Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Doing a selective black-and-white conversion

From: Foundations of Photography: Black and White

Video: Doing a selective black-and-white conversion

There will be times when you won't want to convert all of an image to black and white. Selective black-and-white conversion allows you to leave something in the image that's in color. So, you'll see this. A lot of times people will convert an image into black and white and leave one object edited in color. It can be a very cool effect. I would argue that you need to be careful with it, that it doesn't upstage your image. A lot of times such an effect can be distracting because what people notice is oh, hey, one thing is in color. Here is an example. I'm going to leave her color and knock the background out to black and white.

Doing a selective black-and-white conversion

There will be times when you won't want to convert all of an image to black and white. Selective black-and-white conversion allows you to leave something in the image that's in color. So, you'll see this. A lot of times people will convert an image into black and white and leave one object edited in color. It can be a very cool effect. I would argue that you need to be careful with it, that it doesn't upstage your image. A lot of times such an effect can be distracting because what people notice is oh, hey, one thing is in color. Here is an example. I'm going to leave her color and knock the background out to black and white.

So here is my original. I've added a Black and White adjustment layer. I can now do any toning in black and white that I like, but this works this fine as is. Black and White is an adjustment layer, just like the Levels adjustment layers that we've been using, which means it always comes in with a layer mask, which means I can simply build a mask to say what should be in black and white and what should be in color. Right now, the mask is empty, so the entire image is getting the black-and-white effect. Remember this Black and White adjustment layer, again is kind of spray paint that we're spraying onto our image, that's turning it into black and white.

And this layer mask is like a stencil that's in front of our image. So wherever I fill up the stencil, or the the mask, with black, none of that magic black-and-white spray paint goes through, and so these areas do not get converted to grayscale. So fortunately, this image is extremely shallow depth of field and so the edges are already a little bit soft. I don't have to be super particular about nailing my mask exactly right. If I want to be, I can, and I can use some of Photoshop's other masking tools.

A detailed discussion of Photoshop's masking tools is way beyond a humble black- and-white course such as this. But you can find other courses on Photoshop's masking capabilities, and any of them can be used with a Black and White layer that we're looking at here, or the Levels adjustment layers that we've been using--all of those masking tools give you ways of constraining your tonal adjustments in your edits. I might just do a little more of touching that out, and so there we go. I've got her in color, the background in black and white. It makes for a nice cooler background, brings more focused her.

These kinds of edits are extremely easy thanks to Black and White adjustment layers, and they are a single reason to be using Black and White adjustment layers rather than the destructive Black and White dialog box.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Foundations of Photography: Black and White
Foundations of Photography: Black and White

39 video lessons · 22965 viewers

Ben Long
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 8m 25s
    1. Welcome
      1m 24s
    2. Why black and white?
      5m 12s
    3. Suggested prerequisites
      53s
    4. Using the exercise files
      56s
  2. 19m 43s
    1. Is it really black and white?
      1m 9s
    2. How gray corresponds to color
      4m 38s
    3. The medium of black and white
      3m 5s
    4. The vocabulary of black and white
      4m 46s
    5. The physiology of black and white
      2m 22s
    6. How a camera's image sensor captures an image
      3m 43s
  3. 32m 46s
    1. Preparing the camera
      3m 34s
    2. Light revisited
      6m 3s
    3. Seeing in black and white
      2m 21s
    4. Taking a black-and-white expedition
      1m 17s
    5. Finding and shooting a black-and-white image
      11m 14s
    6. Shooting a tone-based subject
      2m 0s
    7. Exposing for black and white
      6m 17s
  4. 1h 38m
    1. The nature of grayscale images
      3m 33s
    2. Converting to black and white using Photoshop CS4 or CS5
      6m 17s
    3. More about the Black & White dialog box
      3m 19s
    4. Converting to black and white using Black & White adjustment layers
      3m 55s
    5. Converting to black and white in Camera Raw
      4m 5s
    6. Making an advanced tonal correction
      17m 33s
    7. Doing more tonal corrections
      14m 6s
    8. Calming down highlights
      10m 4s
    9. Vignetting
      8m 58s
    10. The trestle images
      2m 39s
    11. Handling tricky skies
      2m 43s
    12. Doing a selective black-and-white conversion
      2m 23s
    13. Toning
      1m 19s
    14. Split-toning
      2m 19s
    15. High-key and low-key images
      2m 32s
    16. Diffusion
      4m 40s
    17. Using Nik Software's Silver Efex Pro 2 plug-in
      7m 46s
  5. 24m 14s
    1. Selecting a printer
      5m 17s
    2. Preparing the image for print
      8m 30s
    3. Configuring the Print dialog
      5m 9s
    4. Evaluating a print
      5m 18s
  6. 43s
    1. Goodbye
      43s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now "Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Foundations of Photography: Black and White.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.