black & white question for photographers

I have found photos that I want to purchase based on their composition.

My friend prefers black & white. I'm finding few b & w that will fit her needs, and we need more photos.

I know I can take color photos and grayscale them, but it's not really the same.

Any advice so that I don't completely mess up great quality photos? This is for website work, and the photos will be fairly small (~500 pixels wide and smaller), so the resolution won't need to be perfect.

I have Photoshop, and a few other image editors.


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August 26, 2007


Thank you very much Hobbyink, I knew there was something I was missing; and it must be the color filters. I will try playing with those.

Thank you for the advice.

August 26, 2007


When you turn a color image into grayscale, one detail to keep in mind for adjusting the image is the color saturation and hues. While the colors won't show up, correcting their balance does adjust the grayscale balance. Also try applying color filters, such as Red and Yellow. These also create a much different effect on b&w than on color photographs. Photoshop has a wide variety of filter effects. I suggest playing around with them. :)

August 25, 2007


Yes, Petarneychev, you understood me correctly. I'm not that talented when I start adjusting the contrast and brightness when I convert them into grayscale. They just seem to appear "obvious" to me that they've been put in "grayscale" instead of shot in black & white film.

I haven't adjusted "curves"; so maybe that is my issue?

Thanks for the tips, and any others!

August 25, 2007


Ok, from what I understand you've found photos you like but they're in color and you want to make them in B&W or am I wrong?

You can take a color image and convert it to grayscale, but you'll also have to do some more work to make it look nice - adjust levels, curves, brightness, contrast, etc. until you get you photo to look the way you want it. As a guideline - remember that a B&W photo looks best when it has real white and real black areas on it. That doesn't mean it has to be extreme, but if your contrast is low then the image will look dull and totally not appealing... with some exceptions depending on subject and composition, but for the most time this is the basic rule.

August 25, 2007


My digital camera has a setting that allows me to shoot in black and white. I would first check your camera's manual to see if you have this function.

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