Turning color into black and white?

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Maldini, Feb 13, 2007.

  1. Maldini

    Maldini Guest

    Hello there, I'm somewaht new to this photography thing and I was
    wondering if somebody here could lend me a hand. I recently bought a
    digital camera and it's all nice and easy but at times I honestly
    would rather have black and white photos instead of colored ones.

    I don't know too much about computers (or technology) so I was
    wondering if there was some sort of software with which I could open
    my photos from the memory card and then turn them from color do black
    and white? I mostly use a software called "Paint" to handle my photos,
    surely this must be a simples process which involves removing or
    adding color until ou only have 2 colors?

    I have a bit of ADD so I'd appreciate if you'd bare with me regarding
    explanations. Thank you.

    Maldini, Feb 13, 2007
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  2. Maldini

    Joel Guest

    Most graphic hardware like scanner, digital camera, printer, tablet, and
    even notebook usually come with some graphic program (Like Photoshop LE for
    example). And if you think you rather have B&W then you either come from
    B&W photography (like I do, and do enjoy B&W too), or you need to improve
    the color image.

    There are so many different ways to turn color image into B&W (or both
    color and B&W on same image), and turning into greyscale is one of many
    Joel, Feb 13, 2007
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  3. Maldini

    ray Guest

    I don't think you'd want to do that. What you commonly refer to as 'black
    and white' is really 'black and white and shades of grey'. If it's just
    'black and white' you'd have to options: either very severe contrast or
    dither the black and white to make greys - which would reduce the
    effective resolution. Did you get some software with your camera? I assume
    you have MS on your computer, and most cameras come with some version of
    Adobe Photoshop on the CD - simple matter to install and that should be
    able to do what you want. Otherwise, try downloading the free GIMP
    ray, Feb 13, 2007
  4. Download the demo of Adobe Photoshop. The preferred way to do this is
    with a "Channel Mixer" adjustment layer. Apply the new layer on top of
    your photo and choose the "monochrome" option. Then adjust the color
    channel sliders until you get the desired result.

    The idea with the sliders is the same as the color filters you might put
    on your lens to make "reds" or "blues" seem whiter or darker in
    comparison with what the human eye sees. Set this to 30,60,10 for an
    approximation to the natural response of the human eye. Of course this
    is seldom the "best" setting for a given photo. Whatever you do make
    sure they sum to 100%, otherwise your changing your exposure.

    Many other softwares do some standard conversion for you, but fixed at
    the response of the human eye. Did you check to see that your camera
    didn't come with Photoshop elements?
    John A. Crabtree, Feb 13, 2007
  5. Maldini

    WilliamRubin Guest

    Hi André,

    Take a look at this free software, see if it does what you are

    WilliamRubin, Feb 13, 2007
  6. Speaking of Black and White, how do you make a photo that is
    all black and white except for a spacific subject? Do you have
    to use layers, or the laso tool in Photo Shop?


    SeeYaa:) Harbin Osteen KG6URO

    When American Citizens with dual citizenship pledges allegiance
    to the flag, to which flag do they pledge allegiance too?

    Harbin Osteen, Feb 14, 2007
  7. Maldini

    Joel Guest

    Yup! you can use the combination of Layers, Lasso, and Quick Mask etc.
    And if you use Photoshop (or doing lot of retouching) then I would suggest
    to use tablet instead of mouse.
    Joel, Feb 14, 2007
  8. Yeah, you can find a ton of tutorials about this online. First copy the
    photo layer by dragging it onto the "new layer" icon, or just use the
    menu to copy it. Now hide the top layer and apply the monochrome
    channel mixer to the bottom layer. Next unhide and select the top layer
    and apply a layer mask. On the layer mask anything you paint black is
    invisible and anything you paint white is visible. Fill the layer mask
    (not the layer) with black. Use a pen tablet and brush tool with white
    selected to paint the mask and reveal exactly what you desire in color.

    Finally, you might want to adjust the saturation levels, and transparency
    of the various layers to get exactly the result you want. Probably you
    want to reveal some color in the base layer (set the channel mixer layer
    opacity to 80%) and lower the punch of the top layer (set the opacity to

    With adjustment layers and masks you can do almost any photomanip
    imaginable and most of them are non-destructive of the original photo.
    If you ever want to remove them just hide the layer they are on.

    Try adding a third layer with a strong lens blur....now mask and paint in
    the areas of the image you want to appear blurry....you can do this all
    day in various combinations.

    You'll have a scene from a speilberg movie ;) What will you do with it?
    John A. Crabtree, Feb 14, 2007
  9. Thanks for the info Joel and John. Somebody posted a link to
    their site for critique their photos, and one of the photos was
    taken in Seattle Wa., of a tattooed girl standing on the curb, with
    pedestrian traffic passing behind her. The photo was black and
    white, but she was in color, and I thought this was a great composition.
    I also seen a infra red photo where the woods in the background
    were infra red, and there was a car in the foreground that was colored,
    looked really trick.
    I don't have a tablet, but will check them out. The mouse is
    not accurate enough for a good crisp line.
    Harbin Osteen, Feb 15, 2007
  10. Maldini

    Marvin Guest

    What you call black and white is called gray scale in
    photography. Many image processors can make gray scale
    photos from color; I don't know about Paint specifically.
    Besides converting the image file, you can also print a
    color image in gray scale by making setting in the printer
    dialog so it will print in gray scale. The details of how
    to do it depend on your printer.
    Marvin, Feb 16, 2007
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