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A request was made about converting some images into black and white.  I have spoken about converting images before, but I have never done a tutorial on it.  I have decided to use GIMP again, though if people want, I am happy to do one in Photoshop another time.

As always we have to choose an image to convert.  I decided that I would make use of the images that I took last Friday.  These have a lot of clouds, and I think the images that work best in black and white are ones that have more drama.  The more mood the image has the better it can look in monotone.

So, my image is open, remember, right click, press file, then open.

Next the image needs to be converted to black and white, or grayscale.  Right click on the image, then go to Image,  click on Mode, then click grayscale.  It will go like the image above.  Many people stop right here and don’t go any further.  This is only the first step.

The image is a little dark, so I used Levels to lighten it up some.  The area circled in red is where I moved them too.

When printing images in the darkroom, I was told to have two pieces of paper with me, one white and one black.  The pieces were used to make sure that my image would have white in it and black in it.  You can do a similar thing in GIMP, I just opened two new images and filled one with black and one with white.  It is important that your image has the full range, otherwise they look washed out and not very good.  I have seen so many images like this on the internet.  If you are one of them now, you won’t be after this.

Next I always adjust the contrast and brightness.  Right click on the image, go to Colours, then click on Brightness-Contrast.  I have already moved the sliders.  When you move the contrast one, especially to the right, you will also need to add some brightness, though, this isn’t a rule and should be done on an image by image situation.  Keep in mind your blacks, and your whites.

Hopefully you can tell that it looks a lot better.

Here is the final image as a black and white image.

Not every image is going to be as easy as this one.  Sometimes they are not so co-operative.

Here is the image from Friday’s post.  I have lightened this up a lot.  I wanted it to be fairly light.

The image has been changed to grayscale, and you can see by putting the white image and the black image on top, that we have plenty of white, but really no black.  So we need to get black.  You probably could also get it using the levels and just darkening the image again, but what if you image is just like this and you can’t do that.

I have used the contrast to bring up the blacks and to give it more contrast.  Contrast is the difference between black and white.

We have lost some of the sky detail, but the image doesn’t look so gray.  The final image from the above way.  Of course if I didn’t lighten it up at the beginning it would have been much different.

This version is better, the sky isn’t so blown out.  It is still crooked.  There is a lot more detail in the sky now.  The rocks are quite dark and the best version is probably somewhere in between.

Making images into black and white is easy, you just saw that, but remember that all images should have blacks and whites and a range in between.

An almost award.

Lovely (Blog) Or Not

An interesting take on the whole blog awards, I hope you go and take a look.


I would like to say thanks for the recognition.

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