HDR Color to HDR Black & White

Posted in HDR, Photoshop

Above is an example of a black and white HDR image that I’ll show you how to create from an original color image. HDR images can look really good if they’re done right. Some HDR images look great when they’re converted to black and white. I don’t think it works for all HDR images so you’ll have to experiment. Experimenting can be a lot of fun. Here’s an example of the Croton Dam in Westchester, NY. Some people I know like the color version better and others like it in black and white. It’s all a matter of taste. If you like your end results, then that’s what matters. This is how I did the black and white conversion in Photoshop CS3. First bring the image into Photoshop. Then go to Image / Adjustments / Black & White. Here the Black and White dialog box opens up. There are red, yellow, green, cyan, blue and magenta sliders. Slide the sliders back and forth to see how it will affect your image. Every image is different and it’s up to your taste how you want the end result. When I decide that I’m happy with the results, I click OK. These are the settings I used for this image: I’m not finished yet. At this point I like to go to the Image / Adjustments / Brightness/Contrast settings: I don’t touch the brightness slider. I just bring up the contrast to about +20, depending on the image. Here’s the end result: Here’s another example with a different image. Instead of leaving this image as a black and white, I gave it a sepia “tint”. In the Black and White dialog box, there’s a check box at the bottom that says “Tint”. Click that check box on, then click OK. Here are the images from color, to black and white, to sepia tint: Here’s one more example of color to black and white:

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Comments (1)

  • Mark Highton Ridley

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    Interesting article you’ve written Lorri. I work a lot with HDR b/w and it’s good to see how other folks approach things. I really like the pencil-sketch quality you achieved in the first.

    I go for quite heavy contrast scenes / subjects and enjoy the interplay I find in some quite ordinary, everyday things.

    For those interested I’ve got a 20min vidoe of my b/w hdr workflow from RAW through HDR to Photoshop and the final processing. I’ll give you a link to it if you like: http://www.highton-ridley.co.uk/Urban%20Ugliness%20Workflow/Urban%20Ugliness%20Workflow.html

    Cheers,
    Mark

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