Have you try convert color into black and white ?

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by dan d. chang, Dec 18, 2005.

  1. Due to chemical hazard concern, I stopped to develop my own black/white film. Now I am using color film and for black white I convert color into black and white in the Photoshop. I have shown my 11x14 to 16x20 converted BW print to people, quality is very acceptable. What is your experience? Would you mind share your tricks how to make these converted BW look better?
  2. COnverted BW version
  3. Some of the conversions I've liked most have been those done with Convert to BW Pro, a downloadable software program I don't yet have but one which I believe several forumers do use. You might also peek at the Digital Darkroom Forum on photo.net, where this has been discussed as well.
  4. Why should one emasculate a nice color photo?
  5. B&W photo chemicals are safer than most household cleansers. Chlorine bleach is a lot more dangerous. All you have to do is use them responsibly. Kodak's XTOL was designed to be particularly safe and environmentally friendly, and it's a great developer to boot.

    Color negative films are nice. They can scan well. But they cannot record as wide a brightness range as B&W film can. So you do lose something.

    Good photography has a lot to do with your darkroom work, wet, or digital.
  6. See:


    It's a great plug-in & it's free

    Also great for color as well
  7. And also - if you're concerned about the chems for B&W - what about color?

    Under the rug?
  8. I have tried color chemical 10 years ago, very toxic, give up. As least these Labs watched by EPA et al. I do not need personal pour these toxic wastes in to my sink.
  9. Dan, I like your above conversion - not sure I'd do anything different. For myself, I'm a big
    fan of Convert to B&W Pro and do almost all conversions that way. I still use the gradient
    map method from time to time though
  10. I use the channel mixer. It gives me great tonal control and variation. I generally mix red and green paying close attention to whether I have blocked or blown and values while trying to attain good separation. Then, I go straight to dodging and burning (using either selections, or the good old fashioned brushes). You just cannot beat D+B for maximum control and expression!

    In this example I used an 70/30 red green mix to make sure I kept the highlights in control. Then I quickly dodged and burned to get what I felt was the best tonal separation in various areas.
  11. Forgot to add, that I also used the shadow highlight filter to open things up. Be careful with this, as I see it being over used all the time.

    S/H filter: Shadows: Amount 30, Width 20, Radius 60,
    Highlights: A5, W10, R30
    Midtone contrast: 20

    hope this helps. Cheers,
  12. John, "All you have to do is use them responsibly." Some people are allergic to darkroom B&W chemicals.
  13. Dan,

    You didn't mention which method you used to convert color to BW.

    Here is the Russell Brown method which has been used and mentioned many times in these forums.


    I use the Channel Mixture method, too. This is akin to placing the many color filters available in front of your lens when shooting BW films.

    Good luck.

  14. channel mixing. level. curve. mask...great recipe for professional BW. And the best thing, its
    free with your copy of CS! no need of funky filter. just learn how do work with Photoshop you
    can do ANYTHING. By the way, your BW are good, a bit more of work can be needed, but you
    are on the right track. whatever the method you use.
  15. jtk


    Are you concerned mostly with Website presentation or printing?

    If printing your ultimate best tool will be Quadtone (QTRgui) unless you're using the latest Epsons.
  16. I always find these recs for third party software tools to perform basic color>B&W conversion to be funny. There's a levels tool in Photoshop along with channel mixer - that's all you need. The software plug-ins are a waste of money.
  17. Thanks
    I just desaturated adjust curve I have not do channel mix et al, well graduately learn more. I will print it out. most of time I order from Adorama in NYC, I plan to buy a set of scanner and ptinter. I have an old Nikon LS1000, good for 11x14. anyone use Microteck i800? I need a flat bed for my 4x5 slides may be a Epson?
  18. SCOTT_Finaly! someone on my side : ) people got a 800$ software and they keep buying
    plugin to create BW, to sharpen, to polarize etc...i dont understand. By the way your sepia
    tone and picture are great.

Share This Page