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Easily convert photos to black and white in iPhoto 6 Apps
Despite having Photoshop CS2, I have one technique and one technique only for black and white conversion, and it uses iPhoto:
  1. Double-click to edit the photo in iPhoto (v6 required; I always use full-screen mode)
  2. Bring up the Adjust dialogue
  3. Slide the Saturation slider all the way to the left
  4. Slide the Temperature slider all the way to the left (towards blue)
  5. [Optional] Muck about with Tint and Exposure until I've got something I'm happy with
The saturation slider on its own results in a rather washed-out, infra-reddish monochrome image -- the colour balance slider adds really satisfying contrast and tone. It does this by changing the colour balance of the underlying colour image, but the results can immediately be seen in the monochrome image on screen. The tint slider does the same thing, but results vary hugely from image to image.

I can't be bothered with more sophisticated, fiddly and time-consuming techniques (such as the channel mixer in Photoshop). These probably do more or less the same thing as the technique described above, but iPhoto makes it really, really quick and simple -- and that's how I like my post-processing, folks!
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Easily convert photos to black and white in iPhoto 6 | 9 comments | Create New Account
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Easily convert photos to black and white in iPhoto 6
Authored by: fishtech on Mar 26, '07 07:59:53AM

How about the 'Black & white' button in iPhoto? Works for me.



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Easily convert photos to black and white in iPhoto 6
Authored by: lukeandrews on Mar 26, '07 08:44:28AM

I'm pretty sure the Black & White button just does the same thing as turning the saturation down completely.

While this certainly does give you a black and white image, it doesn't reflect how we really perceive light, nor does it reflect how black and white film works. The reason is that the RGB colour model isn't balanced for luminance -- our eyes perceive green as being very light, red as less light, and blue as quite dark.

When you de-saturate an image of its colour evenly across all three colour channels, the result is that anything green will appear darker than it did in the coloured version.

A "good" black and white conversion will compensate for that by adjusting the relative brightness of the red, blue and green channels.



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Easily convert photos to black and white in iPhoto 6
Authored by: lukeandrews on Mar 26, '07 08:47:25AM

One last thought: if you have Photoshop, you can easily check the difference between de-saturation and a B&W conversion by comparing a photo that has been de-saturated but is still in RGB to one switched to Grayscale mode. When Photoshop does the latter, it compensates for the relative luminance of the colour channels.



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Easily convert photos to black and white in iPhoto 6
Authored by: ckontyko on Mar 26, '07 08:39:54AM

Uh, what are we trying to do here? I'm with fishtech on this one....

-CJ



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Easily convert photos to black and white in iPhoto 6
Authored by: jonathan.dann on Mar 26, '07 10:14:18AM

I just use the BW option!



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Easily convert photos to black and white in iPhoto 6
Authored by: justicart on Mar 26, '07 10:31:56AM
A quick Google search: http://www.ephotozine.com/techniques/viewtechnique.cfm?recid=361

Just taking all the color out (Black and White button in iPhoto) doesn't make a good black and white picture. This is a good hint.

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Easily convert photos to black and white in iPhoto 6
Authored by: DavidRavenMoon on Mar 26, '07 02:06:52PM

Turning down the saturation, and pressing the black & white filter in iPhoto does EXACTLY the same thing. Give both a try and see. They both remove the color information, resulting in a gray scale image.

There seems to be confusion as to the terms "grayscale" and B&W. In conventional photography, a B&W image is grayscale. The only way you can print in true B&W is by printing a half tone, since they are made from only black and white dots, with no mid tones. B&W on a computer would be a 1-bit (bit-mapped) file, which contains no shades of grey.

Now I'll agree that converting an RGB image to grayscale doesn't always look like a B&W continuous tone photo, and that's because of the panchromatic film does not respond equally to all wavelengths of light, so simply desaturating a colour image digitally does not give the classic black and white film look. Also our eyes are more sensitive to green light.

---
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Easily convert photos to black and white in iPhoto 6
Authored by: lipids on Mar 28, '07 09:55:45AM

I have a photoshop droplet created to desaturate images. Drag your photos onto the droplet and BAM, your done. You really cannot get any simpler than that.

However, I did think that maybe you do not have photoshop, so I used automator to create a workflow that does the same.

1. open Automator
2. Select "Finder" from the "Applicaations" folder in the "Library" column.
3. Drag "Get Selected Finder Items" into the window on the right.
4. Select "Preview" from the "Applicaations" folder in the "Library" column.
5. Drag "Apply ColorSync Profile to Images" into the widow on the right, below "Get Selected Finder Items"
6. A "Warning" should appear, select "Add"
7. In step 3 on the right select the "Profile" drop down menu then choose "Output -> Black & White"
8. Save as an application or a workflow depedning on how you want to access it.

TADA!!!



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Easily convert photos to black and white in iPhoto 6
Authored by: MarsViolet on Apr 06, '07 11:09:35PM

Clicking the Black & White button in iPhoto is more sophisticated than a mere de-saturate. It performs a channel mix.



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