BEST METHOD FOR CONVERTING TO B/W

Discussion in 'Photoshop Tutorials' started by mel7777, Jul 15, 2011.

  1. mel7777

    mel7777 Guest

    Several books I've consulted say that Camera Raw's conversion is
    better than using the Image/Adjustment/Black and White method
    in Photoshop.

    Do you agree?

    Mel
     
    mel7777, Jul 15, 2011
    #1
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  2. mel7777

    Savageduck Guest

    Not really.
    ACR gives you a "Convert to Grayscale" check box, and that is what you
    get, a conversion to grayscale. That does not necessarily produce the
    best B&W conversion.

    Once you have made your ACR work flow adjustments (without going to
    grayscale) and opened in Photoshop you have a bunch of more effective
    methods available.

    I would consider using the B&W Adjustment layer which does an adequate
    job, particularly after you have made any other adjustments, to curves,
    levels, saturation, shadows/highlights, etc. (of course those can be
    made in ACR).

    See what you think;
    < http://homepage.mac.com/lco/filechute/GS-BW-comp-02.jpg >
     
    Savageduck, Jul 16, 2011
    #2
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  3. mel7777

    tony cooper Guest

    I don't use a single procedure to convert color to black and white,
    but I usually (with black set to foreground and white to background)
    first try by using a gradient map adjustment layer and then tweaking
    the contrast. The black and white adjustment layer presents so many
    options that it gets confusing.

    I never do a convert to grayscale or reduce saturation. The blacks
    aren't black enough.
     
    tony cooper, Jul 16, 2011
    #3
  4. mel7777

    Savageduck Guest

    That is a workable method.
    Not really. there are specific effects and each can work well, or not
    so good depending on the image to be converted.
    Agreed.

    Ultimately there is no one perfect method. One method might be great
    for image X and another downright awful.

    ....and then there is NIK Silver Efex Pro.
     
    Savageduck, Jul 16, 2011
    #4
  5. mel7777

    tony cooper Guest

    I've never figured out the system. The pairs start out equaling 100
    (red plus yellow, etc), but if you hit "auto" that goes out the
    window.

    I can make it work if there are not a lot of colors in the original,
    but the more colors the more it confuses me.
    Lightroom has some pre-sets.
     
    tony cooper, Jul 16, 2011
    #5
  6. mel7777

    Savageduck Guest

    Yup!
    ....and I have downloaded quite a few free LR presets from onOne
    Software and Matt Kloskowski's Lightroom Killer Tips site:
    < http://lightroomkillertips.com/category/presets/ >
     
    Savageduck, Jul 16, 2011
    #6
  7. ACR gives you much more than just a checkbox. After you've checked that
    box, you have lots of possibilities to tweak the resulting conversion by
    using sliders for each color. Go to the HSL tab. Apparently you've never
    noticed that. The options in ACR are very much like the options in
    Photoshop. In fact, there is little difference between your options in
    Photoshop and in ACR. In both cases you can adjust each individual color to
    get the result you want.
    That example merely shows that you've never taken the time to find out what
    you can do in ACR.
     
    Johan W. Elzenga, Jul 16, 2011
    #7
  8. mel7777

    Savageduck Guest

    Actually if you read, and retained my entire response rather than
    snipping the two sentences following the one you retained and reacted
    to, you might have noticed I conceded that there was more to ACR than
    the grayscale check box. That check box is one I choose not to use.
    Here is what you edited so justify your response.:
    "Once you have made your ACR work flow adjustments (without going to
    grayscale) and opened in Photoshop you have a bunch of more effective
    methods available.

    I would consider using the B&W Adjustment layer which does an adequate
    job, particularly after you have made any other adjustments, to curves,
    levels, saturation, shadows/highlights, etc. (of course those can be
    made in ACR)."

    Now in my case the work flow adjustments I usually make in ACR are,
    Camera Profile, enable Lens Profile, WB, an adjustment to the other
    nine elements of the basic panel as needed. Then depending of the
    demands of the image I will straighten and crop. From time to time I
    use the ACR Gradient tool, Noise reduction, & Post Crop Vignetting. For
    thee most part I am well aware of the possible remaining ACR
    adjustments I have not listed, including the "Grayscale" check box in
    the HSL/Grayscale panel, I just choose not to use them, which is not
    the same as your assumption that I "have never taken the time to find
    out what you can do in ACR."

