Converting Photo to Black and White Using Color Channel in Photoshop CS6

Convert Photo to Black and White Using Color Channel in Photoshop CS6. In this Photoshop tutorial, we will learn how we can select separate Color Channel from the Channels Palette to use as the black and white version of our photo. Photoshop have many ways to convert photo to Black and white version.

Note: Channels are available to Elements users who have Handy Actions, and there are many other ways to convert to B&W using the Photo Lab actions

1. Open whatever image you would like to work on in Photoshop. This is the image we will be using for this tutorial:


All photos are being made from combination of three primary colors Red, Green and Blue. Each of these three primary colors is represent in Photoshop as a Color Channel, As we click on Channel Tab, we can see these color channels in the Channels palette.

All channels have different black and white version of the photo. We can see each channel separately simply by clicking on in the channel Palette.

First, we check out the Red Channel’s Black and White version by clicking on it. The other Channels will be deselected only Red Channel will highlight in blue.

The Red Channel’s Black and White version is light.

Next, we check out the Green Channel’s Black and White version by clicking on it. The other Channels will be deselected only Green Channel will highlight in blue.

The Green Channel’s Black and White version is not as light as what we saw with the Red channel.

Finally, click on the Blue Channel in the Channel’s palette to select it:

The Blue channel’s black and white version appears too dark:

When we select both channels the image color will change.

Now we’ve decided on the channel we’re going to use for our black and white version. We will select both unwanted channels. Right click on it. Choose Delete Channels.

This will open a dialog box. Click OK.

Only Red Black and White version is left.

First we’ll convert it to Grayscale.

Go to: Image > Mode Grayscale.

Again we’ll convert it to RGB Color for ready to work.

Go to: Image > Mode RGB Color

That’s it, babe.

Final Picture:

[Originally posted to]

Using Street Photography to See Beyond the Ordinary

A Tree Grows, Chase Bank, Street Photography, Seeing Beyond The Ordinary

A Tree Grows, Chase Bank

There is an important idea within street photography to ‘go beyond the ordinary,’ or to capture images that are different from the normal.

But what is the process of photographing this way? And why?  What is the point?

The idea behind seeing beyond the ordinary is to develop your own way of doing it, and although there are no clear-cut answers or rules to photographing this way, here are some ideas that can help you think about capturing images in a unique way.

Find beauty in the story

Beauty is not only a visual characteristic.  Try to create images that will cause your mind to invent a story.

It is important to note that these stories don’t have to have a resolution.  Some of the most powerful images will cause you to think about them differently over time or depending on how you feel that viewing, in that moment.

Lady in Red, 5th Avenue, Street Photography, Seeing Beyond The Ordinary

Lady in Red, 5th Avenue

Take a look at the image above.  For me, there is a story here somewhere within the disconnect between the image of the free flowing girl in red on the iPhone case and the rigid stance of the woman dressed in jewelry and muted tones.

Slow down

It’s so hard to pay attention to what’s going on around you if you are running around, overstimulated, and trying to immediately capture everything around you.

Take a deep breath, put the camera down to your side, and just wait and look around a bit.  Unique photographs are hidden all around us, but you need to pay attention to be able to seek them out.

An image that is different might not stand out at first

The Cigarette Break, Street Photography, Seeing Beyond The Ordinary

The Cigarette Break

Have you ever listened to a song and disliked it the first time, but then the second or third time you hear it you start to appreciate it. Then you can’t get enough of it?  (and then it’s played so much that you can’t stand it again, but that’s another story)

Some of the best, most extraordinary images will not always hit you at first.

The same idea happens within imagery. Some of the best, most extraordinary images will not always hit you at first.  With photography, and especially with the amount of imagery that passes our eyes daily, an image only has a millisecond to grab our attention and then a couple seconds of our attention if we do decide to click on it.  This trend can affect how we photograp,h and how we see the world.  I think this is a reason why coloured filter effects are so prevalent these days, because they catch our attention so well, but just as quickly as they enter our lives, they fade off into the sea of similar photographs that we forget about.

The best images are the ones that grow with you over time – that you can put next to your desk and look at over and over again without losing interest.

These images don’t care about the first two seconds.

If everyone’s looking one way, look the other

Designated Photo Spot, Lisbon, Street Photography, Seeing Beyond The Ordinary

Designated Photo Spot

This idea works for so many things; investing, real estate, but also for photography.  If everyone is fixated on one thing, or one way of doing something, then it’s often best to head in a different direction.

What direction that is, who knows.  But it will be easier to figure that out if you are able to rule out the wrong directions.

Find beauty in the mundane

This idea doesn’t mean to photograph things that are boring.  It means to search for interest in areas that would normally be thought of as mundane.  Don’t rule out areas or objects to photograph and don’t be afraid to capture something as ‘mundane’ as an empty wall.

