Portrait Editing Day 1: Converting Favorite 20 Photos to Black & White

We shot our portrait photos in color, but will convert them to black and white. Here are some situations in which you can improve a photograph by converting it to black and white:

To emphasize the lighting (Photo credit: Deanna, class of 2015)

deanna_darren_color   deanna_furia_1

To eliminate distracting colors and create a cohesive color scheme (Photo credit: Ms. Lawson)

IMG_0603   isiah_photography3

To unify a series of photos (Photo credit: Katie, class of 2015)

katie_murrer_1   katie_murrer_3

How to convert your image to black & white:

  1. Image -> Mode -> Gray scale
  2. Image -> Adjustments -> Levels
  3. Look at the image that pops up. If your image has sufficient contrast, the “mountain range” will extend to the edge of the window.
    If your image looks similar to this, you do not need to adjust the levels, and can close out of the window:

    levels_no_adjustment

    If your “mountain range” of values does not extend to the edges of the window (such as the example below), you will click on the left cursor and drag it to the beginning of the left side of the mountain.
    You will then click on the right cursor and drag it to the beginning of the right side of the mountain.
    You will be able to preview what you are doing as long as the “preview” box is checked.

    levels_before_and_after

    When you have adjusted your levels, click ok.

    Save the black and white version of your image.

Today we will:

  • Convert our favorite 20 photos of people to black and white
  • Create a new blog post with the original color photo and the black and white version of each of your favorite 20 photos of people
  • If you have not already done so, complete the composite practice assignment and create a separate blog post with the original photo, the composited photo, and a description of the effects you used.
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