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Thread: C&C Color to B&W - Is this any good?

  1. #1

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    C&C Color to B&W - Is this any good?

    I've been playing around, trying to convert color pics to B&W. Not the most interesting (or best quality) but I'm just trying to see whether or not I'm approaching a decent B&W conversion. I've included both the original and the processed one. I don't have any software for converting so I did this with the channel mixer. All I did was crop, straighten, remove some visual distractions and a bit of sharpening. Just wondering how it looks.
    Thanks, Jack

    C&C  Color to B&W - Is this any good?


    [Edited] Here is another attempt:
    C&C  Color to B&W - Is this any good?


    C&C  Color to B&W - Is this any good?
    Last edited by flashback; 26th March 2012 at 10:40 PM.

  2. #2

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    Re: C&C Color to B&W - Is this any good?

    Not sure if you have tried any of the 'clever extras' with the channel Mixer method, Jack, but if not, this is something to try.

    Place a Hue and Saturation adjustment layer between the original and the Channel Mixer layer. Then modify the Hue to change how the original appears in B&W. In effect, you are excessively altering the original colours but this sometimes works well in B&W.

    The amount required is variable so just play around with the sliders until something works.

    Not always totally successful but often good for creating dramatic skies and enhanced contrast.

    Using a Curves layer here can also help.

    A little bit of Local Contrast Enhancement can also help. Try something around Unsharp Mask at 20 to 30% and 40 radius to start with.

    But to be honest, your original lacks a lot of tone difference so you have done well with the B&W version.

  3. #3
    PBelarge's Avatar
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    Re: C&C Color to B&W - Is this any good?

    Is it possible he can add some depth to the color and sharpening and contrast to the color before he converts it to b&w?

  4. #4

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    Re: C&C Color to B&W - Is this any good?

    Geoff,

    Thanks for your input. I'm still trying to figure out layers (I use GIMP) but, based on your suggestions I started exploring GIMP. What I ended up doing was (thanks to Pierre) playing with the color curves a bit first. Then I decomposed to HSV, adjusted the gray level sharpness (unsharp mask) and merged the layers. Finally I adjusted the contrast just a bit (+4). Still maybe not the best picture but this last result is (I think) significantly improved.

    Pierre,

    Thanks also for your comment on playing with the color etc first. It did seem to bring out a bit more detail before I adjusted the gray level.

    (If any of this appears as if I don't know what I'm talking about, I probably don't. I'm still exploring and trying to get deeper into PP and GIMP.)

  5. #5
    Ludwig's Avatar
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    Re: C&C Color to B&W - Is this any good?

    This image appeals more to me as a B+W than in the original color. However, there are no full blacks in the image. You might want to work on that to get the full range from solid black to complete white (I am thinking of printing on paper, when that would be even more important). A bit more contrast would also make it more dramatic.

  6. #6

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    Re: C&C Color to B&W - Is this any good?

    Ludwig,

    Thanks for your input. I believe you may have been posting only just slightly before I re-posted the second attempt.
    Does the newer version have the solid blacks you mentioned?

    Thanks,
    Jack

  7. #7
    kdoc856's Avatar
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    Re: C&C Color to B&W - Is this any good?

    Jack,

    You may have gone "a bridge too far"- you're getting some posterization in the sky gradients

  8. #8

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    Re: C&C Color to B&W - Is this any good?

    Kevin,

    Yeah, funny I didn't even notice it until after I had posted it and looked at it for a bit.
    I don't think I can 'undo' it, only go back to the original and do it over. Learning curves...and all that.

    Thanks,
    Jack

  9. #9
    Ludwig's Avatar
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    Re: C&C Color to B&W - Is this any good?

    Your getting there. As Kevin said, maybe a bit too much. The trees at the pond are a bit too dark now. I do like the increased sky detail.

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