You don’t need to know why you are capturing something, you don’t have to know the meaning of what you are capturing, and it doesn’t have to be beautiful in the traditional sense.  The most important gauge is that it makes you feel something when you look at the image.

Don’t fixate on getting attention

Lost in Lisbon, Street Photography, Seeing Beyond the Ordinary

Lost in Lisbon

Photographing this way might mean that people are going to pass by these types of images the first, second, or fifth time they see them.

Not everyone is guaranteed to like it, to be used to it, or to understand it.  Even more likely, most people might not even stop and notice it at first.  So don’t be discouraged if this happens.  With this type of photography you are interested in influencing one person significantly, not catching the eye of most people right away.

It is a good idea to find one photography or art-loving friend, to talk about these images instead of worrying about how everyone feels about them.  If you stick with one or a few people to show your work consistently, they can grow to understand it better and can give you advice and feedback.

Anyway, the real success of an image is if you like it.


[post syndicated from Digital Photography School]

pause for thought

lomomowlem has added a photo to the pool:

pause for thought

Shot in Morocco when the conditions went flat and windless, rubbish for windsurfing but ideal for stand up paddling.

I don’t usually have to do very much if anything at all to x-pro shots but this roll proved an exception. When it came back from the lab almost everything had washed out and gone completely blue. In an attempt to recover stuff I scanned the negs in myself and took a guess at how the colours might have turned out. They were nothing like the results I normally get with Elite Chrome and I have no idea what went wrong.

[from Graffi's That Retro Lo-Fi Look group on Flickr]

Food Photography Tips and Techniques

The rise of minimalist cooking is changing the art of food photography. The following is a look at some of the techniques adopted by photographers to capture the simplicity and the spirit of this modern cuisine. Whether it is because of the recession or a genuine desire to downsize and simplify, minimalist cooking has become extremely popular. Everything from expensive and hard to acquire ingredients to rarely used, specialized utensils and equipment have been pared back to the bare minimum. Less is definitely more.

food photography tips

“Strawberry CheeseCake” captured by Ikmal Fauzan (Click Image to See More From Ikmal Fauzan)

Many photographers have noticed this change, either consciously or intuitively and are evolving and adapting their techniques to suit. The old sumptuous saturated glistening overfilled image just doesn’t seem to be a good match for this new approach to cooking and food in general.

The photographers who get this and have a feel for the subject have started to utilize a few specific techniques which serve to emphasize the subject matter but in a much more understated way and this article will lay out a few of these basic techniques. It is not intended to be a comprehensive photography primer and most of the techniques will not require expensive equipment. It needs to be stated though, that even a basic dSLR camera will be capable of much more flexibility than even the best point and shoot due to the amount of control available to the operator. This does not mean however that perfectly acceptable results cannot be achieved with the point and shoots, just that the range of possibilities is smaller.

Simplicity is the Key

When composing the shot keep things very simple, plain white plates and brushed steel or plain counter tops work very well. If the image needs a bit of additional color, a sprig of a fresh herb such as sage is more than enough. Shoot on a level with or just a few degrees above the food. We are used to looking down on food and, in photography, offering a fresh perspective is always a good idea as it wakes the viewer’s brain up. It also adds interesting possibilities for lighting but more about that later.

A blurred background is generally a good thing as this emphasizes the subject. This can be achieved by either using a long lens e.g. a 300ml with a wide aperture from a few feet away with a dSLR or by utilizing the macro setting on a point and shoot and getting in really close, normally within a foot of the subject.

techniques in food photography

“Hot Chocolate” captured by Ikmal Fauzan (Click Image to See More From Ikmal Fauzan)

Both of these approaches have the added benefit of giving a very narrow depth of field. This means that only a small proportion of even the main subject is likely to be in focus. This concentrates the viewer’s attention even more.

The Tripod

The only piece of equipment that is essential for taking high quality food photographs, other than a camera of course, is a tripod. It may not be required for every single shot but not having one would rule out a lot of potentially good shots. The choices would be between a small tabletop model, probably best with the smaller point and shoot camera. This would enable the tripod to be set on the same surface as the item being photographed, very useful when the camera has to be close to the food. There is a small tripod available that has flexible legs enabling it to be wrapped around objects such as tree branches and signpost poles. This type of support would come into its own for say, picnics or barbecues. The bigger dSLR cameras tend to be too heavy for the smaller tripods and generally require a normal sized model. The advice usually given to photographers is to buy the most expensive tripod that they can afford. I would say buy the tripod that will do the job without breaking the bank.

food photo

Photo captured by Ikmal Fauzan (Click Image to See More From Ikmal Fauzan)

Whatever tripod is used always either release the camera’s shutter remotely or use the timed delay function built into just about every camera now on the market. Pressing the shutter causes the camera to vibrate so doing this off camera or giving the camera time to settle down before the shutter release makes for a much sharper photograph. This leads us to the main reason for using a tripod: the photograph can be taken in natural light, i.e. flash isn’t essential. As a rule of thumb good natural light is always preferable to artificial if the choice is between one or the other but often the best photographs use a combination of the two.


