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:
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.