Converting Digital Color Photos to black and White

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Beckoner, Nov 19, 2003.

  1. Beckoner

    Beckoner Guest

    hello, i took some pictures at Glamorshots and they gave them to me on
    a disk. All the pics are in color. My question is How do i convert
    these color pics to same quality Black and White pics?... Is there any
    software package/freeware/shareware out there that i could use?
    The only thing my amateur brain could think of is to print this pic on
    a black and white printer and scan that image back into the computer
    as a black and white pic. Bad idea eh? Your comments and advice is
    appreciated. thanks.
    Beckoner, Nov 19, 2003
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  2. Beckoner

    Canopus Guest

    "Beckoner" wrote in message
    If you don't have an image editor keep your eyes open for ones given away
    with magazines or download one from IrfanView for
    free. It's pretty basic, but, you can download free image editing and
    enhancing plug-ins too. Do not try to convert to black & white as you will
    loose detail and photos are never black and white anyway. There are a
    couple of ways of getting the effect you want, you can either convert to
    grey scale or else desaturate the photo. In IrfanView you go to Image >
    Enhance Colours and on the panel that comes up move the Saturation slider
    all the way to the left (value -255) so removing all the colour. You may
    then find that if you give it a little saturation and adjust the colour
    sliders you can give your picture a more natural black & white photo feel or
    even a sepia look.

    Download and try some professional editing software as well such as Paint
    Shop Pro, Photoshop etc., many let you try out their software free for a

    Canopus, Nov 19, 2003
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  3. Beckoner

    Orrie Guest

    Assuming that your pix are in the JPG format, the first thing I would do is
    save them in the TIF format before make any changes to the image. Don't do
    it to the original JPG, because every time you re-save the JPG, the image
    will lose some quality. The reason is that the JPG file format uses
    compression to create a small file size (fewer bits), and the compression
    system works by sacrificing image information. So every time you resave an
    original JPG, you re-compress with a loss of image image detail, color, etc.
    It doesn't take long to see the detioration. The TIF and most other file
    formats don't do that, so you can play with an image and re-save repeatedly
    it without loss of quality. For example, if you saved a nice looking JPG
    color original as a TIF, then used Paint Shop Pro to convert it to black and
    white, you could always save that black and white image as a JPG. The TIF
    file format produces files that are quite a bit larger, but the advantage is
    clear -- literally. If you work in Paint Shop Pro or PhotoShop or PhotoShop
    Elements, you'll find that they have their own "native" formats (e.g. Paint
    Shop Pro's is .psp), which, like TIF do not use compression.

    By the way, I strongly recommend Paint Shop Pro. It's a great program for
    about 1/8 the price of PhotoShop, and receives excellent support from the
    company and from the worldwide community of users through online tutorials
    and a terrifically helpful newsgroup at

    Orrie, Nov 19, 2003
  4. Beckoner

    Paul H. Guest

    Download Irfanview at and use the "Convert to grayscale"
    item under the "Image" menu. Irfanview also provides several basic
    image-processing functions (gamma, brightness, contrast, etc.) to help tweak
    images both before and after conversion. It ain't Photoshop, of course, but
    it's not $695.00, either: Irfanview is freeware.

    Thank you, Irfan Skiljan!
    Paul H., Nov 20, 2003
  5. use any of the better digital photo editors ( i like photoshop), crank down
    SATURATION to minimum, and there you are. in some cases, you'll have to
    change brightness and/or contrast, depending on your printer and paper.
    Yehuda Paradise, Nov 20, 2003
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