7.3. Using Grayscale Mix for More Control

Lightroom's Grayscale Mix controls have revolutionized digital black and white conversion. Since using these controls, I've retired several of my more complex and time-consuming conversion techniques. I'll show you how and why I now turn almost exclusively to Lightroom for my black and white conversions.

To start, you need a color image. From a quality point of view, it's preferable to work with a native RAW file, but a JPEG, TIFF, or PSD will do, as long as it is in color. Figure 7-11

Figure 7-11. Figure 7-11


Many digital cameras now offer a "Black and White" option. Lightroom's Grayscale Mix control won't have any effect on these images, unless they are saved as a RAW file, where the color data is always available. You can, however, "tone" these camera-generated grayscale JPEG or TIFF images with a Develop module preset, the Basic pane Tone sliders, or the Split Tone pane controls.

Click on the word Grayscale (circled) in the HSL/Color/Grayscale pane. Figure 7-12 Your image will appear unsaturated, but what you see is misleading. The underlying color data is still available, which means you can use Lightroom's Grayscale Mix control to determine how each color is converted. Once you export your image as a TIFF, JPEG, or PSD—even though it is saved in RGB—all color data is eliminated. If you export your converted image as a DNG ...

Get Photoshop Lightroom Adventure now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.