Saturday, September 1, 2007

We’re going to Disneyworld with Photoshop CS3’s Black & White filter


By David Gewirtz

Adobe Photoshop CS3 has a neat new feature. It's an adjustment called Black & White and it works quite nicely as an adjustment layer. What's neat is this new feature gives you a lot more control over black and white images than you ever had by just desaturating or converting an image to grayscale. Even though I've always been a heavy user of the Channel Mixer, this new feature adds some very nice additional control to image conversion.

Let's start with an image like that shown in Figure A. This pretty picture was taken in the lobby of Disneyworld's Dolphin Hotel during a recent Lotusphere. Yep, work sends me to Disneyworld. It's a tough job. Someone's got to do it. Actually, now that I live in Florida, it's not nearly as special. But back when I lived in New Jersey and I could hop a plane and go down to sunny Florida and thereby avoid the New Jersey snow -- that's when the job was really cool.


Down in the basement, the Dolphin's chef's make some of the best omelets I've ever had. (click for larger image)

But, I digress. You could get a passable black and white image by either desaturating, or just using the default setting in the Black & White adjustment, as shown in Figure B.


This is a simple desaturated image. (click for larger image)

But if you wanted to really punch things up, or go for a particular mood, you can now tweak the individual colors in the Black & White dialog, and get some fun effects, as you can see in Figure C.


Playing with the sliders creates interesting effects (click for larger image)

One of the nicest aspects of this new feature is you can place your mouse over a spot on the image you want to adjust, hold the mouse button down, and the cursor will change to a set of left and right arrows. Move the arrows back and forth, and the image adjusts for just the color that matches what you've selected.


I have a feeling this adjustment is going to get a lot of use.