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Converting to Black and White and Adding Grain

Lesson 21 from: Get The Most Out of Your Photos with Capture One Pro 10

David Grover

Converting to Black and White and Adding Grain

Lesson 21 from: Get The Most Out of Your Photos with Capture One Pro 10

David Grover

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Lesson Info

21. Converting to Black and White and Adding Grain


Class Trailer



What's Possible with Capture One: Quick Edit


Capture One Versions: Installation Basics


Interface Introduction and Customization


The Power of Keyboard Shortcuts


Image Management Basics


Organization Best Practices


Building your First Catalog


Image File Management Automation


Advanced Catalog Organization


How to Add Meta Data


Searching and Filtering Techniques


Further Catalog Strategies


Basic Selecting, Rating and Culling Techniques


Advanced Selecting, Rating and Culling Techniques


Basic Composing Techniques: Cropping, Rotation, Straightening


How to Correct for Perspective


Basic Tool Behavior


Tool Basics Part 1


Tool Basics Part 2


Converting to Black and White and Adding Grain


How to Apply Image Adjustments Globally


Sharpening and Noise Reduction


How to Create and Save Styles and Presets


Why Should You Shoot Tethered?


How to Set-Up Your Tethered Hardware


How To Set Up A Tethered Photoshoot Project


Basic Session Workflow Organizing And Making Selects


Basic Session Workflow Exporting


Advanced Session Workflow


Creating Selections With Smart Albums


Advanced Exporting


Saving Session Templates


Collaborating On Set With Capture Pilot


Using The Color Editor Basic Color Adjustment


Skin Tone Adjustments


Color Grading Using The Color Balance Tool


Image Processing Demo Perfecting Color


Create Masks for Local Adjustments using Brushes & Gradients


Advanced Local Adjustments using Masks


Dodging and Burning in Capture One


Creating Local Adjustments with the Color Editor


How to Use Local Adjustment Masks for Color Editing


How to Remove Objects in your Image


Image Processing Demo: Local Adjustments


Exporting with File>Export


Export Strategies and Proofing Previews with Process Recipes


How to Export for Social Media


More Clever Tricks with Capture One Pro 10


Final Q&A


Lesson Info

Converting to Black and White and Adding Grain

Let's have a look at black and white. I know it's not in the exposure tool tab but it's one of those basic things that's pretty easy to look at, like so. Any image, of course, we can make to a black and white, that's very straightforward. It makes sense, before doing your black and white conversions to start with a good color version, so if you're under exposed the white balance is off, or the contrast is no good, then don't immediately go into black and white. Get a good color version and then start to think about black and white. A good way to do that, of course, if you've already done your color version, is simply say clone variant, if you wanna keep a color and a black and white, and that will give us a virtual copy of the image which we can then treat as our black and white version. This one might already have a little bit of grain so I'm gonna reset that 'cause we're gonna look at film grain, as well. Black and white sits in the color tool tab which is kind of funny, but that's w...

