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Creating a dramatic black-and-white landscape

From: Photoshop CS5 for Photographers: Camera Raw 6

Video: Creating a dramatic black-and-white landscape

There is nothing like landscape photography, and there's really nothing like a black-and-white landscape photograph. You know there is such a rich history and tradition with black-and-white landscape photography and even more of these images are just so intriguing to look at. All right. Well, let's take a look at how we can convert this black-and-white image to grayscale. Let's take a look at how we can do that by starting off in the HSL/Grayscale panel. Let's select this panel by pressing a shortcut: Command+Option+4 on a Mac, Ctrl+Alt+4 on Windows.

Creating a dramatic black-and-white landscape

There is nothing like landscape photography, and there's really nothing like a black-and-white landscape photograph. You know there is such a rich history and tradition with black-and-white landscape photography and even more of these images are just so intriguing to look at. All right. Well, let's take a look at how we can convert this black-and-white image to grayscale. Let's take a look at how we can do that by starting off in the HSL/Grayscale panel. Let's select this panel by pressing a shortcut: Command+Option+4 on a Mac, Ctrl+Alt+4 on Windows.

Next what we want to do is Convert to Grayscale. Now when we do that the image looks a little bit flat, not quite interesting enough. Well one of the things that we know we almost always need to do with landscape shots like this is we need to darken the sky. We need to add some drama up there. So I will go ahead and bring down our blues and also our aquas and already the image is really taking on a new life. Well the next thing we need to do is we want to work on the overall color of the field here. We can dial this in a couple of interesting ways.

I can focus in on that path, I can also brighten up some of the grasses there, and I can really come up with an interesting conversion. All right. Well at this state, the image is already coming to life in a new way. Next, let's go back to our basic panel. Here in the basic panel, I will add just a touch of Fill Light, little bit more Contrast just to build up this drama and then increase my Blacks just a bit more. Now one of the things that I want to do here is let's say that I actually want to brighten up the path even more. So in order to do that, we are going to use a tool that we've already talked about.

It's called the Adjustment Brush. Press the K key to select the tool, and then go ahead and click on this plus icon here in order to go to the preset for Exposure in the positive. Next, we want to choose Auto Mask on, and then we want a relatively low Flow and for our brush size, we want a size that's about as big as this little path area here. Now what I am going to do is simply click and paint across this path, and as I do that, I can brighten up this area of the image. Now the only downside in regards to using Auto Mask is that sometimes our edges look a little bit choppy.

So I am going to turn Auto Mask off, either by clicking here or by pressing the M key. Press the left bracket key to make my brush a touch smaller and then just around the edges, I am going to look to try to paint in a bit to soften things up a little bit. Well I liked that it limited my adjustment to that area. I am noticing that there are few areas that are just a touch too choppy. So I want to go ahead and make just a couple of changes in those areas in order to modify that. All right. Well now that I have these Brighten affect dialed in, it is definitely too bright.

But that's okay. You know sometimes what you want to do is overdo your adjustment with this tool in order to see the edges and then next, lower it down until you find just the right sweet spot for your photograph. Here I will go ahead and just click and drag this back, add a bit of contrast in this area as well, little bit of clarity and also a little bit of sharpness just to add a bit of snap to that area. All right. Well to look at my before and after with this Adjustment Brush that we've applied here, we can click on the P key or simply press the Preview button.

Here is our before, and now here is our after, something which is leaning the viewer into the frame in a completely unique and distinct way. All right. Well, I will go ahead and just lower this Exposure down just a little bit more. I think it was just a touch too strong. Next, I want to go back to my HSL controls. In order to do that, I will go ahead and press the Z key, and it will take me to my Zoom tool, or in other words, it will exit me out of that Adjustment Brush adjustment that I have just made. Well now here, we will go back to our HSL controls, and now that we've worked on this image a little bit more, I just want to change things up a touch more and in particular I want to darken up the grass there.

Again, I am going for the dramatic view. All right. Well, perfect. I'm really liking this black-and-white conversion. It's completely different than just the default or auto settings, and we've really built this up nicely. Now the last thing that we want to do, of course, is double-click the Zoom tool. When we do that we want to press the Spacebar key, and we want to pan around our image. I want to take a look at the image and see if we see any noisy areas. Now one of the things that I'm noticing is there is a little bit noise in this image in regards to how we converted this.

