08 May 2007 • 1,704 views
BLack & White Tutorial I
Suby In The House
Okay folks, feeling a little bit better so taking some time to write up this tutorial. Thank you for all the show of concern, still have a huge migraine though.
One of the questions people ask me a lot is how I convert my images to B&W or Sepia. There are so many ways to do this in Photoshop it boggles the mind (I AM STILL LEARNING) I want to gently get you guys into understanding the very basics in editing so that in the future, when & if I put up more complex tutorials, you understand and are not too confused.
I am going to hopefully teach 3 things in this tutorial. Converting to B&W in less than a second, while still ensuring your image is not flat and has great depth, very quick addition of "DOF/BLUR" to highlight certain areas in your image, levels and also use of layer mask. I edit using Photoshop CS2, so where I can remember, I will also provide the shortcuts for older Photoshop versions and Adobe Elements 3.0 & above.
The original image is in colour above and the second image is edited using the tutorial below.
- Open up your image, press D on your keyboard to set your foreground/background colour to its default (black & white).
- Press Ctrl+J (Layer-New-Layer via copy) to create a new layer (I always work on a layer and never on the original background image, easier to correct any errors when you are working on layers). In the layers palette, you have circle that's coloured black and white called the Create new or fill adjustment layer button, (for those using older versions of Photoshop this is Image-Adjustments-Gradient Map or Layer-New Adjustment Layer-Gradient Map), click on this circle and a pop up box appears, now here's where the magic happens. CLICK ON GRADIENT MAP then click okay. Now doesn't that look a better B&W conversion than simply de-saturating the image?
- At this stage sometimes, your job in converting to B&W can be done, however life isn't always that perfect as your image can be either to bright or to dark or perfect, if it's any of the later afore mentioned, you can quickly rectify by clicking on your "layer 1" image to activate that layer. Press Ctrl+L (Image-Adjustments-Levels or Layer-New Adjustment Layer-Levels) to bring up the levels pop up box. Now here I don't want to get into too much technicalities at this time, all I will say is you see those three slider buttons underneath the graph, have a play with them until you are happy with your image then click okay.
I unfortunately do not remember or know how to add a layer mask in Adobe Elements to layer 1 which is needed for Steps Five & on, so those using Adobe Elements, sorry seems the journey ends here (Please anyone out there who knows how to add a layer mask in Adobe Elements, feel free to let me know).
- Still working on layer 1, Filter-Blur-Guassian Blur and set your radius to 20.5 pixels (feel free to reduce or increase this setting if you want to) then click okay. Don't panic because your image has gone all blurry here, we will rectify this in the next step.
- In the Layers Palette can you see the opacity box set to 100%? I want you to hover your mouse over the word "opacity" and see that double edged arrow that sorta pops up? You are going to use this to reduce the effect of the G Blur on your image now. So left click and drag the slider to the left lowering the opacity of the G blur to about 60%.
- Still working on layer 1, in your Layers Palette, click on that square with a white circle in it (Layer-Layer Mask-Reveal All), press D just to make sure your foreground/background is set to it's default colour (black & white), press B on your keyboard to bring up your brush tool, a soft edged brush should do, and set your brush size by dragging the size pop up slider or entering a size in the text box. Now just brush out the areas of your image you want to be in sharp focus with your brush tool (remember you are working on the white layer mask)
Anyone whose brain is fuzzy now, feel free to stop here, for those who are brave enough to go on, jump on to the next step J
Okay your image is smoking, but you want it to look even hotter by adding a little sepia or whatever colour tone you decide to your image.
- Now remember that Gradient Map 1 layer we have been ignoring so far, well let us bring it back into action by clicking on the white layer to make that gradient Map layer "active". In your Layers Palette click "Create new or fill adjustment layer button-photo filter" (Layer-New Adjustment Layer-Photo Filter). For this image I just choose the default warming Filter (85) with density set at 25%, but feel free to have a play with all the other fun filters in here, lowering or increasing the density percentage just increases or decreases the effect of the filter tone on your image. Click okay.
And there you have it. Any questions, please feel free to ask.
Words & Photography by Suby
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