With the release of Lightroom 3, Adobe has taken feedback from end users hungry for more black and white conversion options. In this article I will take a look at twenty of these conversion methods, exploring how they effect four different photos and their pros and cons. By the time I am finished, I hope you will be curious about exploring this fun, and timeless, photographic expression.
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Starting at the start, I selected four unedited photographs. One of a few brightly colored musicians in Morocco, a lion seated in the tall grass of the Serengeti, basecamp drying-out day in Nepal, and a portrait of Ali’i, owner of Ali’i Kula Lavender Farms on Maui, Hawaii.
I will be including a screen shot of how the histogram changes for the first photo from Morocco with every new B&W conversion. This histogram is the most active and a good representation of what is affected. I will also be including a screen shot of the change in sliders in the Develop module.
Here is the starting point for the histogram and sliders for the Morocco photo:
And these are the original colour photos, completely unedited:
Finally, here is a complete list of the Lightroom Presets to be used in this tutorial:
The B&W Presets are divided into two groups; Creative and Filter. The first group attempts to impart a particular look, while the second group simulates traditional B&W filters placed over the lens or used while creating a print in a darkroom.
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The tutorial continues on to look at each of the Lightroom presets individually, carefully explaining what each does and what type of photo it’s best suited to. It’s a really valuable set of information for anyone interested in converting their images to black and white.
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