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In the old days, if you wanted to capture a black and white photograph you shot to black and white film stock. But that's not the way it works anymore. Nowadays you shoot in color and convert to black and white in post. See the vast majority of digital cameras whether point and shoots or DSLRs are outfitted with image sensors that capture luminents only information In other words, they record gray-scale images. To calculate colors, the pixels on the sensors are coded with red, green, or blue resin.
The colors of the red, green, and blue image pixels are then merged together to form the color composite. Given that the image begins as gray-scale you might figure shooting the black and white makes total sense. But because the sensor is hard-filtered, that is, the resin can't be removed, the image doesn't make sense until it's converted to color, which happens automatically. If you shoot a JPEG image in black and white, it's converted to color, and then to an arbitrary black and white using a preset.
If you shoot to your camera's raw format, the image is by definition color, with a line of temporary black and white instructions in the metadata, which you can override as you like. The upshot is that the best approach is to capture an image in color And then convert it to black and white in Photoshop or Camera Raw, this way you have three channels of color information to work with. You can blend these channels to form a variety of black and white alternatives, thereby giving you a wide range of creative freedom and technical flexibility.
Photoshop gives you two ways to mix black and white images. Channel mixer and the obviously named black and white. Plus you have camera raw. I'll show you how all three work and how you work with them in this chapter.
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