I usually convert my RAW files to black and white in Lightroom, which is more than adequate for most of my needs. But, as part of developing a Photoshop habit with the aim of greater familiarity, skill and speed, I’ve been experimenting with the conversion in Photoshop.
Here’s the black and white out come …
And the original …
- Basic image tuning adjustments with levels and curves use the same mechanics as LR, but with the significant advantage of using masks to isolate adjustments to specific image areas and to complete adjustments in stages using different layers. For example the trees in the background were darkened using a curves adjustment on the selected area only.
- Methods of cleaning unwanted element in photos are way beyond anything possible in LR. This is because of the sophisticated tools for selecting elements of images and refining the edges of selections and the ability to patch and heal the image. Even as a relative novice, the removal of the distracting lamp-post on the bridge was successful.
- Black and white conversion is through a similar process to the sliders in LR. One advantage of PS over LR is the ability use add-ins (such as Silver Efex Pro) as a layer adjustment, without destruction of the base image. If things go wrong, one doesn’t need to start right from the beginning – just redo that layer. Something for next time!
Conclusion – Photoshop is a tool of photography and to master it needs constant practice, it can’t be a once-in-a-while effort.