Black and White Adjustments
We'll wrap up our adjustment layers with the black and white adjustment so you go to a place with great color and then you decide to make it black and white so when do you decide to introduce black and white into your workflow? I don't know it depends so again this overall concept of working from the adjustment that you feel a sort of the maury important adjustment to a little bit less important a little bit less important it's that kind of working your way down to finer and finer details in the photo I generally save black and white for later but sometimes when I'm taking the picture I know of this scottie black and white most of the time I can't decide we'll come back to that in a moment but I can't just like the texture is so cool so when do we want to convert to black and white when it's all about texture when it's all about the lightness levels in the photo the various tonalities et cetera then we want lack in life except it's still great color we've got these you know orange kind...
of red rock it's amazing do I really want to get I struggle with this all the time you can see all these problems that photoshopped creates for my psychology but the black and white adjustment is wonderful because we can create a black and white interpretation based on the original color values in the photo and so for example, it's red rock, right? So let's, adjust the reds wow! Ok, now it's high key red rock so aiken brighten all the pixels in the image that have a base color value that falls in that red range. So remember hugh saturation when we had those ranges of colors, same basic concept I can lighten the reds or darken the reds? Obviously when you're photographing red rock there's, a lot of red and so that's going to have a big impact in the photo yellows, we would expect obviously in this case a fair amount of yellow in the photo and so I kenbrell atan or darken the areas of the image that had been yellow from the start. So keep those kind of bright how much green we have what's mostly joe is the water, and so I'll just swing through those wild extremes, and in this case I think I'll brighten up those greens. You can then start to see some of the reflections of clouds in the image in the water there, the science mostly you see above the horizon there way off in the distance from the clouds so all may be darkened those down a little bit, the blues in that area that I was working on a few saturation and we will keep that kind of neutral the magenta tze oh boy there's still someone in there isn't there but those air those values where we saw that it extended beyond the magenta is into the reds a little bit and we narrow that up but again I confined to each of those as I see fit in order to produce an interesting result in the photos so usually kind of looking how is the detail being enhanced? How is the texture being enhanced? Obviously I can apply additional adjustments later which we'll talk about in just a moment, but you know, maybe somewhere in this range just a starting point for example, another thing that's kind of cool with our black and white adjustment is that we can add a color tint and so you all are familiar I'm sure with c peotone, so if I turn on the tent checkbox, then I have a c peotone effect instantaneously so the luminous values in the image the overall contrast is still based on the sliders that I used to adjust brightness for the individual color ranges. But now, essentially what I've done is instead of having a black and white where we've got white paper with black ink, for example now it's a c, pia and white where we've got some sort of shade of brown ink on white paper but I can also change that will click on the color swatch that will bring up the color picker and I can go in and maybe I want a scion a type of this dialogue out of the way a little bit or a green a type or a magenta type or a reddit type or yellow tie for you know any color of the rainbow maybe you decide that kind of a cool look works well for the image we can reduce the saturation so it's a little bit more subtle maybe something like that etcetera so we've got all sorts of flexibility and importantly because I've now ruined this images far is this weird color interpretation of black and white I could go back and undo it so let's get back to this overall notion of adjustment layers and the flexibility that they give us you can see that I've added quite a few adjustment layers to this image now the first question I suppose is then I am I really going to add this many adjustments for a typical image? Well for me personally I don't know about for you but generally speaking when the image comes out of the camera it's pretty much perfect um in my experience and so I don't really need any of these adjustments at all okay that's not even a little bit true, but how many will I need? Well, I already mentioned that levels I usually passover in lieu of curves I will typically find too in the color with color balance now wait I fixed the color in camera raw so why do I need to tinker with the color again? Well, I tinkered with atonality and maybe I decided to brighten up the shadows a little bit and the shadows are a little bit cool so that's brought up more of those blue tones so I need to shift a little bit more toward yellow so one of the things that I encourage photographers to do a lot is to play with their image and don't feel like you have to have this rigid workflow I've gone through these adjustments in a particular order for this particular image but that's just what felt right for this photo and I can certainly go back and make changes to any of those adjustments will see more on that in just a moment but I'm not feeling locked into any of this I am playing with this photo and trying to figure out what's going to work and what's not going to work and I'm feeling totally free to just explore maybe this will work maybe black and why this great maybe it's going to be awful but let's give it a try why not it's nondestructive after all and I've got complete flexibility so I really encourage you to play to go back and forth among your various adjustments to try things out if you learned some new technique give it a shot maybe it'll work maybe you won't care for it. But you can see that. I'm accomplishing all of this with adjustment layers.
Non-destructive editing helps you maintain maximum flexibility when editing your photos in Photoshop. Learn how it’s done in How to Create a Non-destructive Workflow with Tim Grey.
Tim will show you how to leverage your RAW captures to ensure the best starting point in your workflow. He’ll show how to use adjustment layers for non-destructive edits and how to use Smart Objects and Smart Filters for safe, effective edits.
Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 2014.2.2, Adobe Lightroom 5