Trade Tricks: Black-And-White From Color
Shoot in color first for the best B&W image
Black-and-white photography still mostly comes from black-and-white film, and remains a viable, challenging way to photograph. For best results in the computer, scan from the black-and-white or color negative; then, depending on how your scanner works, remove the color in your image-processing program. You also can shoot black-and-white directly with many digital cameras.
The computer provides a new option: Shoot in color, then convert to black-and-white. This offers some unique advantages that can't be used if the original image is captured only in black-and-white, such as how different-colored filters change the tonality of a scene as it's captured, from real-world color to black-and-white.
There's a variety of ways to translate color images into black-and-white in the digital darkroom using an image-processing program. Not all are available in all software programs, but you should be able to find one that works for you.
1. nik Color Efex (www.nikmultimedia.com). This plug-in offers a superb black-and-white conversion tool, available in the Color Efex Pro! complete collection and Color Efex Pro! Design Bundle. You control the color filtration of the scene with a simple slider that goes across a spectrum of colors and watch how it affects gray tones. In addition, you can control the strength and brightness of the effect (try that with a traditional black-and-white filter!).