here it is. It's really, super simple to use. There's just one checkbox which is enable black and white. That will instantly convert the image to black and white which you can, then, go on to further adjust. If you want, there's nothing to stop you in the exposure tool, just de saturating, but it doesn't give you the same level of control that the black and white tool does. If we say enable black and white then we end up with six color sliders which will change the density of each of those colors. If we grab red, there's probably a good chance there's some in the skin, so if we pull that slider left to right, you can see the effect that it's having, like so. You can decide on each of the color channels exactly how you wanna blend those in. My method is grab a slider, see which area of the image that it's affecting, and then set it to something that is pleasing to you. Again, we're not doing clinical mathematical stuff, it's creative process, what works for you might not work for someone else. Very quickly, just by pulling the sliders around you can get pretty nice black and white conversions. Beyond that, once you've done a black and white conversion, if you feel, you know what, I just need to go back and tweak some of the other stuff, that's fine. In this case, if we just wanted to lift the shadows a little bit, then we could do so, or play around with the highlights then we could do so. Also, luminosity curves are really nice for black and white, as well, 'cause they can give nice, subtle contrast changes, but because the color is kept stable, it doesn't affect the density changes, per se, that you made with those color sliders. Luma curve works super nice with black and white, as well. There's also a secondary tab which is split toning. This will allow you to throw in a tint to the highlights and the shadows, and decide how strong that you want that to be. If we wanted to have some warmer highlights, you pick your color, and then as you drag the saturation up, then that becomes more apparent. You can just pick exactly what you wanna have and control that and get nice split toning effects, as well, or you can just tone the highlights, if you wish, and leave everything untouched. As I said, don't just de saturate saturation, that's a slow way to do it, or the less controlled way to do it. Remember, Capture One is all about control and precision, so use the right tool for the job. We can also, let's just grab this one, again, enable black and white, probably red has a good chance of affecting skin tones. Not much going on with yellows, not much going on with greens, and so on. Sometimes you have more limited choices so that's why it's good to know that you've got all the other tools, like the luma curve, in this case, to just have the effect that you want to have, like so. Not exclusive to black and white, but often used with black and white, is also film grain, as well. A lot of applications out there, when you're applying film grain, what they're doing is using a scan of a piece of film, and putting that as an overlay on the image itself, and then you have some control over the opacity. The problem with that is that's not actually how film grain behaves in the real world. If you're as old as me and you remember developing black and white film, and printing, and so on. Grain is an organic thing, it changes depending on film processing, the exposure of the film, the subject, and so on. What we aim to do with the film grain tool in Capture One, by the way, it's sitting in the details tool tab here, is that we're mathematically emulating film grain and taking into account the underlying image itself. Let's just bring it out, we can hide the rest of the tools. We've got different types of film grain. So, different types of film grain, again, it's just up to you which one you wanna choose, but they all have a slightly different effect. Let's just go to 100% so we can see. Fine grain, this is an older algorithm which basically just puts a very fine grain over the whole of the image, but it's not as intelligent as the five other options that we have below. These are the more modern, clever ones. You pick a film grain style. Impact is, pretty much, like the opacity, how visible the grain is. The more we drag it to the right, the more visible the grain is. If you just want a subtle effect, keep it low. If you want a very strong effect, push it all the way to the right hand side. The grain pattern and the strength of the grain varies across the image, whether it's a highlight, shadow, or mid-tone, so you get the most wonderful, natural grain emulation that's, actually, really difficult to achieve elsewhere. The granularity is, basically, how grainy it is. The more we push this up, the grainier the image gets, like so. Once you've set it, you can click through the other options just to see, exactly, how it looks, for example. I have some favorites, I tend to go between cubic and soft, I think are quite nice, as well. Then just play around with the sliders to see, exactly, how it looks. It really does give a nice, very natural grain look, which is pretty, whoops, excuse me, double clicking too fast, a really nice natural grain structure that does look incredibly film-like. Any questions on that, Tim? Let's see, yes, Jim would like to know, is there sepia or infrared setting? Let's think of our presets. Let's go back to, bring our tools back, let's just pop you over here, black and white, we should have some presets, there's, actually, quite a few. Hang on, let's fit that image to the screen so you can see what's going on. We've got various black and white presets here, as you can see, which we can flick through. Then we've got some split toning presets too. And those all come pre-loaded? Yeah, that all comes pre-loaded in, as well. There's a few other private enterprises out there selling some Capture One presets and styles and things, as well. Cool, and we are gonna be talking about presets, continuing in the class. Yeah, exactly, coming up very soon, yes. If you don't find it there, of course, if you want a sepia you just pick, obviously, not that much, you just pick the tone that you would expect, and then just gradually bring up that saturation that you want. Cool. Question from Tashie who would like to know, I've scanned the negative and the photo has, actually, a lot of grain on the image. Is there a way to reduce grain? We could do that with some noise reduction, as such. I've never tried it, myself, on film, I don't think, but will be worth looking at the noise reduction tool, and probably playing with luminance slider which will get rid of general noise. That could be one to look at, so just bump up the luminance slider and see if that helps to reduce some of that. Just to recap on our grain tool, as I said, lots of different types of grain, just try the one that is best for you. Impact is the visibility and the granularity is how grainy that is. If you've been using other applications for black and white conversion and for adding grain, I'd, kind of, urge you to try in Capture One because I don't think you'll find a better grain simulation on the market. With a black and white tools and luma curves, and in later lessons when we start to use the color editor, you can also start to bring the color editor, sounds strange, into working with black and white shots, too.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials

