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Thread: B&W Conversion in Elements

  1. #1
    Ollokot's Avatar
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    B&W Conversion in Elements

    Hi Folks,
    The process of Black and White conversion in Elements is tending to bog me down,I am using the Hue,Saturation adjustment Layer and can't seem to get an image to look ok,what would be the better method to use in Elements.Here is an image before and after conversion,your thoughts and insight would be most appreciated,maybe the image shown here is not a good candidate for conversion.
    Best Wishes ... Pat.

    B&W Conversion in Elements

    B&W Conversion in Elements

  2. #2
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: B&W Conversion in Elements

    The fastest way is to do it in Camera Raw. It's a four step process taken from Scott Kelby's "the photoshop elements book".
    1. Open photo in Camera Raw. Click the Auto button which enhances the exposure.
    2. Go to Saturation, drag to the left. Go to the Clarity slider and drag to the right until the midtones look good to you.
    3. Go to Contrast slider and move to the right until you get maximum contrast. Next to the the Black slider and lower the value.
    4. Last, drag to the Brightness slider to 0, then to back to the Blacks and drag to the right until you get the rich blacks and crisp whites. Finally, ending with Exposure slider and drag until your highlights are where you would like them.

    Scott Kelby also states that experimenting with the White Balance settings can give you additonal effects.

  3. #3
    DavidM's Avatar
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    Re: B&W Conversion in Elements

    I haven't tried the ACR method, but elements 8 has a specific "convert to b/w" function that seems to work well. It allows you to apply various colour filter effects

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    Re: B&W Conversion in Elements

    Try the Lightroom its more easy use

  5. #5
    Ollokot's Avatar
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    Re: B&W Conversion in Elements

    Thank you all for your reply,I will definitely give the ACR method a try,
    Best Wishes ... Pat.

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    DaveWilky's Avatar
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    Re: B&W Conversion in Elements

    Pat this is what I managed to do in photoshop, with silver efexPro plugin.

    B&W Conversion in Elements

    its a bit softer than your colour image,

  7. #7
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: B&W Conversion in Elements

    Pat

    Can I suggest that the starting point in a making a B & W is to ask yourself if the raw (as opposed to RAW) material is conducive to a good B & W. Is the scene in front of you as you press the shutter, going to make a good B&W? That, I would then suggest, needs you to think about what makes a good B & W.

    One of those elements is a good tonal range. Not different colours, but a broad spectrum of tones amongst those colours. And I'm not sure that this photograph, for example, has that. So, I think you will always be working with one hand tied behind your back in trying to make this one into a B & W that will grab and hold you.

    Have a look at the B & Ws of some of the great B & W image makers (well I think so), such as Michael Kenna and, of course, the Mr A Adams. Look closely at the range of tones and imagine what that looked like to them in colour as they pushed the button.

  8. #8
    Ollokot's Avatar
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    Re: B&W Conversion in Elements

    Donald,
    I want to thank you for that very enlightening insight into B & W.
    Best Wishes, Pat

  9. #9
    victor's Avatar
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    Re: B&W Conversion in Elements

    I have used the following method in Elements with great results:


    1 Select the Layers Panel

    2. Add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer. Set the blend mode to Color and make no adjustments at this stage

    3. Create a second Hue/Saturation adjustment layer and move the saturation slider all the way to the Left 100%. This will now desaturate the image.

    4. Select the first Hue/Saturation layer and move the Hue Slider to left. Watch the tones of the image as you move the silder. Blues will be stronger towards 100% for this adjustment tool.
    Confirm this and you are now set to go.

    5. Further effects can be added to the image by adding a new layer between the 2 Hue and Saturation Layers. Set the blend mode to OVERLAY.

    6. Set the swatches in the tools to panel to their default values by pressing D

    7. Select the Gradient Tool and in the Options Bar select the Foreground (Black) to Transparent and Linear Options.

    8. Drag the gradient to the desired position (sky/foreground)

    9. Lower the opacity of the layer to decrease the effect. Duplicate the layer to increase the effect.

    10. Dodging and Burning can be applied via a new layer filled with 50% grey and the blend mode set to OVERLAY. Paint directly on this Layer using
    Black to burn (darken) and White to doge (Lighten) the image.

    11. A final Level Adjustment can then be made if required at the top of the Layers Stack.

    12. Colour can be added back into the image by duplicating the background layer and dragging it to the top of the
    Layers Stack. Set the blend mode to COLOR and reduce the opacity as required for the black and white effect to
    show through.

    Here is a final photo converted from colour using this method of Broughty Ferry Castle, Dundee, Scotland, UK. Step 12 omitted !!

    B&W Conversion in Elements


    Regards

    David aka Victor

  10. #10
    DaveWilky's Avatar
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    Re: B&W Conversion in Elements

    Victor,
    Fantastic shot, great detail and a very dramatic sky, I think b/w photo`s give them a timeless look.

  11. #11
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    Re: B&W Conversion in Elements

    I have to agree with Donald here. Many people use B&W in everything from Table top to Landscapes. I think street stuff and many serious looking male portraits lend themselves to Mono but I do like to see Landscapes and scenery in colour as you miss so much detail contrast. i.e. Different shades of foliage.

    I understand that Photographs mean so many different things to others, this is just my personal preference.

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