Color Isn’t Always Necessary

Now that I’ve completed the post processing and posting of all the images from the Italy trip, I can get back to learning some new techniques with Photoshop and photography in general.  I’m reading a book on black and white photography and thought now would be a great time to try my hand at it.

I selected a few images from around  Venice that had lots of color and a pretty wide tonal range.  I’m using Photoshop Elements 10 and the book I’m reading is about Photoshop CS… so I have to search around the Elements features to find functions that seem to work similar to the functions described in the full version Photoshop.  (someday I’ll break down and buy it… but learning in Elements is fine with me!)

So..  I opened the image and first made a duplicate of the color image and then turned the color layer off.  I used the “Convert to Black and White” feature.  I worked with the color channels until I got a combination of R-G-B and contrast that I thought gave a well-balanced image with good black and not too bright highlights.  Next, I use the color curves and made some adjustments to the highlights, mid-tones and shadows and contrast if needed.   Here are my first few attempts at Black and White.

Feel free to let me know how you think they came out…

This was an image at sunset so I pushed up the blue channel and made it a little bit dark.