White Conversion

George Cairns reveals how to create great black and white conversions with Capture NX 2

By converting colour shots into black and white you can remove distracting colour information and draw the viewerattention to other features in the scene, such as contrasting shapes and patterns. However, if you simply desaturate a shot, you run the risk of creating a drab wash of greyscale tones. Here, weshow you how to produce more striking monochrome prints using various Capture NX 2 tricks and techniques.

Colour and tone

Traditional film photographers would pop coloured filters over the lens when shooting with black and white film. These filters lightened or darkened tones. For example, a red filter would darken blues. This created darker skies in the black and white print, which made white clouds stand out more in contrast.

Capture NX 2Black and White Conversion command enables us

to digitally recreate this approach and use sliders to lighten or darken colours in the mono conversion, so we can choose which areas stand out in contrast to others in the shot.

The Photo Effects command does a similar tone-tweaking job, but also enables you to add a wash of colour to the monochrome conversion. Weput both commands through their paces so that you can decide which approach you prefer.


Capture NX 2 emulates traditional techniques so that white clouds stand out

 black white

01 Black and White Conversion

This command enables you to lighten or darken the tones of specific colours in a monochrome image to make features stand out.

Desaturate the image

0-Go to File > Open Image and browse to our mono_before.NEF shot. In the Adjust panel click New Step. Click Select Adjustment, Color, then Saturation/Warmth. Reduce Saturation to-100 for a monochrome shot. But it lacks contrast

Black and White Conversion

02 Click the Y icon to delete the adjustment.

Click New Step, then the Select Adjustment drop-down menu and Black and White Conversion. Experiment by dragging the Filter Hue slider. Setting it at 244 darkens warmer colours.

Reveal the clouds

0j The sky is a dull grey wash. Drag the Filter Hue slider left to a warmer 61. This darkens colder blues in the sky, making delicate clouds stand out more effectively. Boost the Color Filter Strength to 66 for more cloud and sky contrast.

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