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3235 Photography Assignments

DESTRUCTIVE VS. NON-DESTRUCTIVE There are many ways to convert images from colour to black and white. However, one must be aware of the difference between ‘Destructive’ and ‘Nondestructive’ conversion techniques. How does one decide how to convert images to black and white? Perhaps one thing to consider is whether or not the process is ‘destructive or nondestructive’. Destructive conversions are conversions that are not reversible. These can be done in camera and with software. Nondestructive conversions are done with software. Both will convert images from colour to black and white, but only one will give you the flexibility of creating an image that doesn’t permanently alter your original image; and that’s a nondestructive conversion. Please look at the videos in the Black and White photography playlist that explain

many of these techniques. Once you see the conversions in practice you’ll be able to use them yourself to alter your own images. Keep in mind that the black and white conversion tool in the adjustment layers palette will give you total control over all of your Reds, Yellows, Greens, Cyans, Blues and Magentas! What could be better? The amazing part about black and white images is that they can take an otherwise ordinary or uninteresting photo and convert it into something of visual interest. Converting colour images to black and white isn’t a simple process though. You have much to consider, tonal ranges, contrast, etc...

Keep the colour image and you have more control over your conversions.

COLOUR MODES RGB & CMYK Red Green Blue, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black. You’ve most likely heard of these colours in combination before. What you need to be aware of is their affect on your black and white images. Mixing RGB creates white light, and mixing CMYK will create, a muddy mess... if you don’t believe me watch the video on the YouTube channel that demonstrates these concepts. When we convert images to black and white, what we are working with is colour and our own interpretation of those colours. As you can see, the images on the left demonstrate two black and white conversions of the same colour photo. There is no ‘right’ image, there is only personal preference. Of course this is within the guidelines of good composition and visual cues. If the quality of the photograph is compromised by the conversion, then it doesn’t work. For example, if certain tonal ranges make parts of your photo look pixelated. Or if the composition does not allow you to control tone, then perhaps another subject is needed. Irregardless of your choices, you will be converting a colour image into a grayscale tonal range, and it’s up to you to decided what looks good and what does not.


Auto conversion equals no control... you don’t want to lose control do you? There’s nothing wrong with the quality of an automatic black and white conversion. However, the process doesn’t afford you the opportunity to control the tonal ranges in the image. So, use them wisely and don’t forget that you can always make adjustments in Photoshop after an automatic conversion is made... it’s just more time consuming.




MANUAL CONVERSION Manually converting your image will give you control over both the RGB and CMYK tones. When you shoot in colour it’s hard to visualize what the photo will look like in black and white. However, this worry is a rather moot point. Simply because one may adjust the gray in their photograph to look any way they like. Take the photos to the right, they are exactly the same. However, the RGB and CMYK levels have been adjusted to change how the image appears. So, the question is, do you want a darker sky or a lighter sky?

What I love about black and white is that it gives you many options. Here we have the exact same photograph. Yet, they are entirely different because of the variations in the gray used to complete the photograph... there is no right or wrong.

TONE IT DOWN YOU’LL NEED: A black and white photo... and a splash of colour. Seems a bit counter intuitive to add colour back into a photography once it’s been converted to black and white. But sometimes one needs to add a little colour to style their photos, or to change the mood or just to make it a little more interesting. Split toning can also be done with RAW images in adobe RAW. See the YouTube tutorial explaining how this is done.


THESE ARE YOUR ASSIGNMENTS 1 - In camera destructive 2 - Grayscale mode conversion 3 - Desaturated adjustment (destructive) 4 - Desaturated adjustment (nondestructive).

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5 - Adjustment Layer (from drop down menu, w/o mask) 6 - Adjustment layer conversion (from layer palette) 7 - Channel Conversion 8 -Toned or split toned Black and white image.

Save your images onto the desktop on your computer for grading. Photos submitted via Moodle must be converted to 72 dpi and must be no larger than 2X3’. You will need to submit the following photos for grading in .psd format.

9 -High Key Black and White conversion with additional nondestructive adjustment layers 10 - Low Key Black and White conversion with additional nondestructive adjustment layers





Clarity DOF Exposure & White Balance Composition Content Work station routines and management

Each photo will be assessed with the rubric above.



Communication Technology 3235 - Black and White Photography  
Communication Technology 3235 - Black and White Photography  

In this module you will learn various techniques demonstrating the conversion of colour photos to black and white.