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Putting color back in black and white

Jan 3, 2013 11:34 PM

I try to use the adjustment brush to put color back into a black and white photo, but all it does now it color it red.  How do I fix that?

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    Jan 4, 2013 12:36 AM   in reply to gilblack

    You are just seeing the overlay of your brush strokes' mask, not the effect. Toggle O to hide it, so you should see the effect of the mask, which you may exagerate temporarily for better visibility.


    Do you have Saturation set to -100 globally and loaded your adjustment brush with Saturation to 0 or +100? That does not work for me either, now, though I am at a loss why not. I rarely use this, so I do not remember how I managed last time. I certainly did not do it since LR4.1 min... am on LR4.3 now.

    Perhaps we are chasing a new bug?

    Which LR-version do you use? Wich OS? (mine Win7 home, LR4.3)


    Has anybody recent LR4.3-experience in selectively re-colouring a globally black&whitened image by adjustment brush?



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    Jan 4, 2013 1:09 AM   in reply to Cornelia-I

    Has anybody recent LR4.3-experience in selectively re-colouring a globally black&whitened image by adjustment brush?

    The clue is in your word "black&whitened" - if you set an image to monochrome using the B&W mode, LR changes its processing so that hue information does not get past the B&W "filter" sliders.


    In cidentally you can see in the basic panel, the Vibrance and Saturation sliders have become disabled in this mode. This is no longer considered a colour image.


    The way to achieve this effect - if determined to do so - is to "desaturate" the image in an otherwise colour mode. A little like saving into an RGB rather than a greyscale JPG, there is then still the possibility of colour.


    This can be done either with the Saturation slider, or more controllably and flexibly, with the HSL panel. I have a preset which moves all the HSL Saturation sliders fully to the left. This means the Luminance sliders then take on the same function, as the sliders that you see in the B&W panel.


    This way the colour sliders in Basic stay active; and no matter how far saturation has been dulled down globally, even altogether, it can still be brightened back up locally with an adjustment brush or a gradient.



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    Jan 4, 2013 1:21 AM   in reply to richardplondon

    Thanks, Richard!


    I was aware of that, which is why I asked and started my own test not with V-Black & White Colour Treatment mode, but with global Saturation slider set to -100.


    I just could not get to the desired effect, off-setting that in the local adjustment.

    But with Global treatment to set all HSL-panel saturation sliders to -100 (and leave the saturation slider of the Basic Panel alone), then go for local adjustment with brush load with saturation +100, it worked. Even the check in "Auto-Mask" did a wonderful job for it.


    So summary to our OP gilblack:

    • for the red see my first answer.
    • for the desired effect to work: use as global treatment the HSL-panel, saturation section: set all 8 colour saturation sliders to -100. Worth to create a preset if you plan to use this effect more often. Then in the local adjustment load the brush with saturation +100 for off-setting.



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    Jan 4, 2013 2:10 AM   in reply to Cornelia-I

    I am so used to using HSL for monochrome, that when you wrote "Saturation set to -100 globally" I was somehow still mentally conceiving all the hue-range sliders pushed over to the left. You are quite right, the outcomes are different for the Basic panel saturation slider - sorry for my error, I should have checked before posting. The processing sequence seems to be local > HSL > global > toning.


    However I am not certain that this behaviour is new. I have just tried in LR 3.5 and the result is the same... presuming that this is not LR3.5 using a shared program module that has been updated by LR4 installation, or some such.


    Perhaps my HSL desaturation preset was originally made with this aspect also in mind - I can't clearly remember - but I do recall that I was getting cleaner greyscale-conversion from this method,  than from using the B&W panel (then called "Monochrome" IIRC), in the past.


    regards, RP

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