Adjusting color channels for B/W

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by alanklein, Sep 4, 2011.

  1. I see in my demo version that Silver Effects Pro 2 has 6 sliders for the 6 colors that you can adjust the lightness (tonality) of the B/W for each those colors. How would I adjust those in my PS Elements Ver.8? How about LR3? OR CS5? Does it makes sense to you to buy Silver Effects Pro 2 or would I be better off spending money on upgrading to CS5 or LR3? Thanks Alan.
  2. I have never seen a need for additional software because LR makes this extremely easy. After you convert to B&W, you can go to a set of sliders that allow you to lighten or darken a number of color channels separately. Better yet, there is a targeted adjustment tool, so you can just select the area you want changed, and it will change the relevant underlying color channels. Seems to me that I have seen this in PS as well, but I have always done it in LR, so you would have to check.
  3. ditto. You can do a lot w/ the basic HSL monochrome stuff in PS or LR. I wouldn't bother w/ Silver Effects *yet*
  4. Leaving aside cost (my wife's a teacher), would I be better off working with LR3 or CS5 (which edition? Extended?)
  5. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    Ditto again, if you using raws in Lightroom or ACR, you can do the job there wonderfully and non destructively, better yet in LR, on a Virtual Copy.
    For a kick butt free video on B&W conversions there and elsewhere, see:
  6. LR and CS5 are different animals. LR is a program for RAW conversion, basic editing, and keeping track of images. (It's a powerful database tool.) It's editing is entirely non-destructive. CS5 is an extremely powerful pixel-level editor. It does everything, but it has a very steep learning curve. There are cheaper but less capable alternatives, such as elements or paint shop pro.
    I use LR for everything and CS5 when I need to--e.g., for selections and layers, or when I need better control over contrast than LR provides.
  7. I like my Elements 8 for now. But it doesn't seem to do color channel adjustment when doing B/W conversions. (Am I wrong?). I don;t do a lot of pcitures nor need a lot of filing power.
    So that leaves me thre options. CS5, LR3 or Silver effects PRo 2.0. I can get CS5 for $200 (teacher), LR3 ($69 as a teacher) or Silver Effects PRo 2 for $200. Which would you pick?
  8. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    Which would you pick?​
  9. short answer is you can do everything in PS. it may take a set of different layers and silver FX can shorten the process and you may find the interface friendlier. personally I think you can tell when an image has been 'Silver Efex'd and as such i stay away from it. If you do a lot of B&W that requires similar adjusment you can always have a default PSD file set up with all the required layers and just drag them ontop of the image your working with - shortens the process each time. for me the price tag was too great to invest in Silver FX, esp since I shoot film a lot anyway and a big part of the software is for 'recreating' film effects..
  10. LR3; built for photographer with tool easy for them to use. no need to learn how to use and make mask and layer, excellent print engine, slideshow and web creation, for what you cant do with it Element of any version is a excellent complement.
    External plugin are good to save you time and the need for a learning curve to produce work as excellent as what you can achieve with the software alone. Some use them to speed up there workflow, other to compensate for there lack of knowledge.. other because it produce superior work that they can do themself even with the correct knowledge.. all depend of what you need and for what. but know that all a plugin do can be done with photoshop / lightroom alone most of the time.
  11. I am using the 30 day trial for Lightroom and love it. I finish the images in photoshop, but LR is great for working with the raw files. LR allows you to manipulate the color channels for B&W effects easily. And I'm just a casual shooter...
  12. Will LR3 allow me to blend a couple of shots of differrent exposure like when I am shooting landscapes and I'm not using a graduated ND filter in camera?
  13. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    Will LR3 allow me to blend a couple of shots of differrent exposure like when I am shooting landscapes and I'm not using a graduated ND filter in camera?​
    Kind of, but not natively. The better solution for this can be found here:
  14. Hi Alan - Elements 9 allows selectively mixing the differences in tonality present in the three color channels, but not as an adjustment layer so there is no layer mask that typically comes with an adjustment layer. (Per Adobe Photoshop Elements 9 Galer/Chattaraj - Focal Press.) That separate tonality mixing in 9 may not be in Elements 8? Still, 9's B&W conversion is limited. But that book has some on line project files including a PSD file with several layers that can be used to enhance a B&W conversion to get around Elements limitations with somewhat complicated tweeks. So perhaps an upgrade and a book to get the project files. Might be less effort than an entirely new program.
