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Converting Color Photographs to Black and White Dennis Fritsche September 4, 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "Converting Color Photographs to Black and White Dennis Fritsche September 4, 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 Converting Color Photographs to Black and White Dennis Fritsche September 4, 2012

2 Converting to Black and White What is different about Black and White (B&W) photography in the digital age? What are good candidates for conversion to B&W? What makes a good B&W image? What are the options for converting to B&W – Lightroom – Photoshop – Nik Software Silver Effects Pro 2 After Conversion Resources 9/4/2012B&W Conversion- Dennis Fritsche

3 Resources Mastering black and white digital photography by Michael Freeman B&W Conversion- Dennis Fritsche9/4/2012

4 Digital B&W Photography With film, conversion was done at the time of capture – Film choice for contrast, grain, tonal qualities – Exposure to maintain shadow detail – Filtration to set tones, especially the sky In the darkroom, developing and printing rounded out the vision of the photographer In the digital world – We expose to maintain the highlights – Many other decisions are then made at the time of conversion on the computer 9/4/2012B&W Conversion- Dennis Fritsche

5 Good Candidates for B&W I often know in advance which images will be B&W but sometimes I decide later. Generally I look for images – Where color does not add to the image and may even distract – Where shape, texture, and geometry are significant elements – Where the subject can be better isolated B&W Conversion- Dennis Fritsche9/4/2012

6 A Good B&W Photograph Well, it all depends on the subject, the lighting, the tonal range available, and mostly the intent. Before you start conversion, consider what you want the image to convey and then decide – What are the tools to emphasize your subject – The key you want – high, low, full range – How contrasty – How much detail Learn to dodge and burn to really exploit tones. My processing has moved from mid-tones, low contrast to higher contrast and lower tones. B&W Conversion- Dennis Fritsche9/4/2012

7 Adjusting Color Relationships Two basic approaches Adjust a color up or down while leaving the others alone. (Remember the primaries are mixed all over.) Use a filter to let a certain color through while blocking the other colors. The film approach. I tend to use the filter approach. Some very successful B&W photographers simply desaturate all the colors and dont adjust the color relationships. B&W Conversion- Dennis Fritsche9/4/2012

8 Lightroom Conversion Develop Module B&W Try Auto Double click B&W Mix to Reset Move individual sliders to change tonalaity for that color Or Adjust area on the image and LR chooses what colors are in that area. Repeat until tonalities arrange themselves in a pleasing manner. B&W Conversion- Dennis Fritsche9/4/2012

9 Photoshop Conversion B&W Conversion- Dennis Fritsche9/4/2012 Create B&W Adjustment Layer Try Auto Double click B&W to Reset Move individual sliders to change tonalaity for that color Or Adjust area on the image and LR chooses what colors are in that area. Repeat until tonalities arrange themselves in a pleasing manner.

10 Nik Software Silver Efex Pro 2 I use the color filter method to set the tonal relations In this case an orange filter has the effect of brightening yellow and red and darkening blue. Try all the filter colors with the slider. B&W Conversion- Dennis Fritsche9/4/2012

11 After Conversion The real work starts after the conversion to make global and local adjustments to brightness and contrast. Important Tools – Curves and masks – Dodge and burn – Nik Software Silver Efex Pro 2 B&W Conversion- Dennis Fritsche9/4/2012

12 Soft Light Dodge and Burn In Photoshop Layer/New Layer Name it Mode Soft Light Check Fill with Soft-Light Neutral (50% Gray) OK Select the Paint Brush To darken use black brush and start about % opacity To Lighten use white brush Opacity Paint directly on the image. Make it an Action because you will use it all the time! B&W Conversion- Dennis Fritsche9/4/2012

13 Nik Software Silver Efex Pro 2 Tuning The real strength is the control over global adjustments in tonal ranges of brightness, contrast, and structure Proprietary and very smart dynamic brightness and soft contrast Local adjustments with U- point technology (smart masking) of all the parameters. B&W Conversion- Dennis Fritsche9/4/2012

14 And Then There is Printing well, Maybe Another Time Thats All for Tonight Thanks


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