Friday, October 3, 2014

Black and White Weekend - 10/3/14: "The T"

asks us to post a black and white photo. No spot colors. No sepia. Black and white, only.

See Photoshop tip for black and white photos, below.

"The T'
entrance to The T (Pittsburgh's subway system)
near Gateway Center in the downtown area
Photoshop Tip for changing colored photos to black and white:

This is a trick I learned recently and it has been working well for me.

If you want to change a colored photo to B&W, instead of changing it to gray scale or using the black and white option (under Image> Adjustments in Photoshop) try using Camera Raw.

First, make whatever enhancements you think are necessary to your colored photo. Duplicate that layer.

If you have Photoshop CC, choose Camera Raw from the filter tab.
Near the top-right under the R: G: B:, choose the 4th icon (it looks like 3 horizontal stripes with gradients in them.)
Look at your photo there and make a mental note of where various colors are in the image. You may also have to determine if, for example, a brown or tan color is more reddish, yellowish, or blueish.

Check the box in front of "Convert to Grayscale."
Look at your photo.

Let's just say that you have a green object surrounded by yellow on the colored version, but on the B&W, the value of the grays is so similar that there is not enough contrast between them. You can lighten what was yellow on the colored photo by moving the yellow slider to the right and darken the green by moving the green slider to the left, or vice-versa.

Play around with the sliders until your B&W image looks best to you.
Hit OK.

If you think the overall image still needs more contrast, you can use the contrast slider in Camera Raw, or use Levels (under Image>Adjustments) to increase both the lights and darks. Another option is to use Shadows/Highlights (also under Image>Adjustments) to increase the contrast of mid-tones.

For a comparison of this method to the normal method:
Hide the B&W layer your just created. Go back to your colored layer and duplicate it again. Then go to Image> Adjustment> Black and white to change it to B&W. (I leave the scales on the default settings.)
Now turn on the layer you created in Camera Raw. Then hide it to compare to the other method. For some images, the second method might be better, but I find I have more control using Camera Raw, especially when I need to show varied shades of gray when areas that are side-by-side look too similar.

NOTE: On a colored photo, you can lighten, darken or saturate an individual color in Camera Raw using the same tab without converting it to gray scale.


Magnus said...

This is excellent!

Gemma Wiseman said...

Interesting post detailing an option for converting colour to black and white. Your result certainly captures the subtle variations in tone, highlighting that wild, organised chaoos of lines beautifully.

Dragonstar said...

Wow! Stunning lines!

Ritva said...

Thsi place is ment for BW shots, well donw!

LonettA said...

Beautiful shot in B&W! Great lines!

Pat said...

Great shot of this busy venue.

molly said...

Great editing, love how it has bought out the harshness in the structure


SteveF325 said...

Awesome it!

Gerald (SK14) said...

love how you got that image - thanks for your comments on my b&w image - i've now posted the answer to puzzle at

Jarek said...

Interesting photo. Great lines. Well done!