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Exploring simple black-and-white conversion

From: Photoshop CS6 for Photographers: Camera Raw 7

Video: Exploring simple black-and-white conversion

In this movie we're going to convert this portrait that I took the other day to black and white. Yet, before we jump over to our Grayscale panel, we want to become familiar with the colors in the photograph, because if we can identify the colors clearly, we can then take advantage of that in order to change the luminance or the brightness value of the different areas of our picture. And in this picture, I was using natural light. Here I was capturing this image in open shade and you can see that there's some blue in the hat and also a little bit in the background. There's also kind of this magenta or red or a little bit purple background, and then in the face we have a lot of yellows and oranges.

Exploring simple black-and-white conversion

In this movie we're going to convert this portrait that I took the other day to black and white. Yet, before we jump over to our Grayscale panel, we want to become familiar with the colors in the photograph, because if we can identify the colors clearly, we can then take advantage of that in order to change the luminance or the brightness value of the different areas of our picture. And in this picture, I was using natural light. Here I was capturing this image in open shade and you can see that there's some blue in the hat and also a little bit in the background. There's also kind of this magenta or red or a little bit purple background, and then in the face we have a lot of yellows and oranges.

One of the ways that you can become even more familiar with the colors in your image is you can make a saturation adjustment and you can bring up or bring out all the saturation. This won't make your image look good, but it will help you get familiar with the colors. So, sometimes, as you're starting to work with black-and-white conversions, it may be helpful to crank up your saturation all the way. Again, here we can really see these colors in vivid ways. This obviously doesn't look good, yet it helps me know what color is there; it helps me realize, oh, there's a little bit of blue in the background, and gosh, I didn't realize how blue the hat actually is.

Next, we can double-click this to set it back to 0 and then we can go to the Grayscale panel. We can go to the Grayscale panel by either clicking on the HSL/Grayscale tab or you can click on the Targeted Adjustment tool and then hold down and select Grayscale Mix. This will convert our image to grayscale with some auto settings. The minute we do that, it's so easy to forget about all of the different colors that we had there in our photograph. So for example, we may forget that the hat was actually blue, but because we kind of focused on that, we now know that we can control the brightness value of that area of the picture.

We can either make that brighter or darker. Also, we remember that background color there. It was kind of purple or magenta, and here you can see how I can darken that up. Let me zoom in on this picture. Here I'm going to zoom in on the face, because on the face what you may have remembered is that there was a lot of yellows and oranges here. If we click this preview off momentarily, we can really see that. We can see that the freckles kind of have a little bit of a darker orange and then the face, it has a bit more yellow. So here if we go back to turn on our preview, we can then control those freckles.

I could darken them, as I'm doing here, and again, this doesn't look very good-- I'm trying to exaggerate so you can see how we can do this--or I can brighten them or lessen them. And you can see how by being aware of the color can help me change the way that I process the photograph. Now, what about the reds? Well, the reds, we could work on the lips there a little bit and a few other areas in our picture. And then of course we have a little bit of yellow as well, and here I just want to brighten that up. And by doing that, it's creating kind of this nice, kind of a bright, clean type of a look. With this black-and-white conversion, it's just a little bit brighter than I'm happy with.

Yet I'm going to do that because I'm going to go next to the Basic panel to really finish this off and deepen up my blacks a little bit. All right! Well, after having made these adjustments, I should also point out that we could obviously just hover over our image using the Targeted Adjustment tool and here we could click and drag and that would help us tap into making adjustments into specific areas of our photograph. Yet, still, I think it's helpful to really identify the colors in order to get familiar with how we can do these type of black-and-white conversions.

Well, next, let's go back to the Basic panel. Here in the Basic panel, I'm going to increase my Contrast; that will deepen some of those blacks. I'll also deepen those blacks by clicking on the Blacks slider, moving that to the left. Next, I'll bring in a little bit of light to the shadows here, and I'll also add a bit of clarity. These adjustments really help me kind of finish this image off. I'm just going to make a few subtle adjustments with these controls in order to kind of affect the drama of this black-and-white conversion. If we click on the preview now, you can see the before and after, and by using these different techniques together it can help us come up with these kind of fascinating conversions.

After you've made some basic adjustments, you may want to go back to the HSL/Grayscale tab in order to make some further adjustments. Perhaps, like, you want to brighten up the reds there a little bit, because you didn't like the density in this part of the image. As you focus in on your image, as we're doing here-- we're zoomed in--we also need to zoom out. Press Command+Minus on a Mac for Ctrl+Minus on Windows. When we zoom out, I really like the overall look and feel of this photograph, but I've decided that I also want to darken up some of this lower area of the image.