While the above applies to food photography in general there are specific lighting approaches that give a more minimalist feel. The use of a very strong back light is one such approach. The best source is a window that occupies the entire background. This will give a very bright background with any colors reduced to pastels and objects such as trees, cars or other buildings reduced to abstract shapes. Now if this were the only light source used the food itself would be silhouetted and appear far too dark so a little fill light is needed. This is a blast of light from the camera’s flash that is not as powerful as it would be if there was no ambient light but is powerful enough to illuminate the main subject. Point and shoot cameras generally have a setting that automates this process while a little more experimentation may be required with dSLRs and flashes.

A couple of quick points about lighting that applies to all photography. Direct light is harsh and produces heavy sharp shadows. I think that it is safe to say that in all minimalist food photography this is a bad thing so we need to soften the light. This applies to both natural and artificial light. With expensive off camera flashes a small diffuser that fits over the bulb is usually enough. In the case of smaller cameras with built in flashes a little ingenuity goes a long way. If the flash can be covered with a piece of semi transparent clear plastic or even a piece of greaseproof paper results can be improved dramatically. The worse light source for photography is the small built in flash units on cheaper cameras. As for natural light, direct sunlight is to be avoided which is why a North or south facing window is best. If direct sunlight is the only option then a semi transparent plastic shower curtain attached to a frame of plastic piping makes for a great diffuser.

The Computer

Of course the process does not end with pressing the shutter. Once the session is finished, or even during the session, the images are uploaded to a computer and edited. Usually the editing consists of little more than a bit of sharpening, a slight color correction or a minor crop. It is possible to use the computer for just these technical chores but, with a little imagination, the computer, can become a creative tool in it’s own right. A minimalist approach to photography requires an awareness of what is essential to the image and what is incidental. It is often possible to lose information by increasing the exposure at this stage, often an increase of two thirds to a full stop can really make an image pop. Part of the reason that this is so effective is because it makes dull and off whites bright. This effect is often used in fashion photography but works equally well with food.

minimalist food photography

“Purple Butterfly Cupcakes” captured by Ikmal Fauzan (Click Image to See More From Ikmal Fauzan)

Technique and Eye

There is no great mystery regarding what makes for great minimalist food photography. The best advice, as with all types of photography, is to find images that you like which were taken by others, see which techniques were applied, then practice. Hopefully a combination of good technique and a practiced eye will produce something unique. The following techniques work well for me: diffuse natural light from behind the subject and fill flash to fully illuminate the subject; a low point of view, get close to the same level as the food; blur the background and aim for a small depth of field; on the computer, sharpen the image a little, crop and color correct if required. Above all, experiment and have fun. One day I may be practicing and writing about a technique that you have discovered.

About the Author
For more about food photography and minimalist cooking including examples of my photography check out my guest post on my wife’s blog Minimalist Cook. For more about minimalism in general and additional examples of my camera work check out my wife’s other blog Minimalist Woman. I have been fascinated by minimalism for many years, especially as it pertains to photography and the arts.

[this post syndicated from Picture Correct]

The Intimate Landscape – 5 Tips for Better Landscape Photography

Landscape photograph

A few weeks ago I spent seven days travelling across the northern tip of New Zealand’s South Island. Anybody who has been here knows that it is a beautiful place. I often come across remarks by photographers referencing New Zealand as a destination on their list of dream places to go to. Who can blame them? It’s a spectacular country, with beautiful landscapes.

However, the road trip brought home something of interest to all landscape photographers – landscape photography is hard. Really hard.

Not only do you need a beautiful location, but you are also relying on the weather and light to be conducive to the type of photo you want to take. If it isn’t, there may not be time on a short trip to wait for the ideal conditions.

It’s also a challenge to find an original way to photograph the landscape. Many other landscape photographers have been there before you. It’s difficult to create something new in a short space of time. Here are a few tips to help you do better landscape photography.

Split Apple rock, near Abel Tasman national park. I like this photo, but is it original? Not really – it’s a popular landmark and has been photographed by hundreds of photographers. It’s very difficult to create something new here.

Split Apple rock, near Abel Tasman national park. I like this photo, but is it original? Not really – it’s a popular landmark and has been photographed by hundreds of photographers. It’s very difficult to create something new here.

#1 Local knowledge

While there are ways to help ensure that you get the most out of a trip away (watch for those tips in an upcoming future article) today I want to make the point that one of the biggest advantages any landscape photographer has is intimacy with the landscape.

