Photo of the Week - Week 32 - Black and White Adjustments

September 30, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

Time just keeps moving on - I think that it accelerates with each passing day. All of the sudden, we're on the brink of October and I'm way behind in my posting!

I have been reading and playing around with black and white conversions, so I thought I would post on that this time around.

I have been able to take portraits of a wide range of people; when I give them their photos, I always include a black and white version of each image. As I have made images of people of varying skin tones, I've learned that not all black and white conversions are equal. I'll demonstrate this with an image from a recent photo shoot.

Here is the color image we'll start with and we'll see how to tweak the B&W conversion so it looks best.

ColorColor

In Photoshop, you can click once and convert the image to black and white. Here are the results:

BW basicBW basic

The skin tones look darker in this conversion than the original color. Here are the default settings:

BW basic settingsBW basic settings

Now, let's tweak those settings a bit and see if we can't improve the B&W conversion a bit. Here's an example after some changes:

BW tweakBW tweak

And here are the settings:

BW tweak settingsBW tweak settings

I lightened the red tones a bit, which made for most of the improvement. The above color image did not have a lot of different colors in it; that helps us focus on just the differences in the skin tones. Here are the two side-by-side:

BW basicBW basic BW tweakBW tweak

Here I have just focused on skin tones, but the same idea applies to all other colors, as well. Bottom line: The basic B&W conversion leaves a lot to be desired and you can really make your B&W image shine by tweaking the conversion as necessary.

 


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