Black and White conversion process

April 05, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

A few thoughts on B&W in the age of digital: In 1987 my first job working at a newspaper as a staff photographer all I shot was Kodak Tri-X developed in HC110, or UFG. I grew to love this look of B&W, a bit contrasty and with some grain.

 

With digital photography I have tried many ways of getting B&W that I like. In some instances I get the look I am going for at other times it falls short. After much experimenting I came up with a simple way of getting a good conversion that I feel, in most cases, gives me the look I like. I wanted something that, after correcting the file in color, I could just run and most of the time get a good B&W image. A normal MODE-GRAYSCALE conversion often is way to flat. In times past I used third party plug ins and often they worked well, and sometimes not.

 

This is my  process:


First I adjust the photo in color so that it is properly adjusted.

I then go to the filter gallery (Photoshop CC) and select:

Texture then Grain

I set the Intensity to 10, Contrast to 62, and type to Regular.

This adds the grain look, and also boosts the contrast enough that when I convert to B&W in the next step it usually looks really good, to me at least.

The next step is to go to Image - Adjustments: Black & White and convert at the default setting. This usually gives me a conversion that I really like.

I find this process usually works very well.


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