I could either do that, say, with an Adjustment Brush or maybe with a Graduated Filter adjustment. So let's select one of those tools. Let's try the Graduated Filter. Here if we go down to the Graduated Filter controls, I'm just going to click on the Minus icon for Exposure. This allows me to decrease the exposure. I'm also going to drag my Highlights value way down. Next, we can click and drag across the image. In doing that, you can see how I can bring in this darkening effect to this area of the picture. Click on the green tab to bring that up or down. Click on the red tab to change that transition area.

And in doing this, I'm looking to try to just bring down that a little bit here. And if we click on the preview, you can see here's before and then now here's after. In this way, at least with this photograph, I kind of like it, because all the light now is really focused or directed towards the face. If we want to darken the top of the image, we'll just go ahead and click and drag over that area and we could apply a similar adjustment. And so here, as I've mentioned in other places, what we can do is we can navigate to different panels. We can work with our HSL controls in order to convert our image to black and white.

We can also go to the Basic panel and make some adjustments which will help us strengthen this overall conversion. One way that we could see the before and after of this is if I click on the Default button right here, you can see this is without those basic adjustments. Then press Command+Z on a Mac or Ctrl+Z on Windows to undo that. Notice how that just adds that nice depth and contrast and feeling to this black- and-white conversion. All right! Well, after having used those HSL controls, some basic adjustments, and also our Graduated Filter and kind of combining all these different skills together, we now have a powerful and intriguing black-and-white conversion.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS6 for Photographers: Camera Raw 7
Photoshop CS6 for Photographers: Camera Raw 7