So what I might want to do here is go to my Detail panel. In the Detail panel, we will go ahead and add a little bit Noise Reduction regards the Luminance value, in details there or very low detail amount. Then I will also increase our Color Detail Noise Reduction as well and then reduce those details as needed. Again, you want to look at your image of course and evaluate what you're seeing there. And a lot of these little subtleties are going to be tricky to see when this movie is actually compressed. Here on my monitor, I can see them really nicely, and they are looking good. I want to add just a touch of sharpening here, little bit higher Amount, lower Radius.

Next I will double-click the Hand tool. That will take this image so that the entirety of the image fits in the view of Adobe Camera Raw. Now we have completed a pretty good black-and-white conversion. So as you can see, you can really use these HSL controls as a great starting point from which you can build pretty stunning and pretty compelling black-and-white images.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS5 for Photographers: Camera Raw 6
Photoshop CS5 for Photographers: Camera Raw 6

121 video lessons · 20087 viewers

Chris Orwig
Author

 
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  1. 8m 57s
    1. Welcome
      54s
    2. Should I use Adobe Camera Raw or Photoshop?
      3m 22s
    3. What is Camera Raw?
      3m 45s
    4. Using the exercise files
      56s
  2. 21m 7s
    1. Bridge overview and preferences
      4m 9s
    2. Camera Raw preferences
      3m 17s
    3. Raw vs. JPG or TIFF files
      3m 5s
    4. Choosing a native raw file or a digital negative (DNG)
      6m 13s
    5. Converting or saving to the DNG format
      4m 23s
  3. 28m 44s
    1. Project overview: Cover photo shoot
      2m 6s
    2. Auto-toning and correcting white balance
      3m 3s
    3. Cropping and composing
      2m 35s
    4. Enhancing color and tone
      2m 39s
    5. Removing distractions
      2m 46s
    6. Sharpening and noise reduction
      2m 29s
    7. Converting to black and white
      2m 24s
    8. Adding a vignette
      2m 10s
    9. Making a localized correction
      1m 45s
    10. Creating snapshots of memorable looks
      3m 11s
    11. Re-editing Camera Raw settings
      57s
    12. Working with multiple adjustments
      2m 39s
  4. 16m 13s
    1. Navigating the interface and the toolbar
      5m 5s
    2. Image adjustment tabs and panels
      5m 8s
    3. Using the histogram
      2m 4s
    4. Previewing before and after different adjustments
      2m 4s
    5. Working with multiple files
      1m 52s
  5. 23m 17s
    1. Opening raw files in Bridge
      6m 3s
    2. Opening JPGs and TIFFs in Bridge
      3m 28s
    3. Accessing Camera Raw from Mini Bridge
      2m 57s
    4. Resizing in Camera Raw with workflow options
      3m 35s
    5. Saving from Camera Raw
      3m 5s
    6. Opening an image as a Smart Object
      1m 41s
    7. Creating a duplicate file
      2m 28s
  6. 13m 56s
    1. Using the Crop and Straighten tools
      2m 23s
    2. Working with the Crop tool
      3m 39s
    3. Cropping with an aspect ratio
      2m 26s
    4. Composing with the Crop tool
      2m 33s
    5. Creative cropping
      2m 55s
  7. 10m 29s
    1. Improving color balance
      2m 23s
    2. Using the White Balance tool and controls
      1m 35s
    3. Color correcting with white balance cards
      2m 31s
    4. White balance vision and creativity
      2m 22s
    5. Color balance resources
      1m 38s
  8. 30m 17s
    1. Deconstructing the basic adjustments
      3m 59s
    2. Recovering highlights
      2m 29s
    3. Making basic exposure enhancements
      1m 59s
    4. Making basic adjustments more quickly
      2m 18s
    5. The relationship between tone and color
      2m 40s
    6. Enhancing color and tone
      1m 9s
    7. Demystifying clarity
      3m 36s
    8. Increasing clarity
      3m 48s