Intimacy comes from a deep knowledge of ,and a connection with the landscape. It’s an appreciation of the people that live there and the history of the location, plus an understanding of how the landscape changes through the seasons. People who have an intimate relationship with a region usually live there, or visit often. They are not passing through (like I was on the South Island). They know the best places to take photos, and when the light, seasons and weather are most likely to align to create the best results.

If you are struggling to find ways to photograph your local landscape, maybe it’s time to come at it from a different perspective. How can you turn your familiarity with your local landscape into an advantage?

Let me give you some practical examples. I live in Wellington, a city at the southern end of New Zealand’s North Island. I’ve never thought of it as a great location for landscape photography. Relatively speaking, it doesn’t have the spectacular landscapes of the South Island, nor the sub-tropical bush or white sand beaches of the northern half of the North Island. However, I’ve found other ways to incorporate the landscape in my photos.

Landscape photograph

#2 Long exposure and night photography

I know some good locations for these, including places that I would never have found on a short visit. The coastline south of the city has some beautiful, rugged locations. Walking along the sea front during all four seasons has given me an appreciation of how beautiful and changeable it is. The light and landscape change with the seasons and the weather, and I’d never understand that if I didn’t live here. Best of all, once I’ve found a location, I can wait out periods of inclement weather and return when the light is best to take advantage of it.

The benefit of these techniques is that they help you create photos with a very different look to what many photographers will take.

Example from another photographer

I recently came across the work of Mark Gee, another Wellington resident. He’s rather good at night photography. Most of his photos are taken in the local area and show an intimacy with the landscape that only comes with local knowledge and time.

Landscape photograph

#3 Try some special techniques

Painting with light and steel wool spinning are two that come to mind. The lack of spectacular landscapes has pushed me off into different directions as I look for more ways to make the most of the scenery we do have here. Mark Gee’s work has inspired me to try some night photography, and that ties in neatly with these techniques. Again, the freedom to return to the locations I want to use when the sky is clear and there is no wind is priceless.

If you are looking for original ways to photograph your local landscape, perhaps either of these techniques will help!

Portrait in the landscape

#4 Portraits

I take most of my portraits outside, using my favourite locations as backdrops. Sometimes a certain location may not be great for landscape photography, but it is ideal for taking portraits. The local landscape has become a part of my portrait work, and my style. If I lived somewhere else, my portraits would have a different feel to them.

How can you incorporate your local landscape in portraits?

Are there any other ways to utilize the local landscape?

#5 Use storytelling

There’s one way I can think of – tell a story. Perhaps there is the potential for a documentary project in your area. Stories are inevitably about people, so think about how local people interact with, or depend on the local landscape. For instance, activities such as running, sea kayaking, cycling, surfing and wind-surfing are all popular here in Wellington. Any one of those could make an interesting documentary project.

Or something more simple, such as Nathan Wirth’s seascapes with a Buddha.

What options do you have in your local area?

Ultimately, all these ideas are about the same thing: going deep and exploring your relationship with your local landscape in a way that isn’t possible on a brief visit. It’s the same reason that National Geographic photographers go away on assignment for months at a time. Intimacy with your subject and time produce a depth of coverage that you can’t get any other way.


[post syndicated from Digital Photography School]

10 family portrait photography mistakes every photographer makes at the holidays

We are fast approaching the festive season which usually brings plenty of opportunity to take a few family portraits. In the latest instalment of her ongoing series looking at some of the common mistakes photographers make, our head of testing, Angela Nicholson, explains some of the most common family portrait photography mistakes that photographers make and offers some advice about getting it right.

Family portrait photography mistake 01: Waking the baby

Baby photography tips for during the shoot: posing your baby

Unless you have the only baby in the world that doesn’t mind being woken up and you want it to be awake in the photos, time your shoot carefully.

Happy baby shots usually require the infant to be rested, freshly changed, recently fed and winded. You need to find a window in that cycle to take a few photographs.

Make sure that you have at least one change of clothes and be prepared to work around the youngest member of the family.

If the baby is asleep during the shoot, it’s probably best to leave it that way.

Sleeping baby shots are cute, and why the odd bawling baby shot maybe funny, few parents want every shot to remind them of that side of parenting.

PAGE 1 – Family portrait photography mistake 01: Waking the baby
PAGE 2 – Family portrait photography mistake 02: Shooting wide open
PAGE 3 – Family portrait photography mistake 03: Not enough light
PAGE 4 – Family portrait photography mistake 04: Glaring glasses
PAGE 5 – Family portrait photography mistake 05: Lack of eye-contact
PAGE 6 – Family portrait photography mistake 06: Blinking
PAGE 7 – Family portrait photography mistake 07: Awkward poses
PAGE 8 – Family portrait photography mistake 08: Lamps growing out of heads
PAGE 9 – Family portrait photography mistake 09: Mis-matched couples
PAGE 10 – Family portrait photography mistake 10: Who took the photo?

[syndicated from Digital Camera World]