In this new tutorial I'll show you how to spice up ordinary landscape photos into dramatic black and white images. This is so easy, but yet very effective. I'll cover RAW and JPEG editing, so anyone can do it. I will be using Adobe Photoshop CS6 again, but the filters applied can be found in almost any image-editing software.
This is what we'll be creating:
As you can see, this dramatic looking black and white photo actually enhanced certain features in the color image. It was taken during my journey back from the mountains (click here).
You can click on all of the following screenshots to make them bigger
First two Steps are for RAW Editing in Photoshop's Camera Raw. If you are using a JPEG image then skip to Step 3.
Step 1: Open your RAW File in Camera Raw
Step 2: Edit your RAW file
In the screenshot below you can see my settings for the black and white transfer. Of course you'll need to bring the Saturation slider on the bottom completely down. I also played with the highlights and shadows, overall exposure and contrast. There is no precise way, you just have to move the sliders and see what fits your image. Tip: If you don't like it click cancel, and open the RAW file again, and start over.
Once you are done, click "Open Image" and move on to Step 6!
Step 3: Editing a JPEG image
Open up your image in Photoshop. File > Open.
Step 4: Apply Black and White Filter: Image > Adjustments > Black & White
Step 5: Adjust the settings
As far es the settings for a dramatic effect go, you'll always want to have the Cyans and Blues darker. So slide those somewhat to the black end of the spectrum. But as with the RAW method, you'll have to play around with the sliders to see what fits your image. Once you're done click OK and move on to Step 6.
Step 6: Enhance the Drama!
Landscapes that are shot in a wide angle tend to have planes in the background that are less visible. Now when you make them visible you can actually create some drama in the image, because the contrast will be bigger. Click on the Elliptical Marquee Tool (or just press the letter M on your keyboard), and make sure the Feather is set to a higher number like 200 (you can adjust this in the top of the screen).
Step 7: Darken the background
With the part of your image selected, click on Image > Adjustments > Curves. In the settings darken the overall area by moving the central point down, then the bottom point even lower and the high point higher. Again, play around, until the background becomes visable and contrasted. Click OK once you're done.
Step 8: Save your image by clicking File > Save As.
You are done! This is the final image that I have created:
I hope you liked this second tutorial. You can find all of the tutorials so far by clicking here. Please let me know how you like this, if it was easy to follow, and if you have any further questions.