Black and White conversions
October 20, 2011 10 Comments
The Black and White Tool in Capture One Pro 6 is split into two sub-tools placed on individual tabs. The Color Sensitivity tool deals with the conversion from color to black and white while the Split Toning tool deals with toning of converted gray tones.
The Color Sensitivity tool gives you full control of how the conversion from color to black and white takes place. You can control the conversion in 6 color bands.
Controlling the conversion in color bands is very powerful, and it enables you to create great black and white images from colorful landscape, nature or portrait images.
It is important to remember that it is still essential to have a good white balance when you want to create black and white images. The conversion tool works strictly according to colors. For instance, if the whole image has a blue cast, you may not get the desired or expected conversion.
The image above shows 3 versions of the same original image. The left image is the color version. The center image shows the default black and white version you get by just enabling the Black and White tool with the check mark. As can be seen in this image, the red color of the rose and the green color of the leaves get the same gray tone with no clear separation between rose and leaves. For the right image, I have used the individual color sensitivity sliders to lighten up the red color and to darken the color of the leaves. To darken the leaves, I used both the yellow and the green slider as they both affect the gray tones of the leaves.
For portraits, it is often interesting to utilize the red and yellow sliders as they both affect the skin tone colors. For natural skin without makeup, the skin tone pigments vary between reddish and yellowish tones. Traditional panchromatic film made a conversion that turned red colors dark which can have an interesting effect for portraits of women wearing red lipstick. In the example below, the red sensitivity slider has been used to make the lips darker.
On a Mac, you can temporarily reset the slider positions in the Black and White tool, and this makes it easy to toggle between your adjustments and no adjustments. Hold down the option key and click on the tool reset icon. The tool is reset only as long as the mouse key is pressed down. This feature is currently only available on Mac.
Remember, it is always a good idea to use variants when you want to test out different conversions.
Three variants testing different Black and White conversions. Notice the different color of the lips.