I wanted to write a tutorial on how I post-process images and show you this method to turn them into black and white. This is just one of many methods. The software I use is Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop. As you can see, the original image is rather boring and flat, with a grey sky and not a lot of contrast. 

IMG_8563_original
Original image. Boring and flat, with a grey sky and a lack of contrast.

When I take photos with my DSLR I always shoot RAW files. That way you can bring out a lot of details from the file during the post-processing. First I opened the photo in Adobe LIghtroom and here’s a gallery that shows the setting I used on this particular photo:

After this I export the photo, either as a .jpeg file (if you’re satisfied with the result) or a .tiff file (this is the best option if you want to continue to work on the file in Photoshop, but a jpeg is often good enough – especially if you’re not planning to print the final result). You can see the result below.

IMG_8563
This is the result after having processed the photo in Lightroom.

IMG_8563-ps-bw-process01As you can see, this is (at least in my opinion) much more interesting than the original image, but I think that it still lacks a bit of contrast. I could have added this as a brush in Lightroom, but I prefer doing my final touches like resizing, adding watermarks and such thing in Photoshop anyway, so for this tutorial I opened the image in Photoshop and added a brightness/contrast layer in order to make the icy pond stand out a bit more. I then used a black brush on the brightness/contrast layer to mask out the piece of the photo that I wanted to keep without adding any contrast.

That’s it. That was my work-flow on this photo. In the end I flattened the image, added the watermark and saved it as a .jpeg.

Here’s the final result:

The Final Result
The Final Result

Leanne Cole has a black and white challenge going on called The Monochrome Madness Challenge. I recommend that you check it out.
leannecolephotography.com/2014/03/19/monochrome-madness-challenge-3/