Color Photo to Black and White Conversion

Color to Black and White Photo Conversion Slice

There are many pieces of software that can handle the conversion of color images or photos into black and white for you. Most if them are as simple as a single click. Rarely will these quick-fix solutions produce the quality of images one would get from A) Shooting in black and white to begin with, or B)Adjusting all facets of the images from contrast and depth of field to detail and lighting. I often like to shoot in black and white, however there are times where I’m at a location and I am capturing many things for color, not taking time to switch modes. Other times while going through images, specific shots will present themselves as excellent candidates for black and white conversion.

Here’s an example of “black and white” mode in software like Photoshop. It’s a simple full desaturation (removal of color intensity) from the image.

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Using contrast, level, RAW mode (if available and not shot in JPEG), and edits to the depth of field can all individually make for a more interesting photo. Many times when I am editing/shooting for black and white or macro, I really like to tweak the detail and contrast to create finely detailed, sometimes to the point of hyper-realism. In the final printable image you’ll see the subject mostly isolated. The increase of detail can also produce grainy effects. This can all be controlled based on a client’s preference, or my own for personal prints.

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For my own tastes, as referenced, I really like extending the detail. This is sometimes frowned upon by photography purists, but taste, as always, is up to the individual. When advanced lighting equipment, or even the use of a DSLR is not an option (as is the case with this source image), knowledge of software combined with basic art principals can combine to achieve images which capture the eye and the imagination.

While using one-click solutions can be quick and painless, your images will benefit from more in-depth manipulation if the time is available. If not, maybe I can help! If you have a color photo that you’d like to have converted into black and white, please contact me for additional information and pricing.

A freelance writer and digital artist, operator of this website. My name is James Schumacher, and I hold a degree in Game Art & Design (BoFA) from the Art Institute in Portland. My passions are gaming, music, books, film and my friends. Select Photography to see some of my latests photos, with more found at 500px and Viewbug. Currently you can find much of my game reviews mostly at Only Single Player I am available for freelance writing work, as well as for image and graphic editing.

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