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Converting Color to B&W
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Dec 4, 2018 09:20:43   #
waynetgreen
 
Greetings,
I occasionally convert color to BW using Photoshop remove color or desaturate. Results are acceptable but just wondering if there is a distinct advantage to using the monochrome setting in the camera vs post process? Better grey scale maybe? I know I could do some side by side comparisons, but I truly enjoy the comments and expertise of the collective group.
Thanks

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Dec 4, 2018 09:23:21   #
dsmeltz (a regular here)
 
Here is an article on this topic:

https://digital-photography-school.com/mastering-monochrome-mode/

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Dec 4, 2018 09:30:01   #
Linda From Maine (a regular here)
 
Shoot in color, convert in a robust editor (I use Nik Silver Efex). Much more control. You decide, not the camera

With these photos, I could make whites whiter, blacks blacker, or change tonal contrast entirely, such as by applying a green filter (in my editor) on green grass to make it lighter. Red filters make blue skies darker. Using layers and layer masks allows you to make selective edits: dodge and burn to move the eye around the scene, darken the edges...options are limitless.


(Download)


(Download)

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Dec 4, 2018 09:32:04   #
waynetgreen
 
Great article, makes sense. Thanks

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Dec 4, 2018 09:33:02   #
Rab-Eye (a regular here)
 
I do my conversions in Lightroom. Simply desaturating will never give you the results you want.

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Dec 4, 2018 09:34:53   #
BobHartung (a regular here)
 
waynetgreen wrote:
Greetings,
I occasionally convert color to BW using Photoshop remove color or desaturate. Results are acceptable but just wondering if there is a distinct advantage to using the monochrome setting in the camera vs post process? Better grey scale maybe? I know I could do some side by side comparisons, but I truly enjoy the comments and expertise of the collective group.
Thanks


First, shoot in RAW. Second, once familiar with how different hues convert to gray scale, you can add a layer in PS to exaggerate some colors. Then when you desaturate you can separate shades that might be too close together for the story you are trying to tell. Keep the layers (as I am sure your do) as you can then go back and modify things until you get it "just right".

Just one of many ways to skin this cat.

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Dec 4, 2018 09:36:02   #
JohnSwanda (a regular here)
 
waynetgreen wrote:
Greetings,
I occasionally convert color to BW using Photoshop remove color or desaturate. Results are acceptable but just wondering if there is a distinct advantage to using the monochrome setting in the camera vs post process? Better grey scale maybe? I know I could do some side by side comparisons, but I truly enjoy the comments and expertise of the collective group.
Thanks


If you just desaturate, there is probably no advantage over shooting monochrome in the camera. But there are many methods of converting to B&W in post which enable you to control the process. Shooting B&W film, we used color filters to manipulate how colors translated to B&W - darkening skies, lightening skin tones, etc. Converting to B&W in post allows you to simulate the effect of those filters. Maybe there are two adjacent colors which convert into exactly the same gray tones, and you would like to create some contrast between them, then you can do that.

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Dec 4, 2018 09:45:53   #
dsmeltz (a regular here)
 
If your camera gives you a B&W preview when using the B&W mode, go ahead and use it. Still shoot RAW and convert in post. But with the setting, you will have some feedback during the shoot.

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Dec 4, 2018 09:58:43   #
blackest
 
Linda From Maine wrote:
Shoot in color, convert in a robust editor (I use Nik Silver Efex). Much more control. You decide, not the camera

With these photos, I could make whites whiter, blacks blacker, or change tonal contrast entirely, such as by applying a green filter (in my editor) on green grass to make it lighter. Red filters make skies darker. Using layers and layer masks allow you to make selective edits: dodge and burn to move the eye around the scene, darken the edges...options are limitless.
Shoot in color, convert in a robust editor (I use ... (show quote)


This is kinda funny, I'm starting to see color as a bit of a distraction it kinda hides the light. Then I wondered can i desaturate my screen. On a Mac you can under accessibility options there is a tick box for use grey scale. So I did that and then went to the gallery. First page I looked at the photo's and decided which looked best. Clicked on one of the photos which brought me here

Think i need to try again... I do like these photos

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Dec 4, 2018 10:02:08   #
Linda From Maine (a regular here)
 
blackest wrote:
This is kinda funny, I'm starting to see color as a bit of a distraction it kinda hides the light. Then I wondered can i desaturate my screen. On a Mac you can under accessibility options there is a tick box for use grey scale. So I did that and then went to the gallery. First page I looked at the photo's and decided which looked best. Clicked on one of the photos which brought me here

Think i need to try again... I do like these photos
This is kinda funny, I'm starting to see color as ... (show quote)

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Dec 4, 2018 12:28:04   #
speters (a regular here)
 
waynetgreen wrote:
Greetings,
I occasionally convert color to BW using Photoshop remove color or desaturate. Results are acceptable but just wondering if there is a distinct advantage to using the monochrome setting in the camera vs post process? Better grey scale maybe? I know I could do some side by side comparisons, but I truly enjoy the comments and expertise of the collective group.
Thanks

No, the best is to convert! in post, if you set the camera to monochrome, you're cutting yourself short!

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Dec 5, 2018 05:32:04   #
dpullum
 
Linda said: "Shoot in color, convert in a robust editor (I use Nik Silver Efex). Much more control. You decide, not the camera "

she is so right. Yes, you can use a Swiss Army Knife, PS, LR, to do the job, but why not use a tool specifically designed to do the job and in flavors not otherwise achievable. Flavors such as Sepia, Silver, Platinium, Thio, etc.... a whole new world. Linda left off Topaz B&W2. Give programs a 30 day try and buy at Christmas New years sale prices. If you search you may be able to find the Free NIK that Google gave away ... NIK has since been purchased and improved... Me, I am happy with the old free one.

Please do the 30day and let us know what you found.

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Dec 5, 2018 05:45:58   #
Photocraig
 
dsmeltz wrote:
If your camera gives you a B&W preview when using the B&W mode, go ahead and use it. Still shoot RAW and convert in post. But with the setting, you will have some feedback during the shoot.


I agree, if you are a Canon user, shoot RAW + JPEG, then choose Monochrome for your JPEG Image style. The JPEG image will be monochrome and show that way on your camera screen. The RAW will be delivered to your editor with ALL the color data the sensor captured. Colors render as different grayscale tones and your ability to manage each gives you TOTAL control of the process. It is what Linda was referring to with the red and green filters. Here you can use all the capabilities of filtering on each color channel on the same image. It is easier and more intuitive, for me, in the NIK collection.

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Dec 5, 2018 06:36:12   #
rmalarz (a regular here)
 
Wayne, I'm primarily a black and white photographer. Color sneaks in every so often. There are numerous methods to convert an image to black and white. My experience has shown that one method doesn't work for every image. I'd familiarize yourself with the various ways to convert to black and white and then try each on an image to achieve the best result. Yes, sometimes just a desaturate works, but at times it's also the worst result.
--Bob

waynetgreen wrote:
Greetings,
I occasionally convert color to BW using Photoshop remove color or desaturate. Results are acceptable but just wondering if there is a distinct advantage to using the monochrome setting in the camera vs post process? Better grey scale maybe? I know I could do some side by side comparisons, but I truly enjoy the comments and expertise of the collective group.
Thanks

| Reply
Dec 5, 2018 08:09:19   #
rond-photography
 
Definitely, Linda, as you say, it should be YOU decide. If people are uncomfortable with the idea of making adjustments to the image to make it better than what the camera can do, remember that even in film days what you see in a print is not what the camera captured - it is the interpretation of the photographer that makes it to print (and print can mean the digital image you post online or wherever)!

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