117 video lessons · 12521 viewers

Chris Orwig
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 9m 3s
    1. Welcome
      1m 2s
    2. Should I use Camera Raw or Photoshop?
      3m 22s
    3. What is Adobe Camera Raw?
      3m 45s
    4. Using the exercise files
      54s
  2. 21m 13s
    1. An overview of Bridge and Bridge preferences
      3m 19s
    2. Setting Camera Raw preferences
      3m 9s
    3. Exploring RAW vs. JPEG or TIFF files
      4m 3s
    4. Choosing a native raw file or a digital negative (DNG)
      4m 25s
    5. Converting or saving to the DNG format
      6m 17s
  3. 29m 36s
    1. Project overview: cover photo shoot
      1m 33s
    2. Auto-toning and correcting white balance
      2m 19s
    3. Cropping and composing
      3m 21s
    4. Enhancing color and tone
      2m 44s
    5. Removing distractions
      3m 58s
    6. Sharpening and noise reduction
      2m 59s
    7. Converting to black and white
      2m 11s
    8. Adding a vignette
      1m 45s
    9. Making a localized correction
      2m 53s
    10. Creating snapshots of memorable looks
      2m 1s
    11. Re-editing camera raw settings
      1m 38s
    12. Working with multiple adjustments
      2m 14s
  4. 15m 2s
    1. Navigating the interface and the toolbar
      2m 15s
    2. Exploring image-adjustment tabs and panels
      1m 32s
    3. Using the histogram
      5m 12s
    4. Previewing the before and after of different adjustments
      2m 43s
    5. Working with multiple files
      3m 20s
  5. 29m 28s
    1. Opening raw files in Bridge
      4m 35s
    2. Opening JPEGs and TIFFs in Bridge
      4m 43s
    3. How to open a photo in Photoshop and skip Camera Raw
      1m 47s
    4. Accessing Camera Raw from Mini Bridge
      3m 9s
    5. Resizing in Camera Raw with workflow options
      6m 35s
    6. Opening an image as a Smart Object
      3m 3s
    7. Saving from Camera Raw
      3m 17s
    8. Creating a duplicate file
      2m 19s
  6. 11m 19s
    1. Recomposing with the Crop tool
      2m 58s
    2. Clarifying your voice by cropping
      3m 20s
    3. Straightening and cropping
      2m 54s
    4. Cropping creatively
      2m 7s
  7. 9m 9s
    1. Improving color balance
      4m 21s
    2. Color correcting with white balance cards
      1m 48s
    3. Using the White Balance tool and controls
      3m 0s
  8. 18m 32s
    1. Deconstructing the basic adjustments
      3m 33s
    2. Correcting overexposure
      2m 52s
    3. Correcting underexposure
      3m 13s
    4. Making exposure enhancements
      2m 52s
    5. Recovering highlight and shadow detail
      3m 38s
    6. A speed tip for making basic adjustments
      2m 24s
  9. 14m 14s
    1. Demystifying Clarity
      2m 36s
    2. Increasing Clarity
      3m 52s
    3. Understanding Vibrance and Saturation
      1m 50s
    4. Improving color with Vibrance
      3m 52s
    5. Making creative color adjustments
      2m 4s
  10. 11m 48s
    1. Learning about the parametric and point-tone curves
      4m 4s
    2. Using the parametric-tone curve
      2m 19s
    3. Using the point-tone curve
      3m 22s
    4. Creating a unique color look with the point-tone curve
      2m 3s
  11. 15m 38s
    1. Introducing the Spot Removal tool
      3m 42s
    2. Removing distracting background elements
      3m 12s
    3. Removing blemishes on a face
      3m 29s
    4. Removing dust on the lens or the camera sensor
      2m 58s
    5. Removing red-eye
      2m 17s
  12. 51m 20s
    1. Introducing the Adjustment Brush
      6m 18s
    2. Correcting exposure
      6m 23s
    3. Working with Auto Mask
      4m 16s
    4. Changing the background color
      4m 30s
    5. Changing the color temperature
      3m 15s
    6. Making multiple color and tone adjustments
      5m 47s
    7. Enhancing the color, tone, and sharpness of the eyes
      5m 11s
    8. Whitening teeth
      3m 20s
    9. Brightening shadows and darkening highlights
      2m 51s
    10. Creating a black-and-white effect
      5m 36s
    11. Removing moiré patterns
      2m 19s
    12. Creating Adjustment Brush presets
      1m 34s
  13. 10m 0s
    1. Enhancing the foreground and background of an image with the Graduated Filter tool
      4m 7s
    2. Reducing exposure with the Graduated Filter tool
      3m 0s
    3. Exploring creative effects with the Graduated Filter tool
      2m 53s
  14. 13m 23s
    1. Exploring noise reduction
      3m 27s
    2. Applying input sharpening
      4m 9s
    3. Using the Basic and Detail panels together
      3m 33s
    4. Edge sharpening an architectural photograph
      2m 14s
  15. 12m 53s
    1. Introducing HSL
      2m 8s
    2. Enhancing color and tone
      2m 7s
    3. Using the Basic and HSL panels together
      2m 24s
    4. Removing colors with HSL
      3m 1s
    5. Making color changes
      3m 13s
  16. 21m 57s
    1. Using the black-and-white controls
      1m 44s
    2. Exploring simple black-and-white conversion
      6m 17s
    3. Using multiple panels to create a black-and-white image
      6m 17s
    4. Creating a dramatic black-and-white landscape
      7m 39s
  17. 11m 1s
    1. Exploring traditional black-and-white toning
      3m 19s
    2. Adding split toning to color photographs
      3m 49s
    3. Creative toning of a color photo
      3m 53s
  18. 16m 49s
    1. Removing extreme distortion with a lens profile
      2m 2s
    2. Working with the manual Lens Correction controls
      2m 33s
    3. Improving a portrait with lens corrections
      3m 26s
    4. Adding a darkening vignette effect
      1m 28s
    5. Combining lens corrections with creative cropping
      3m 35s
    6. Adding distortion for a creative effect
      2m 29s
    7. Correcting chromatic aberration and defringing
      1m 16s
  19. 15m 10s
    1. Understanding the effects controls
      7m 8s
    2. Adding film grain and darkening edges
      3m 56s
    3. Cropping and brightening edges
      2m 32s
    4. Creating a defined edge
      1m 34s
  20. 9m 29s
    1. Introducing the Camera Calibration panel
      3m 41s
    2. Creative color with the Camera Calibration controls
      3m 25s
    3. Exploring camera calibration resources
      2m 23s
  21. 5m 14s
    1. Introducing presets
      3m 19s
    2. Exploring free and fun ACR presets
      1m 55s
  22. 10m 19s
    1. Quick raw processing of multiple files
      2m 21s
    2. Applying raw processing in Bridge
      2m 34s
    3. Recording an action
      3m 37s
    4. Batch processing multiple images
      1m 47s
  23. 7m 52s
    1. A creative color mini-project
      5m 12s
    2. Using Camera Raw controls in a non-traditional way
      2m 40s
  24. 6m 24s
    1. Additional resources
      1m 25s
    2. Camera Raw and Lightroom
      4m 19s
    3. Goodbye
      40s

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