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Converting to black and white

From: Up and Running with Lightroom 5

Video: Converting to black and white

When you want to convert a color image to black and white, you'll go to the HSL color BMW panel. This is the same panel that we used earlier when we were talking about adjusting the hue, saturation and luminance of individual colors in a color image. When you want to use this panel to convert an image to black and white, just click on BMW in the Title bar of the panel. And that does an automatic black and white conversion. What Lightroom has done is taking each color in the image and assigned it a particular brightness value. You can see that brightness value over here to the right of each of these color sliders.

Converting to black and white

When you want to convert a color image to black and white, you'll go to the HSL color BMW panel. This is the same panel that we used earlier when we were talking about adjusting the hue, saturation and luminance of individual colors in a color image. When you want to use this panel to convert an image to black and white, just click on BMW in the Title bar of the panel. And that does an automatic black and white conversion. What Lightroom has done is taking each color in the image and assigned it a particular brightness value. You can see that brightness value over here to the right of each of these color sliders.

But that's just the beginning, I can now come in and customize this color to black and white conversion by dragging individual sliders here. So for example, I remember that there was blue in the sky here. If I'd like that blue to be darker. I'll move to the blue slider and I'll drag it to the left like this. Now that darkens the blue not only right here in the sky but it would darken the blue anywhere that it appeared in this image. Now often after you've made the black and white conversion, you may not remember exactly what color something is. For example, is this water aqua or blue? Does it have green in it? I really don't remember.

So instead of just dragging the sliders in this panel, I'm going to use the targeted Adjustment tool. The targeted Adjustment tool is this little dot at the top of this panel. If I click on that dot, it activates it and I know it's activated because now I see two triangles above and below the tool. And if I come into the image and click somewhere, say on the water and then drag up, that will lighten the corresponding colors. Notice as I'm dragging that the green and yellow sliders are moving to the right. And you might not have thought that the water has yellow in it but in fact it does.

If I go the other way that darkens the water. I think I'm going to actually brighten it up a bit. And then I'll move my tool over this building and I'll drag to the right. And that's making the building lighter and moving the yellow and orange sliders. And I might darken this area here. Now that takes the same yellow and orange sliders and drags them back to the left. And remember whenever those sliders move, it's affecting all of the yellows and oranges everywhere in the image. So this is actually darkening the building again. So if I want the building lighter I'll go back and brighten it up again.

When I'm done with the targeted adjustment tool, I'll remember to come over and click on the tool to deactivate it. Now I'm not limited to just using the sliders in the Black and White panel on the black and white converted image. I can go up to the Basic panel, for example and here I might use the exposure slider to brighten the black and white image. I might come down and increase the clarity in the image like this. So that's how to make a black and white conversion starting with a color image in Lightroom. By the way remember that any change that you make in Lightroom is non-destructive of the original. So if I wanted to get my color image back again.

All I would have to do is come down and click the Reset button at the bottom of the column on the right and my black and white is once again a color image. And if I wanted to go back to black and white, then I would press Cmd+Z on my Mac that's Ctrl+Z on a PC to undo my last step, which was to go back to color. And once again I have a black and white image. Now let me show you one more image. Here I'd like to apply a special partial black an white effect. So once again I'm going to go down to the HSL B&W panel and this time I'm not going to click BMW.

I'm going to leave this set to HSL. An what I'm going to do is go to the saturation tab and then drag all the sliders to the left to remove all the colors except for red an orange. I'll take the yellow slider to the left, the green slider aqua, blue, purple and magenta. And now the only colors left in the image are red and orange. Everything else has been pulled out and made black and white. So you can get this partial black and white, partial color effect for a sort of a hand-painted look. So those are a couple of ways that you can use Lightroom to convert color images to black and white.

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This video is part of

Image for Up and Running with Lightroom 5
Up and Running with Lightroom 5

40 video lessons · 24364 viewers

Jan Kabili
Author

 
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  1. 5m 24s
    1. Welcome
      1m 2s
    2. Using the exercise files
      4m 22s
  2. 30m 31s
    1. Understanding catalogs
      4m 21s
    2. Organizing your photos before importing
      3m 10s
    3. Deciding where to store your photos
      4m 28s
    4. Importing photos from a drive
      8m 14s
    5. Importing photos from a camera
      10m 18s
  3. 1h 15m
    1. Library module workspace
      7m 21s
    2. Viewing and sorting photos
      6m 16s
    3. Selecting photos
      7m 9s
    4. Reviewing and rating photos
      8m 41s
    5. Organizing with collections
      6m 27s
    6. Using Smart Collections
      6m 21s
    7. Keywording
      4m 51s
    8. Finding photos by keyword
      5m 40s
    9. Finding photos with the Metadata filter
      4m 53s
    10. Moving files and folders
      7m 16s
    11. Renaming photos
      4m 18s
    12. Working with Smart Previews when traveling
      6m 6s
  4. 54m 18s
    1. Develop module workspace
      6m 14s
    2. Cropping and straightening
      4m 25s
    3. Fixing perspective with Upright
      7m 19s
    4. Setting white balance
      4m 41s
    5. Using the histogram to evaluate tones
      4m 5s
    6. Adjusting tone and color in the Basic panel
      8m 45s
    7. Fine-tuning colors in the HSL panel
      3m 35s
    8. Converting to black and white
      3m 56s
    9. Using virtual copies
      3m 43s
    10. Reducing digital noise
      3m 24s
    11. Sharpening
      4m 11s
  5. 26m 21s
    1. Targeting edits with the Adjustment Brush
      6m 45s
    2. Spotlighting and vignetting with the Radial filter
      6m 0s
    3. Gradual editing with the Graduated filter
      4m 5s
    4. Removing dust spots with Spot Removal circles
      6m 12s
    5. Removing content with Spot Removal brushstrokes
      3m 19s
  6. 30m 40s
    1. Exporting photos
      9m 22s
    2. Setting up a connection to Facebook
      6m 22s
    3. Sharing photos to Facebook
      5m 44s
    4. Printing photos
      9m 12s
  7. 26s
    1. Next steps
      26s

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