Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Three ways to quickly remove color, part of Lightroom 5 Essentials: 03 Develop Module Basics.
I don't know how it is for you, but for me, I just love black and white photography. There's something about it which is really compelling and engaging. And so here, let's take a look at a few techniques that we can use in order to begin to convert our photographs to black and white. We'll begin by working with this portrait here that I captured last week. And what I want to do with this image is I want to remove the color and create and nice high-contrast black and white picture. To do that, we'll begin in the Basic panel. One of the ways you can remover color is to simply reduce the Saturation.
Drag the saturation slider to the left, in order to remove the color. And this will give you a black and white conversion which is based on your Temperature and your Tint. So that if you modify these sliders, you'll change or modify the overall characteristic of the black and white photograph. Yet, perhaps to have even more control, what you'll want to do is, go down to your different sliders and controls that you have here. For example, I want to brighten the highlight, so I'll drag that slider to the right. I also might increase my overall exposure touch there and add a little bit of contrast, and then darken the blacks. And this gives us a really kind of interesting black and white version of this photograph.
Now, to see the before and after, just tap your backslash key. That will show you the before. Tap it again, and then you can see the after. Well, next, what I want to do is bring back the color. To do that, we'll double-click our Saturation slider. And I want to bring back the color, just to talk about how we can use another technique to convert this image to black and white. Here, I'm going to zoom in on the image a little bit. And when we zoom in, one of the things that you'll notice is that we have different tones or colors in the skin tone. We can take advantage of the colors that we have in our photograph, say in the skin or if we zoom out in the shirt or in other areas of the picture.
And we can use those different colors to create interesting black and white photographs. Let me show you how we can do that. You can either tap the V key on your keyboard, or you can click on this Black and White button right here. Either way, by tapping the V key or by clicking on that button, what it will do is it will convert the image to black and white. And it will disable the Vibrance and the Saturation sliders. Now here, of course, we have the same flexibility to work with our sliders and controls here, to change the overall look of the photograph. Or what we can do is go down to the Black and White panel.
If you click on the word Black and White to expand that, you'll notice that you have some sliders, which allow you to target different colors or tones. Do you remember that the shirt had a little bit of blue in it? Well, if we drag the blue slider to the left, it will then darken that part of our photograph. Or with the skin tone that has a lot of red and orange in it, if we brighten this amount, what we can do is even out the skin and brighten that or darken that even more. Sometimes, this can help me to create really interesting black and white conversions. Because you have even more control so that you can sort of target precise tones or colors and then brighten or darken those in order to create a particular look.
Now often, what I find is that I'll work with the Black and White panel, as we've done here. But then, I almost always go back to the Basic panel and make other adjustments as well. For example, I'm going to brighten the highlights even more. Because the look that I'm going for in this image is a real high contrast bright black and white conversion of the image. Alright, well there you have it. There are a few techniques that you can use to convert your images to black and white. To review you can desaturate by using the Saturation slider. Or, you can press the V key. If you forget that shortcut, you can always just click on the Black and White button right here.
And then, last but not least, you can navigate down to the Black and White panel. And you can use the sliders in order to target specific colors. And you can brighten or darken those colors in your photographs once you've converted it to black and white.
- How raw processing works in the Develop module
- Evaluating before and after versions of your photos
- Understanding white balance and color temperature
- Correcting exposure with the histogram
- Identifying problem areas with clipping indicators
- Enhancing color with Vibrance, Saturation, and Contrast
- Adding warm tones
- Three ways to remove color from an image
- Changing brightness with the Targeted Adjustment tool
- Processing multiple images
- A Basic panel workflow
- Using snapshots and history