Thursday, April 27, 2006

A color-to-B&W anomaly

I really should know how to do this.

I was experimenting in Photoshop Elements today, and tried converting this photo from color to B&W...

But look at how the bright yellow sign and flowers became a dark grey. Yuck!

It was quite a surprise.

How did this happen, and what do I need to do to get the flowers to render the flowers a lighter shade? Any PSE experts out there care to chime in?

Like I said...I really should know how to do this.


Mason Resnick said...

Oops, forgot to mention the all-important technical info. I shot this with a Kodak V570 set at the 23mm focal length. It was a test for my day job. (The really quick review: fun camera, but only 5MP, so don't expect much if you print larger than 8x10.)

Anonymous said...

Try the digi-daan b&w action.... Have you heard of it?
Push up the Saturation and adjust the Hue. You can control the yellow flowers to a beautiful white.
I think Elements 3 or above can use Actions? If not, then you have your work cut out for you.

The link:

Good luck.... fine photography.... Just keep on shooting.

Anonymous said...

From an old film guy....

Normally you'd use a Wratten filter with panchromatic B&W film to make the yellow stand out more in correct grayscale relation to its surroundings. Converting a digital file from color to B&W looks like it doesn't give you any kind of option regarding tonal balance. You could try starting with the camera set at B&W, though you are fairly certain to get the same result.

Anonymous said...

Hi mason

if you use the Channel Mixer (Image>Adgustments>Channel Mixer) in Photoshop (I don't know if that's available in PSE though), you click on "Monochrome" to turn the image into B&W, and then you can play with the percentages in the three different RGB channels (they should roughly add up to 100%). Your published kodaksp13-bw.jpeg looks as if it's converted (I don't know how you did the conversion) with the equivelant of 50% Green plus 50% Blue. If you try something like 100% Red and leave both Green & Blue to 0%, you'll get your yellows much more vibrant. Try different combinations and see how the RGB "filters" affect your image. Think of it as shooting in B&W film and using different colored filters (Red, Green, Blue, Orange, Yellow...).

Hope this helps a little...
Great photos by the way!

Manos Troulinos

Fred said...

In Corel Paint Shop Pro I converted the file using either a yellow or orange filter so that the yellow would be closer to white.

Anonymous said...

Theres a great PS plug in I'm using these days called
Convert to B&W Pro.

In addition to a variety B&W film presests, it has a pre-filter selection that lets you dial thru the full spectrum of color filter options without affecting exposer.
It would really help your flowers.

PS I'v been doing the same comparison between Fugi Press converted and Hp5, and I agree. It makes a fine looking B&W when converted.