    As I remarked there are many ways of getting things done in CS5, and no
    one way is the best, but some are better than others.
     
    Savageduck, Jul 16, 2011
    #8
  9. And because you choose not to use it, you don't seem to know that ACR
    offers virtually the same options that Photoshop offers for converting to
    B&W. Your example images clearly show that.
    And just how are they 'more effective' if they are virtually the same?
    I don't argue with that, I only point out that you have the same B&W
    conversion options in ACR. Whatever you can do with a B&W adjustment layer,
    you can also do directly with ACR. The only exception is using layer masks,
    but you normally don't use masks in a B&W adjustment layer.
    I assume that because you posted two very misleading images. With these
    images you clearly suggest that you cannot make a decent B&W in ACR. And
    because that is clearly wrong, I assume you never took the time to find out
    how to do it in ACR. Even though I do not have the RAW file, I can tell you
    that while only using ACR it is quite possible to get the same B&W result
    as your image on the right.
    True, so you should have stated that rather than suggesting that ACR is not
    a good method to convert to B&W by posting misleading images to 'prove'
    your point.

    The original question was: "Several books I've consulted say that Camera
    Raw's conversion is better than using the Image/Adjustment/Black and White
    method in Photoshop. Do you agree?" I d not necessarily agree that ACR is
    *better*, but I also don't think that converting in Photoshop is that much
    better or 'more effective'. It's simply a different approach, and the end
    results are going to be very much the same (if you know how to do it
    properly in both programs). The real advantage of Photoshop is probably
    that you can save yourself a lot of time by using a specialized plugin such
    as Nik Silver Efex.
     
    Johan W. Elzenga, Jul 16, 2011
    #9
  10. mel7777

    Savageduck Guest

    How do you come to that conclusion just by viewing the comparison I posted?
    Just because I chose not to make B&W conversions with ACR, does not
    mean I am ignorant of the potential of ACR.
    Maybe that was a tad hyperbolic of me.
    Don't discount the use of layers when making image adjustments prior to
    B&W conversion in CS5.
    Maybe, maybe not.
    Actually my point is ACR is not the better method of B&W conversion, as
    proposed in the several books consulted by the OP.
    Going to "grayscale" or "desaturating" in ACR is just as unsatisfactory
    as in any other photo editor. ;-)


    All of your points are noted. However as much as I appreciate all that
    ACR provides it is not my image editor of choice. It is a part of my
    Bridge-ACR-CS5 workflow, and the bulk of my work is done in CS5. I
    didn't pay for my original CS2 and various upgrades just to have access
    to ACR and ignore CS5.

    ....and the specialized plug-ins can play a useful part in streamlining
    workflow.
     
    Savageduck, Jul 16, 2011
    #10
  11. mel7777

    tony cooper Guest

    Shades of the "Lauren" saga!

    You should know, Duck, that you have to compare specs if you present t
    a qualitative scenario.
     
    tony cooper, Jul 16, 2011
    #11
  12. mel7777

    Savageduck Guest

    OK! Tony, send me an image of a sword so I can impale myself on it.
     
    Savageduck, Jul 16, 2011
    #12
  13. Either you are ignorant, or you were deliberately misleading the OP into
    believing that ACR is far worse than Photoshop. Your example photos cannot
    lead me to any other conclusion.
    We agree on that. However, 'not better' is not the same as misleadingly
    trying to 'prove' that it's much worse. It's a matter of personal choice
    which method you prefer.
     
    Johan W. Elzenga, Jul 16, 2011
    #13
  14. mel7777

    Savageduck Guest

    Ignorant of the potential of the current version of ACR I am not. I
    might have overstated my preference for making B&W conversions in CS5.
    In that case let us agree that fundamentally neither is "better" and
    leave it to personal choice.
     
    Savageduck, Jul 16, 2011
    #14
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