hi Bryan,

Here’s how I convert color to BW ( if I remember correctly Greg Gorman and/or his retoucher came up with this method).
1. Start with a color image that’s been properly adjusted for exposure and tone (set the white/black points, etc…)
2. Convert the image to LAB (image, mode, LAB color)
3. In the channel palette select the lightness channel
4. Convert the image to grayscale (Image, mode, grayscale)

The image is now in grayscale. You can either stop here and work on it in grayscale or you can convert it to RGB and work on it as a RGB image.

by Chris Corsmeier | 18 Dec 2005 18:12 | Los Angeles, United States | | Report spam→
This explains it a little clearer


by Chris Corsmeier | 18 Dec 2005 18:12 | Los Angeles, United States | | Report spam→
Try this technique, developed and provided as a Photoshop Action by Dutch photographer Daan Van Eijndhoven:


by Jerome Pennington | 19 Dec 2005 17:12 | Cleveland, Ohio, United States | | Report spam→
View in RGB, click on each channel.  decide which is most interesting, throw away the rest…

Or, take each Channel, and make each one a Layer, so you can apply Layer masks, etc.  This is cool, for example, when you want that Red Filter look in the sky, and that nice no filter look elsewhere…

Is this wrong?

by guy on the road.... | 14 Feb 2006 13:02 | Buenos Aires, Argentina | | Report spam→
Oops had to delete yet another double post! Anyway of deleting them entirely? Could be handy as this PC is a bit flaky when using internet at moment hence extra posts all the time.

by AJP Lawrence | 01 Mar 2006 19:03 (ed. Mar 1 2006) | Sheffield/London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
I’m surprised at so little mention of using the channel mixer method as many reckon it’s the best. Though I have to admit I’ve tried it many times and dislike it immensely and so use several other methods. With the Robb Carr method [that Greg Gorman uses]as described above you need to do a selection of the lightness channel [Cntrl/Cmmd+Click], not just select it. But Chris also supplies the link with more detail
A version of the Russel Brown method I modified is one I like to use and is extremely adaptable.
What I find is that like with B+W film you use the method/film that works for that particular subject. I tried the Channel mixer presets from link above and they all looked awful on an image I was playing with. Then again I’ve written a lith like action that I use a lot, but it only works well with certain images.
You should do this stuff in 16 bit mode, it can make a big difference and not only by increasing file size rather a lot!
This may also be of help Northlight

by AJP Lawrence | 01 Mar 2006 19:03 | Sheffield/London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→

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Scott Grane, Scott Grane
Phoenix , United States
David Harpe, Photographer David Harpe
Louisville , United States
Chris Corsmeier, Chris Corsmeier
Los Angeles , United States
Jerome Pennington, photographer, sushi snob Jerome Pennington
photographer, sushi snob
(pointing & shooting since 1987)
Santa Clarita, Ca , United States
guy on the road...., photographer guy on the road....
Buenos Aires , Argentina
AJP Lawrence, Photographer/Graphic Desi AJP Lawrence
Photographer/Graphic Desi
Sheffield/London , United Kingdom


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