LIGHTROOM QUICK TIP: B&W Processing Using Temperature and Tint
Adobe Lightroom has become a powerful tool for processing your B&W images. Let's start with a very basic tip. Use the shortcut "V" to convert any image to B&W. This can be done not only in the Develop module but also in the Library module in grid or loop view. Simply press "V" again to convert back to color. This is a great way to quickly view your images in B&W and see if they resonate with you.
Secondly, I would make a virtual copy to work on so that you have a color and B&W copy. This is because the colors of the original file can change as you make adjustments in the B&W conversion. This will become very apparent by the time you finish with this tip.
Press "V" to convert your image to B&W
Once converted it's good to do some initial adjustments such as adding some contrast, a little clarity, adjust your shadows and highlights and then apply the lens corrections! The real processing of your image is handled in the B&W panel where you can increase or decrease the luminance of the tones by selecting the underlying colors and moving the sliders. The more pure the color in the underlying image the more it will be affected by moving the sliders.
So knowing this it stands to reason that anything that affects the underlying color of the image will affect how the B&W image's tones are adjusted. In this image I wanted to bring down the tones in the sky. I did this by reducing the blue slider since the majority of the sky is blue. The problem is that other parts of the image also contain blue, most notably the water, which I did not want to affect. Here is where we put this knowledge to use.
As you can see the water also darkened due to decreasing the blue slider. I want the dark sky to remain but I don't want it to affect the water. To do this I use the brush tool (K) and go over the areas I don't want affected.
Now I use the temperature slider to move it towards the orange (opposite of blue) to add warmth to the water. Remember, you will not see the area turn orange. You are only affecting the underlying color of the image. What you will see is the blue areas brighten back up because there is now less blue in those areas due to the added warmth.
And there you have it. One of the most common questions I get is why did I not use the exposure or the shadows slider with the brush to bring back some of the luminosity. That's because the exposure and shadow slider would lighten everything including any area of the image that was green or orange in the underlying layer which I did not want to do. I simply wanted to correct for the darkening of the water when adjusting the blue slider.
Remember you can use both the temperature and tint slider to add or subtract color from your image to achieve different results when using the B&W panel sliders.
Hope this helps with your future B&W conversion in Adobe Lightroom.
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