Digital Black&White Conversion

The following picture is one of those which looks better in black and white than in color. The problem is that it was shot with a Canon EOS 10D which can only shoot in color mode, so I had to do the conversion with Photoshop.

Canon EOS 10D, EF50mm 1.8 Shutter: 1/60 Aperture: 3.5 ISO: 800

I missed black&white ever since I got my DSLR and reading Petteri Sulonen's Article gave me back the joy of black&white. First I converted the image to black and white using Petteri's BW action. You can download the action here, just copy it into Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CS\Presets\Photoshop Actions\ folder and restart Photoshop. It's still not a perfect action, takes time to figure out, but it worths the try.

I tweaked the channels (red, blue, green) to get the feeling I was after, first by setting layer for film, then channel mixing the film. Then did the "setup darkroom" option, where I tweaked the dodging and soft light, and contrast and toning.. When I got the results I merged the layers, but something was not right. I wanted to focus the attention to the subject even more. I was lucky since the texture on the wall was perfect to do the dodging, uniform and nice.

I used the dodge tool set to 60 percent strength to midtones, and using large brush manually lightened the surroundings of the subject. Here is the original photo:

original JPG
Original Photo