  15. LR vs CS5? Different programs.
    Lightroom is for dealing with hundreds of images from a shoot. Here's what I do: change aspect ratio, WB, options for calibration, lens correction, etc. for the whole batch. Go through to select and reject. Then treat individual images (crop, WB and exposure tweeks, and minor touch-up). Then, one dialogue to export the whole set of selected images in the right resolution and format (with appropriate sharpening). Fabulous. A life-saver.
    PS CS5 is for ultimate editing of one image. More controls. Layers. Better options for touch-up. Compositing. Fabulous for this. Sure, PS has some batch options, but it really shines one image at a time. I only use PS now for a few images that need the special attention.
    My net advice: Probably LR.
    And, back to the original question: Both LR and PS have great options for conversion to B&W. Works great.
  16. The 3-channel sliders in Elements 8 that are used during the conversion to B/W are just to course. I cannot get the changes i need like I do from Silver Efex Pro 2 (SEF2) . The slider in SEF2 and other control work pretty nice although I notice that I sometimes get a halo effect along the black edges. I think I'm probably sliding too much. Anyone familiar with this issue.
    In the meanwhile, I'm downloading TR3 demo to try that to see how that works with tones. Thanks
  17. Check out this BW conversion plug-in that is compatible with Elements. It's free.
  18. I live in B&W and could not be more pleased with Lightroom 3; though I am looking forward to LR 4. Some pix here and here...
  19. The LR3 demo won't load. I asked a question on their Help forum. Until the anwser I'll try the above suggestion. Thnaks everyone for you input. Alan PS When is LR4 coming out?
  20. Phil: I was going to try that but you have to unstall some Bing toolbar. I already have two or three. How do you get rid of that after you Install? Alan
  21. CS5.
  22. OK I got LR3 to load. The color sliders for BW pretty much work like SEF2. I like the fact that all of the adjustments in LR3 both for color and BW are on one panel on the right. Since I don't use layers in Elements, the LR3 adjustments seem pretty much what I do in Elements already, just doing basic exposure adjustments and spotting (with film slides scans). There seems some neat features like creating Grad ND filtering. Thanks everyone for you advice and input. Alan.
  23. Since your wife is a teacher, you can get an Education Discount on LR3 for $99, a bit of a pain (you have to provide proof - school ID etc) - check out the Adobe Site.
  24. I called Adobe up and they wanted $89 for LR3. But I bought it through Amazon for $69 (Student/teacher edition. My wife's a teacher). Does anyone know what they mean by One License?
    also, does anyone now how to link LR3 with Elements 8 so that you can go from one to the other? Tks. Alan
  25. OK I figured out how to go to Elements from LR if you want to process something in Elements. You can either switch and edit the original file or the Lightroom edited picture. Once you have done the editing in Elements, what is the best way to save it when you go back to LR3 to continue the editing?
  26. Alan, right click on you image in LR. You will have an option to Edit in Elements (if you've set that up in
    preferences). Select Edit > Edit in Elements and a tiff will be automatically created and open in Elements. Do your editing in
    Elements, save, quit, and then the edited tiff will automatically be added to LR's catalog and be visible in the filmstrip.
  27. Thanks Brad that works. Have another questions. When adjust the channels to change tones in LR3, should I adjust the exposure, levels, etc in the color first and then switch to B/W to adjust the tones? Or is it better to leave the picture as shot in the camera, and then adjust everything in LR3 after switching to B/W?
  28. i always turn my image to BW first using all the color channel to get the look i want, then play with the exposure, fill, black etc... then gradient and brush tool to refine / define my image style.
  29. >>> Have another questions. When adjust the channels to change tones in LR3, should I adjust the exposure, levels, etc in the color first and then switch to B/W to adjust the tones?
    It depends. If I'm unsure of the B&W potential, I'll start setting exposure in color. Hold down the option key while you slide the Exposure slider and you can get a quick assessment of the amount of white level clipping. Ditto when adjusting the Blacks slider for black level clipping. Then Fill to open midlevels. And then Brightness for overall brightness. That behaves similar to Exposure, except that white levels are protected from clipping (unlike Exposure).
    If in B&W mode, and after setting Exposure, Black, Fill, etc, I'll go to the color sliders (B&W Mix) to accentuate/deaccentuate elements in the frame. If faces are looking a little dark, increasing the Orange and Red slider can brighten a bit. Ditto with foliage and the Green slider. Sky too bright? Move the Blue slider to the left. Color slider adjustment is a quick way of achieving tonal balance in an image. And for minimizing distractions while maximizing the frame's focus.

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