View Full Version : Monochrome Conversions

B.P.S Studios
1st August 2008, 07:56 PM
Thought I'd start a new thread on this. The question is how many of you out there use B&W, Do you prefer film or digital, What is your preferred method of conversion. Do you have any hints or tips for digital conversion etc:

1st August 2008, 08:24 PM
Brilliant thread, one I shall follow with real interest. *yes

I enter B&W competitions on a monthly basis and I'm always looking for ways to improve the end result. The problem I find is that there is no one technique that works for all images. I appreciate that's stating the obvious but it's a good basis to begin the discussion. Considering we can go from one extream to the other with B&W far more so than with colour, its hardly surprising that the tools used to get the effects are also going to be vastly different.

A dedicated area for this thread subject would be ideal (please Ian) :)

To answer your question, I started out entirely with B&W film, doing all my own processing. I now only do digital B&W prints using the Epson 2400

I mostly convert RAW to B&W by desaturating in PS elements, but use more complex techniques in CS2. Again it varies a lot depending on the image. One thing I am using is OptikVerve Labs Virtual Photographer filter addin to PS

Some of the Film filters and duo/tri tones are very good. Also for really quick and so so simple mono effects I use Picasa2. It's brilliant at try-it-out work, especially for quickly assessing the effects of coloured filters.


Nick Temple-Fry
1st August 2008, 08:38 PM
Yes, Digital.

My preferred technique is to shoor raw, convert to JPG or Tiff (depending how good I expect the image to be), decompose to RGB mono layers. Choose from the mono layer the one that contains the elements I most want, then rebuild using the other layers as necessary.

We tend to forget that BW processing is a lot about colour


2nd August 2008, 07:02 AM
I find the monotone conversion in Aperture very good and I have also purchased the Silver Efex Pro plug-in which is excellent.

2nd August 2008, 09:05 AM
I much prefer film for black and white it has a whole different feel about it which I like and that digi cant match.

However I have been experimenting on and off over the last couple of years with digital black and white.

In camera conversion, while not bad in the modern day cameras is not great.

What I have been doing recently is.
Take RAW covert to Tiff
In to CS2 Using channel mixer convert to mono chrome, then mess the sliders to the desired effect.
Convert to Greyscale
Use Duotone to get end result (see the black and white dalia in another thread)

Bit long but it works for me.

B.P.S Studios
2nd August 2008, 11:40 AM
Your spot on Paul P on the aperture thing, Try shooting with a red or yellow filter and then converting in aperture.

I use a combination of CS3 using the channel mixer and the levels adjustment as well as Aperture. I always convert directly from Raw to Tiff ( Never use Jpeg)

Thanks for all the input so far guys keep it coming