Cee’s Compose Yourself Lesson: #24 Black and White: Post Editing

Prompts and Challenges

I love post processing. Almost as much as getting out and searching for that one shot that will make me rich and famous. Now, I’m not saying I want to be rich and famous, only that I love the search! Anyway, Cee’s challenge this week is to convert your photo into b & w using any post processing technique you have but to not rely on just letting the camera or your app change your photo into a simple gray scale. Because b & w relies on light and contrast even more so than color, I tend to add highlights with sliders and filters.

Here’s my original color image straight out of camera:

Straight Out Of Camera

Straight Out Of Camera

So, before converting, I cropped and removed the tree limb and metal in the lower right with the spot removal tool:


Crop and spot removal

The conversion to a gray scale:


Gray scale conversion

Playing with the blue, yellow, and orange sliders darkened the sky, lightened the grass and the house:


Blue, yellow, orange sliders

I used the graduated filters top and bottom to close the photo in and then used the radial filter to add highlights on the house and parts of the grass. At this point the effects are pretty subtle:


Graduated and radial filters

I then added overall contrast, clarity, and a post crop vignette:


Contrast, Clarity, and a post crop vignette

With the final image I used a large radial filter to darken, and reduce the sharpness and clarity all around the house to focus your eye. I also removed some bright spots on the tree limbs on the left with the spot removal tool:


Large radial filter and spot removal tool

I hope I didn’t get too long winded. The entire transformation took maybe 30 minutes.

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31 thoughts on “Cee’s Compose Yourself Lesson: #24 Black and White: Post Editing

  1. Nice instruction and use of the tools at your disposal. I especially like the radial filter to draw the eye where you want it to go. Always interesting to catch a glimpse at your process, always learning! I love the greatness of that branch holding down the image as well.


  2. I like the original photo straight out of the camera. The aspect ratio is more pleasing, and the post and metal in the foreground balance the composition and add interest.


    1. OK, so I looked again and, though I do have a new appreciation for the SOOC image, I do not agree with leaving the limb and metal in. I find it distracting. And if I remove it, I then feel there is too much foreground so I would still crop the same. But as for the color, I kind of like it. Thanks again, Tim.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, I meant to put in that all the editing on this was done in Lightroom without presets but I forgot. In my processing I will normally use lightroom first, then try On 1 or Nik to see what I can add. But lately I’ve been staying just in lightroom more and more.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Cee. I stopped doing the Before/After (oops. I think it’s After/Before) challenges because, for some reason, I didn’t want people to know what I was doing. I think I wanted to seem mysterious or something. I’m past that phase, now. Thanks for the opportunity with this challenge.


"I take anything other than 'you big pig!' as a compliment." ~ Albert Brooks

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