I haven’t been doing this challenge much lately because I haven’t been having much success converting images from colour to black and white. Most of images I tried came out dull and uninteresting – I think I had beginner’s luck with some of more successful images I created a year or so ago. This luck had began to run out and I felt I needed to learn more about the technicalities of converting colour photos to B&W digitally. I borrowed a book from the library – “Advanced Digital Black and White Photography” by John Beardsworth. It’s chock full of useful information and a lot of it is very technical. I’ll record the processes I used here to give myself a record to refer back to. (hope you don’t find the technicalities too boring).
Being a great fan of Ansel Adams I decided to begin by following the directions for creating Adams style imagery. A classic Adams shot involves rugged rocks and a blue sky with scattered clouds. Looking through my archives I found this shot I took in Cappadocia that might be suitable for conversion.
Working in Photoshop I created a new Black & White Adjustment Layer. I chose the Red Filter preset as a starting point and used the Sliders to adjust the various tint. I then made a New Adjustment Layer – Curves and tweaked the contrast. Here’s the final image –
Here’s some more Cappadocia photos that I processed the same way. I read that Ansel Adams spent a lot of time in the darkroom and liked to use dodging and burning to create contrast. When I had flattened the images below I used the Dodge and Burn Tools.
This is the kind of processing I could do for hours and still not be 100% happy with the results. I’ll keep playing and experimenting. I’d love to know what you think or if you have any tips you want to share.