Suggestions for black and white processing

RT 5.8 on opensuse leap.

How to process images for black and whites?

I use raw only with Canon 7Dmk2 and Fuji x-pro2.

  • Sometimes I first demosaic Mono, then do the exposure and contrasts
  • Sometimes I leave the regular demosaic and use b&w module with the desaturation or the channel mixer

Then by the end, I add a tinge of color toning through the color correction regions to warm it up a little bit.

Every week, my opinion changes because I haven’t settled on a good way…

How are you doing it?


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I was just messing with such…

I look mainly for textures, but such isn’t just about materials. Here’s the one I was just working:

Texture is in the translucence of the petals. After a filmic curve to increase contrast, I put in a control point curve to darken the background to a sour mood. The tint is from a red control point curve, moved to subract rather than add.

Sometimes, I’ll work the colors to abstraction before applying the grayscale, which can mess with folks’ expectations in an interesting way. You can do things in monochrome that color won’t tolerate…

Thank you.

My problem is me deciding on a way of processing b+w. I flip-flop between the various way.

  1. It’s not consistent
  2. I get different results depending on the mood instead of the image.

Which is why I asked how are you guy are processing b+w.


Me, I like flip-flopping… :laughing:

If consistent is important, you might consider anchoring your after-conversion toning to a style of printing paper. I’d just eyeball something like warm Agfa, but if you wanted precision you could use a spectrometer to measure the darkest tones of a print, then use a per-channel curve to match the RGB difference

In essence, it is about reducing three channels RGB to one Grey (or GGGA, etc., depending on your host editor). How you do this is subjective, unless you want to replicate what monochromats see (those who cannot see colour at all).

One thing worth considering is resolution. By that I mean, each channel may resolve detail and be affected by noise and other artifacts differently. When manipulating the data, you have to be careful not to give them too much emphasis. Otherwise, your image would not be pleasing. Of course, you could attempt to mitigate them before doing your Colour to BW conversion.

I don’t, because I always get in troubles and accidents happen very quickly, especially while driving…


In colour, I have a direction/style:

  • sharp but not too sharp
  • reduced saturation but slightly added vibrance
  • cooler tones unless I need warmer tones

But I know the direction and I will tweak to make it look to my taste.

With B+W, I don’t know yet what I want. It seems to me that I’m going in circles and I can’t decide.

Thank you

Either I use Mono for demosaic at the beginning or I do the B+W after exposure and sharpening (close to the order of the tabs).

Thank you

I see. In the first case, you would have less tools available for you to deal with artifacts, restricted to only the raw tab. Any module outside would have less of an impact on the correction. In the latter, you would need to experiment to find a good balance between getting rid of them and sharpening because mitigation techniques tend to soften the image.