May 22, 2012
Categories: Tutorial Tuesday
Tutorial Tuesday: Black and White Conversions
Welcome to Tutorial Tuesday! Sarah of Naptime Momtog and I will be bringing you a new challenge every week, to stretch your shooting and editing skills. This week, I’d like to present to you another easy adjustment – black and white conversions. Granted, I typically prefer to use actions to create my black and white images, but the adjustment itself is rather easy. 

Today, I am referring to Katie Evans Photography’s simple tutorial: click HERE. There are a number of tutorials out there that claim to offer a simple black and white tutorial, but her tutorial really resonated with me. I added one step to her main three.

Let’s first start with a clean processing on your color image. I decided to use a photo I took of Carsyn.
IMG_6416 RS

Step One: Convert to black and white. You can simply use the black and white adjustment layer. Within this adjustment, you can certainly get creative by adjusting the color channels, but I kept it simple.

Carsyn Step 2

Step Two: Increase Brightness and Contrast. Depending on your image, you’ll want to play with your brightness and adjustment layer. I really like how Katie goes for those crisp clean black and white conversions, so I followed her lead. My brightness is at +20 and my contrast at +18. You’ll want to adjust according to your own image.

Carsyn Step 3

Step Three: Increase Blacks (adjust levels). From this point, your image will need more black. The easiest way is to go into your levels adjustment and move your left slider in. I think mine was moved to 12. For those of you that really like a hazy image, you can also pull the output slider to the right – I did not.

Carsyn Step 4

Step Four: Add tone. I personally like a little color in my black and white images. There are a number of ways to do this…photo filters, gradient maps, color fill layers, etc. For purposes of today’s edit, I went with a simple gradient map. I used the purple to orange gradient map, set to soft light at 12% opacity for just a hint of color. What do you think?

Carsyn Step 5
For the sake of comparison, on the left you see my color edit…on the right, my black and white edit. I don’t recommend this approach if you plan on doing bulk processing (unless you have the ability to create an action), however, I do think it’s kind of fun to walk through these steps manually if you have a few spare minutes.
IMG_6416 Compare
Just for fun, I decided to edit another photo (Carysn’s older brother, Dustyn) using the exact same steps. I really like how the black and white removes any distractions that may have been in the background.
IMG_6409 BW RS
Ready to join in the fun? Here’s how to do it:
1. Read THIS TUTORIAL
2. Choose your favorite creation (or more!) to share with us.
3. Don’t forget to grab the button for your post!
4. Link up between now and next Monday.

Tutorial Tuesday

PS: If you have any photography or editing suggestions, please don’t hesitate to let Sarah or me know! We would love to feature your tutorial.
18 COMMENTS

    These are great. Love that one of Dustyn.

    I love black and whites and think that only certain pictures are worthy of this conversion. Great Post!

    I love black and whites, but usually use actions. I like this clean simple conversion.

    These are such great edits on photos of two adorable kiddos! I need to work on how I edit my B&W pics, heck I need to do more edits into B&W!

    This is my first time joining Tutorial Tuesday, though I’ve been enjoying reading along for many weeks now (I think since the beginning, actually). I’m not a photoshop user, so I did what I could with Aperture, still, I think I was able to apply the general idea! Thanks. Super helpful!

    Carsyn is adorable and your conversions are beautiful! Thanks!

    Beautiful pictures Ashley. Thanks for the tips they were a HUGE help. I’m amazed at how much converting the brightness and contrast did to the images. Thanks so much.

    these are so beautiful and such a wonderful tutorial! you take the best black and whites!!

    Nice, I have been wondering how to convert to b&w, I’ll have to check that tutorial out. I usually use actions as well and just adjust the layers, but I never can get exactly what I want. Anyhoo, thanks for the info, love those shots especially the last, he looks so happy!

    I have such a deep love for black & whites. In one way it removes distractions- but at the same time it brings out details one may overlook in a color image.

    I am such a sucker for b&w’s! LOVE your conversions.

    I used two different editing softwares, Photoshop Elements 10 and lightroom 4. With the Elements its pretty simple to converse to B&W I believe you just click the image button and it has the option to convert then gives you a list of types of black and whites such as newspaper, scenic etc..It also has what I will gauges for you to adjust the filters. In lightroom well that is easy if you use it you know :-) I love your tutorials and they help me a ton. Especially since I am just starting out.

    Gorgeous photos! Thank you for the tutorial :)

    Looks great in black & White, very nice shots ;)

    I love black and whites! I always wonder in I’m doing them right! Haha

    This is a great tutorial! I love how your photos turned out!! I noticed that Sarah’s instructions were different than what you have posted….so am assuming much has to do with the original photo?
    As a beginner, I have much to learn. This is my first time with Tutorial Tuesday…great idea! Thank you!

    I’m like you in that I like a bit of tone in my black and whites. :)

    LOVE that last one!!!!


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