3 cool tips for better Black and White conversion using Adobe Lightroom 4, by Darlene Hildebrandt at Digital Photography School.

3 cool tips for better Black and White conversion using Adobe Lightroom 4, by Darlene Hildebrandt at Digital Photography School.

Ever wondered how the professional photographers get those dreamy black and white or sepia toned images? Wonder why yours come out looking dull and flat looking?  I’m going to give you 3 tips to help you do better black and white conversions using Adobe Lightroom, and solve that problem!
Today’s cameras are pretty smart, and many of them offer a black and white setting or shooting mode. I recommend using those to start, especially if you’ve never done any black and white (B&W) or if you are not currently doing any post processing or image editing on your files. BUT, if you have some experience with b/w photography, and you are

processing your images, I recommend doing the conversion yourself as you have more control over the look of the final image. 

I’m going to show you a few ways of converting them into B&W using Lightroom.
Note:  for the most part these tips will work in Photoshop as well, using the Adobe Camera Raw features and sliders.

First a quick note about my background. Back when I took my photography degree (dare I say, in 1987-88, and date myself) I spent the entire first year shooting black & white only, using a 4×5 view camera no less. I processed my own film and made my own prints. I spent a lot of time in a black & white darkroom, so I’m pretty well versed in how it works and how to control it to my advantage.

To grab some info from those film days, it’s important to note and understand that your camera sees light and colours differently than does the human eye. Black and white film sees blue tones much lighter than our eyes, for example.  Coloured filters were used to shift how the B&W film “saw” and rendered the scene.  Using a red filter would lighten anything red in the image and darken blue tones.  So if you were a landscape photographer you’d often use a red filter to darken the sky and make it less washed out.   A green filter would lighten green and blue tones and darken red and orange.  So photographers used the appropriate filter to capture the scene as they envisioned it.

 

Selected Items
Click to close the selection preview
Compare List
Teleconverters: Click to see the selected items
Click to Compare the selected items
Flashes: Click to see the selected items
Click to Compare the selected items
Lenses: Click to see the selected items
Click to Compare the selected items
Cameras: Click to see the selected items
Click to Compare the selected items