There are many ways to achieve optimal black and white images with a digital camera. If your digital SLR camera has a black and white mode you can choose this as a pre-process method. I prefer post-process methods however because you have more control over the outcome of the image.
I will explain the best methods I have used to convert my images to black and white. You will need Photoshop for these processes. The most current version of PS is CS4 however earlier versions will work just fine for most of the conversions except for the black and white conversion adjustment which came out in PS CS3. You can also use Photoshop Elements, which is much less expensive. I have Photoshop CS3 and the steps I outline below are with that version.
The simplest method is to desaturate the image and then fine-tune it with the brightness and contrast adjustment.Here are the steps:
Step 1) Bring image into Photoshop
Step 2) Duplicate image – you never want to work on an original image.
Step 3) Image – Adjustments – Desaturate
Step 4) Image – Adjustments – brightness and contrast.
Step 5) Save file
Another method is to use the new black and white adjustment built into Photoshop CS3. Earlier versions do not have this tool. This tool can be found under “Adjustments” Once you have applied the tool you can fine tune using the red, green and blue channel markers. Typically they should add up to 100. You can also use the “auto setting”