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Thursday, February 18, 2010

{ B&W Tutorial.. and the action! } Action Freebie

When I was first learning how to process images in Photoshop,  I used a lot of actions.  The results sucked were not the best.  I didn't know how to use them correctly and I used them on the wrong images.  After stumbling upon i love photography, I learned how to edit images just by reading how other photographers did things.  Granted, they probably weren't working in the dark ages.. aka, PS 6.0 (haha!  do you have $699 to give me to upgrade??) but, i learned to interpret what they were doing and then work with what i've got.  Sooo... the best thing I took away from those early years on ILP was the B&W action that I created after reading how 5+ other photographers created theirs.  It's simple. easy. clean... and, it hasn't "done me wrong" over the years.  The action is completely customizable.. so, i will share a little tutorial and then give you the link to download it for yourselves.  Please.. enjoy.. and, i'm trying to spread the word that i'm back in "action".. so, share my site with your friends!  Go ahead.. you know you want to!!

Disclaimer:  I can't say what CS4 will look like in comparison to my 6.0 but.. hey.. you get the idea!  Don't laugh at me.. even if you want to.  Ok, go ahead. 

Without further ado...

Open the image you'd like to work with


Then, open my action and hit play :)  What goes on behind the scenes is basic. It's 3 layers..  a gray scale gradient map, a color balance layer with the color levels at +11, 0, -5 (to make it slightly sepia toned), and then a selective color layer which is where you end up at the photo below.  When this pops up, just hit OK
first, i must say.. you don't have to do ANY of the following steps if you like what the image looks like.  I have already played with the blacks, whites and neutrals for you but, like i said.. you have the ability to play around.  On many images I find it's perfect.. on others, i have to tweak things a bit.  So, here is how you do that.
you should select BLACKS and ONLY move the black slider.  Play around.. each image is different so, on some you'll want to go darker, on others you'll want to lighten up.  I chose +6 for this image.

then, select NEUTRALS and once again, only move the BLACK slider.  For this image, I selected -4.


Then, last.. you'll want to select WHITES and move only the BLACK slider.  For this image, I selected -4.


 Then.. wa-la!  You are done.  Just flatten your layers and, this is the final result: 

Ok!  There ya go!  Have fun!  Enjoy the share!

Download HERE


  1. Just seen that you have now released the B&W action - Thank you so much :)

  2. Thank you, can't wait to try it out.

  3. Erin! I tried today's and yesterday's and I love these actions and your tutorials. Glad to see you "in action" as you say

  4. Thank you! This blog post will be advertised on CraftCrave in the Tutorials category today (look for timestamp: [19 Feb 01:00pm GMT]).

  5. very nice of you. thanks alot!

  6. gorgeous conversion & action.
    Thank you!

  7. I just found your blog today and I love it. Thanks for sharing another great action

  8. So sweet of you, thank you!!
    Kimberley {from ILP}