    9. Understanding Vibrance and Saturation
      2m 28s
    10. Improving color with Vibrance
      2m 4s
    11. Using Vibrance and Saturation together
      1m 38s
    12. Color creativity
      2m 9s
  9. 8m 55s
    1. Learning about the parametric and point tone curves
      4m 53s
    2. Using the parametric curve
      2m 7s
    3. Using the point curve
      1m 55s
  10. 15m 29s
    1. Removing blemishes on a face
      4m 36s
    2. Cloning away small background distractions
      3m 37s
    3. Removing distracting background elements
      1m 55s
    4. Cleaning up a studio background
      1m 31s
    5. Removing dust on the lens or the camera sensor
      2m 25s
    6. Removing red-eye
      1m 25s
  11. 46m 13s
    1. Demystifying the Adjustment Brush
      3m 37s
    2. Correcting exposure by brightening shadows
      2m 23s
    3. Painting an effect into a photograph
      4m 41s
    4. Increasing visual interest by brightening shadows
      4m 3s
    5. Increasing visual interest by heightening saturation
      5m 0s
    6. Whitening teeth
      3m 33s
    7. Adding color to makeup
      5m 58s
    8. Changing color
      4m 12s
    9. Selective sharpening
      6m 8s
    10. Eye sharpening and skin smoothing workflow
      4m 28s
    11. Creating custom Adjustment Brush presets
      2m 10s
  12. 11m 33s
    1. Enhancing the foreground and background of an image with the Graduated Filter
      4m 55s
    2. Reducing exposure with the Graduated Filter
      3m 15s
    3. Creative effects with the Graduated Filter
      3m 23s
  13. 33m 26s
    1. Noise reduction
      6m 33s
    2. Reducing noise and sharpening
      6m 36s
    3. Sharpening more effectively
      7m 18s
    4. Edge sharpening in an architectural photograph
      3m 1s
    5. Sharpening a portrait
      2m 3s
    6. Using the Detail panel to soften skin
      7m 55s
  14. 16m 18s
    1. Introducing HSL
      3m 38s
    2. Modifying color and tone
      3m 52s
    3. Enhancing a fashion photograph
      3m 5s
    4. Enhancing color and tone with HSL
      3m 16s
    5. Getting creative with color
      2m 27s
  15. 13m 59s
    1. The black-and-white controls
      2m 43s
    2. A simple black-and-white conversion
      2m 5s
    3. Using multiple panels to create a black-and-white image
      3m 52s
    4. Creating a dramatic black-and-white landscape
      5m 19s
  16. 6m 40s
    1. Traditional black-and-white toning
      3m 26s
    2. Toning a color photo creatively
      3m 14s
  17. 11m 17s
    1. Deconstructing the Lens Correction controls
      3m 48s
    2. Correcting lens vignette
      1m 59s
    3. Correcting lens vignette more quickly
      1m 21s
    4. Correcting chromatic aberration and defringing
      4m 9s
  18. 16m 30s
    1. Understanding the Effects controls
      5m 54s
    2. Using the Post Crop Vignette for creative effects
      3m 23s
    3. Adding film grain to a black-and-white image
      2m 18s
    4. Adding film grain with Camera Raw and Photoshop
      4m 55s
  19. 14m 4s
    1. Introducing the Camera Calibration panel
      3m 39s
    2. Comparing color options with Snapshot
      2m 47s
    3. Creative color with the Camera Calibration controls
      4m 48s
    4. Camera Calibration resources
      2m 50s
  20. 9m 41s
    1. Introducing presets
      2m 27s
    2. Applying presets to multiple images
      3m 9s
    3. Preset resources
      4m 5s
  21. 10m 0s
    1. Quick raw processing of multiple files
      4m 38s
    2. Recording an action
      3m 15s
    3. Batch processing multiple images
      2m 7s
  22. 13m 52s
    1. Creative vivid color
      3m 30s
    2. Working with split toning
      2m 14s
    3. Applying soft and warm colors
      1m 25s
    4. Adding warm, muted colors
      2m 28s
    5. Adding and reducing false color
      4m 15s
  23. 7m 58s
    1. Additional resources
      3m 11s
    2. Camera Raw and Lightroom
      4m 19s
    3. Goodbye
      28s

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