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In Photoshop Lightroom 3 Essential Training, author Chris Orwig provides a comprehensive look at Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3, the popular photo-asset management, enhancement, and publishing program. The course covers indispensable techniques such as importing, processing, and organizing images in the Library, correcting and adjusting images in the Develop module, and creating slideshows, web galleries, and print picture packages. In addition to exploring all of Lightroom 3's capabilities, this course is rich with creative tips and expert advice on photographic workflow. Exercise files accompany the course.
Let's take a look at how we can convert this image to black-and-white and really control the different tones that we have. In this image it will work well, because we have the blue in the sky and the ocean and then yellow in the sand, then also a bright color in the garment. So what I am going to do here is press the V key in order to convert to black-and-white. Next, I want to navigate to my Black & White panel. There are a couple of different ways that I can do this. On a Mac I can press Command+3. On a PC that's Ctrl+3. That will open or close that particular panel.
Now we could, of course also click on the panel name. The other way that we can quickly navigate to the panel is by activating the Target Adjustment tool for the black-and-white conversion. If you remember, there is a shortcut for that. It's Shift+Option+Command+G on a Mac. That's Shift+Alt+Ctrl+G on a PC. What that will do is it will target or activate that tool, as you can see here, and open up this panel. That's a really handy shortcut to know because it allows you just really quickly jump to this black-and-white conversion.
Now once here and once this tool is activated what we can do is go ahead and click and drag down in order to darken the sky. I am going to approach the horizon, make sure I darken it all the way down there and then I will go ahead and navigate over to the sand. Now here with the sand, I can control the brightness value of that one way or another. In my case, I want to darken it up a little bit. What about the shorts there? Click and drag up. Those are red so we can control the brightness of those as well. A lot of times what you will do is you will make your way through a photograph, clicking and dragging and making changes to different areas of the image.
Now if you ever want to see what it looked like before, you can always reset this or go back to what's called the Auto Black & White Mix. I am going to click on Auto here and here is what I had prior. This was the original conversion. I will press Command+Z on a Mac, Ctrl+Z on a PC to undo that Auto conversion to see the conversion that I came up with. This one is much more compelling. Now the one thing that you have to be cautious of when you are converting something to black-and-white and making such drastic changes is that what's going to happen is you are going to increase the noise in specific areas.
So if I go to a 1:1 view and then press the Spacebar key and click and drag around, you will notice that there is some noise up here in the sky. Now it's not that bad, but I just want to point it out that it will happen because you are changing an area in a real drastic way. I mean we have made a strong adjustment to the blues. So if you are going to make a real strong black-and-white conversion, kind of like this, go ahead and zoom in and just pane around the image and take a look at the different detail or texture or noise you have in the different areas of your photograph and then finally if you need to, you can always head down to the Detail panel, which we will talk about in one of our subsequent movies where we can dial in the correct amount of noise reduction and sharpening so that our images look their best.
Well, one last thing I want to do here. I will go ahead and navigate to the Fit-in view. The last thing that I am going to do is exit out of this. I am going to do that simply by going to the Basic panel. You will notice that when I navigate to the Basic panel, it deactivates that tool. It closes the panel and now I can make other adjustments. Once here, some of the other adjustments I may want to make are to increase the Contrast perhaps even further, bring in a little bit of Fill Light or increase my Blacks as well.
So I can continually modify this or change the overall black-and-white conversion by working with the sliders that I have located throughout Lightroom. So just keep in mind that the best black-and-white conversions are typically the result of starting off with this Black & White panel and then by navigating to some of your other panels in order to make some other adjustments, whether it's for contrast or clarity or exposure or sharpness or noise reduction, whatever it is. It's the combination of all these panels together that will lead you to the best results.
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