Meet the GIMP #32: Fade to Gray - Monochrome conversion (1)

Posted in Graphics on April 22, 2009

Meet the GIMP #32: Fade to Gray - Monochrome conversion (1)

Today I’ll start a series about mono- chrome or black and white conversion of digital images. It’s a new topic for me - so I start with a bit of background, some images from the Masters and a bit about the easy ways to make a quick conversion by desaturation and tweaking the curves a bit.

The image here shows the output of the three options of the desaturation dialogue without further manipulation. From top left to bottom right: lightness, luminosity and average. Which is best? Depends on the image.

In the next episode I’ll show you a better but more complicated way to do this with the channel mixer.

You can find the files used here on the Download Page.

Some links

If you really want to know what’s behind the three options in the desaturate dialogue, go to the GIMP documentation. It’s math.

The images shown in the beginning of the podcast are from Wikimedia. They have a glorious collection of copyright free images from Ansel Adams and others.

A gold mine is the “American Memory” collection of the US Library of Congress, especially the images made for the Farm Security Administration. A must to check out - don’t let the site design put you off.

You find the Focus Ring feed and the new Focus Ring at the Photocast Network. Check out the other podcasts as well, but stay subscribed to this one.


00:34 Introductions
02:34 Example image 1 - Breadfruit
03:44 Example image 2 - Leaves
05:25 Example image 3 - Mountains
05:59 Example image 4 - Grand Canyon
07:20 Example image 5 - Yellowstone lake
07:26 Black and White photography advice
09:00 The original image
09:50 Method 1 - Mode to greyscale
10:30 - Curves adjustment
12:43 Method 2 - Desaturate
14:38 - Comparing desaturation methods
16:13 Colour Channels in brief
19:59 The End

TOC made by paynekj

Watch Video Watch Video on External Site

Tags: Design, GIMP, Meet the GIMP, Broadcasting, Screencasts, b&w, desaturate, monochrome