A B&W Conversion Tutorial

I posted this on a photography board, but thought I would share it with my lovely blog followers as well. This is how I did my PPing for the photo in the previous post, and how I get my "traditional" B&W edit. All of this was done in Photoshop CS4.

Here is the photo before the conversion:

Here is a screen shot I took while editing:

Here is an explanation of the layers from top to bottom with screen shots of the photo step by step:

- First I created a B&W gradient map to make a boring yucky B&W conversion, then made that my background (I always make a snapshot before this)

Now here's what I have:

- Then adjust the RGB levels to make the B&W not so cool

- The first gradient map you see is the same one used to convert to B&W, but I set the layer to screen to brighten it up a little. 

- Gradient Map 2 is another plain B&W gradient with the layer set to overlay to give it a little boost. A little goes a long with with most of these layers so I suggest keeping the opacities fairly low. 

- Gradient Map 3 gives it that warmer tone and looks like this: 

I have this layer set to multiply

- Then I have two different fill layers to give it more of that brownish/aged color the first layer is set to multiply the second layer is set to soft light

- Lastly I create an "s" curve to give it a little pop and adjust the opacities to taste.

Here is the final photo:

And for a more "traditional" B&W I just deleted the 3rd Gradient Map and the 2nd Color Fill:


Paty said...

Thanks so much! I took a Photoshop course last quarter here but I havent used much! Nice to have some pro tips! have a great weekend!

Glinda said...

Great tutorial! Thanks!