ugaldew's blog

Bring the Colors to B/W

posted by ugaldew, May 17, 2006 12:16 AM — 15 comments

Bring the Colors to B/W

The light and tones are the backbone of photography, so do not destroy them by desaturate or grayscale your pics. This tutorial will take you to another stage in the creation of professional B/W images with two easy techniques . The whole edition should take 4 minutes

Download this practice’s PSD file (0.8MB)

For This Tutorial I will use the image Horses by Speluzzi at SXC

>> Why I can not get those cool professional B/W pics with Desaturate or grayscale tools ?

Usual desaturated image

We tend to rely all the process of B/W on the Photoshop tools “Desaturate” (image / adjust / desaturate) and “Grayscale” (image / mode / grayscale) However , even when this process works for certain pics , in most times it does a dull work and far from those professional B/W pics , because basically Photoshop is mixing all the tones and colors together with an specific and an unchangeable proportion. how ever we can gain control of this process !!. In the next tutorial we will learn two really easy techniques to keep these tones and play with them

So Lets Get Started !!

You will need Photoshop (this works in old PS versions ) and a picture, you can download the one I’m using or edit one of yours

This is the first technique is achieved by “adding a channel mixer layer “

>> Step 1
Add a color mixer layer

Open the image in Photoshop and , Click the black and white circle at the bottom of the layer palette (The Adjustment layer icon) . And then click “Channel Mixer” in its menu

>> Step 2
Modify the channel mixer ,

Double click in the channel mixer layer , in our layer palette

In this new panel we have to click in the monochrome box at the bottom and then play with the channels ( it is good to start with all fields in 0 ) and then mix it , until you get the desired result , there are millions of possible combinations and results !!

And "ce est fini " we've finished , Easy isnt it ? But if you think this is good ... Is because you havent read the next technique

I liked these tones, the sky gives a lot sense of space and the horses are well lighted .. I like those contrasts :

Compare with the Desaturated one.


Second Technique

When we used the channel mixer (the previous technique ) , we had a very broad range of mixes wich is good but in certain images or desired results , it may be not easy to get the tone you want , In this 2nd technique we will add a “hue/sat layer” that will change the general tones of colors and we also will be able to change the saturation and hue of each color individually , you will be amazed with the results

Lets get started !

>> Step 1

Add “two” “ Hue/Saturation layers “ by clicking in the (Adjustment layer icon) ( the white/back circle at the bottom of your layer palette) and then click “hue/saturation”

>> Step 2

Double click the top hue/saturation layer and desaturate the image , by dragging the saturation arrow to the right

>> Step 3

Double click the bottom “hue/saturation layer” and and blend it to “color”

>Step 3b

Double click the selected layer to open the hue/saturation panel , now feel free to move everything and enjoy , the hue will give you great new variety of tones and mixes ….also we can add play with the light and contrast by adding saturation and lightness

And this is the best part of this technique by modifying each channel you can modify each color without mesing the other ones .

Here there are some other tones I liked

>> Personally I love this technique , it is really easy to modify each color , but both techniques will take you to a new great stage of B/W edition !!!

[>> Thank you for reading this tutorial and , I hope you have enjoyed as much as I did making it

Please send your coments of this tutorial to : ugaldew@yahoo .com I will answer asap !

Miguel Ugalde

Comments | RSS

1. posted by Slantsixx, May 17, 2006 2:17 AM

Just so you know, I was going to be doing a selective color blog, so I'm not trying to copy.

Good blog!

2. posted by Pat-swan, May 18, 2006 7:31 PM

Excellent, the double hue saturation really gives pin point control over the grey tones.

3. posted by surely, May 18, 2006 10:18 PM

great help with BW editing.thank you very much

4. posted by sundesigns, Jul 20, 2006 3:43 PM

Simply Outsanding

5. posted by kzlittlegi, Jul 21, 2006 11:44 PM

That was great, diffently something I am going to use. (and wish I had know before)

6. posted by poznan, Feb 18, 2007 8:49 AM

I love using hue sat layer for this as well. Channel mixer by itself is sometimes too hard to grasp/takes too much time to tinker around with by comparison.

I usually don't use the layer that is set to blend > color. I usually only use the first layer which allows you to only adjust the light and dark of each color but that is usually sufficient. A combination use of the two layers is best. The problem with only using the 2nd layer on color blend is that the -100 and +100 light both do the same thing. They make it darker but not as dark as you would think. So you have to use the first layer if you want your blue sky to become lighter.

Definitely one of the most pro ways of adjusting B&W image. Don't get me started on people who convert to grayscale.

7. posted by mabille, Jun 13, 2008 1:25 PM

omg, this is amazing. i love you

8. posted by steavan, Jun 25, 2008 5:39 AM

coolll.. i love it.. thnx

9. posted by escan, Aug 20, 2010 2:36 PM

Thanks much Miguel :)

10. posted by trainer2, May 31, 2013 9:12 AM

Great tutorial! Thank you

11. posted by bibiki78, Jun 21, 2013 1:00 AM

Thank you

12. posted by piabpn953, Jun 21, 2013 2:09 AM

Very nice! tutorial! Thank you

13. posted by carlislekm, Jul 29, 2013 4:25 AM

Very interesting

14. posted by korinci, Aug 23, 2013 11:59 PM

coolll.. i love it.. thnx

15. posted by shannahqxh, Aug 24, 2013 6:39 AM

very nice

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