One of the cession 5 Awake classes was Black and White conversions and we were taken through ways NOT to do this in PS and also a couple of ways TO do it in PS.
I found this very interesting as I fell in love with NIK Silver Efex around the same time Google bought it and released it for a fraction of the previous price and have been a user ever since. Not being shown how to do BW in PS before, I had never used it and there are some nifty tricks.
One of the clever ones is how you create a BW Adjustment layer and blend that back with the original image for interesting effects – I found the blend modes you would normally use seemed to work in reverse for this which was unexpected.
This is what I created blending the two layers, and it feels like a realistic representation of the day – it was very dull and dark and overcast and raining.
Above is my first BW image created using the BW Adjustment Layer function in PS – it was actually quite easy – this is Intense Red Filter with some tweaks – started to get some pixelation in the clouds if the sliders got pushed a bit far.
Its interesting to compare this to the NIK version at the top – the NIK one has more contrast and drama and energy and typing this I realise I forgot to go in and tweak the levels and the contrast in PS!
That kind of summarises my experience with doing a BW conversion – there are many different programs and ways of doing it – we got a look at the Topaz and the On One programs as well and both had some neat features. What I like most about Silver Efex is that I can do everything I need in the one program, it has lots of presets to get you started and lots of ways to edit globally and locally without having to remember to do this step and that step.
While it is really useful to know how to do this in PS, I am glad that Silver Efex is in my toolbox and will happily continue using it 🙂
Here is the original image after I edited it in LR6, aiming for a realistic interpretation of the day – it looks rather a lot like the blended image above which I find quite interesting 🙂
Do you do Black and White?
What tools do you like to use and why?
Any handy tips to share?
All feedback and comments welcome!