Capture One Discount Code
Wacom Discount Code
Tether Tools Discount Code

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Workspace Layout Visual
Windows Keyboard Shortcuts
Mac Keyboard Shortcuts
Session Users Glossary of Terms
Catalog Users Glossary of Terms

Ratings and Reviews


This is a good overview of Capture One 10. The course is well structured and presented logically and progressively with clear and concise examples. The software is intricate and the amount of details presented will benefit from a second or third viewing, along with sufficient practice. David is an excellent teacher, slow enough to follow, fast enough to keep the listener's interest. I would agree with a previous reviewer that the shooting session was uninspired but the tethered demo was thoroughly useful nevertheless for someone to become an assistant, for instance. If you have ever used LR in this role, you will appreciate the power and stability of C1 for tethering. With regards to the comment about this class being non-creative; before you can run you have to walk and this course is all about understanding how to operate the software not about what you eventually want to do with it. Capture One is well designed, speedy and its homogeneous interface makes it easy to get to a result once you have a good knowledge of its layout and principles, compared for example with LR which is all over the place with modes, inconsistent and slow operations. Likewise, the C1 color editor is miles ahead of LR color functions, in simplicity and overall efficiency. This class is about mechanics for a reason; creativity is a parallel stream. It would have been beneficial to have a module highlighting major differences with LR for people migrating to Capture One as the word on the street is that C1 is hard. I would suggest to listen in to convince yourself of the contrary. All in all, I recommend this class; it is time well invested if you want to become more comfortable with Capture One and discover its potential.


The course is excellent and David does a nice job. However, I'm an advanced armature, not a professional. I had my own personal color darkroom, then Photoshop/Bridge, and NIK which I still use occasionally. My intention is to rely on Capture One which I purchased about 90 days ago. I would have appreciated a SIMPLE, here is how you load (Import) an image, "save" or "save as" and how to simply export an image (Variant). Yes those items are covered but, David has a tendency to casually and very quickly jump from Tool Tabs or Cursor Tools or the Tool Bar and then magically it's done and he has moved on. How did he do it. Based on David's training, I love the results I get with Capture One Pro. Yes, I know this is not Photoshop - it's much better. I never used Lightroom. I added variant to my vocabulary and I understand all the tools. I still struggle with the simple import, save, save as, and export of a image I worked on and cropped, then trying to consistently open that image as I see it in Capture One Pro. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't and I don't know why. I will continue to re-review the course materials and I will figure it out. I know there is something simple I missed as David navigated the various tools and pull downs. I recommend this class but it does little for the armature. Capture One Pro is second nature to him and he knows all the ins and outs. I would help me a lot if he just add a 5 minute intro, importing an image from a folder, just crop it, then export the variant and open it in Photoshop.

Maria Baptiste

I recently purchased Capture One because I needed a RAW converter that was more dependable and also more reliable when it came to shooting tethered. I also noticed that many of the photogs I follow really enjoy using Capture One and rave about its efficiency. After looking at a few YouTube videos I decided that I needed something more thorough and of course CreativeLive delivered. This is an excellent course and David Grover is a superb instructor. His in depth and thorough knowledge of the software is obvious but his manner of speaking and the simplicity with which he provides directions makes it easy to learn Capture One and lets you appreciate a sophisticated and expertly engineered software. If you're working with Capture One 11, layers is a little different than in version 10 but otherwise everything David discusses is the same. I thoroughly enjoyed the course and will continue to refer back to sections as needed. Thank you Creative Live and David Grover!!

Student Work