Gray Scale Conversion Techniques

In: Computers and Technology

Submitted By kulaysep
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Effective Gray Scale Techniques By: Wilfredo C. Ileto Many people believe that color images will always be more effective than grayscale. I don’t agree with that perception. Grayscale can be just as visually powerful as color images when they are properly rendered. As a matter of fact, many of the great masterpieces in photographic history, such as those by Ansel Adams and Cartier Bresson, are grayscale images. While the trend has been moving towards full color reproduction, printing of grayscale or monotone images will always remain part of the printing process. Therefore, it is of great importance that we understand the process of converting color to grayscale and acquire the techniques to effectively implement it. Because grayscale images do not have the visual effects of color, it is important to apply certain techniques in order that the images project the desired visual impact we require Whenever I conduct a seminar on Image Enhancement and Color Correction, I always start with a discussion on Grayscale Techniques. Since original materials are now generally supplied in digital RGB format, I ask the participants how they would prepare their grayscale images from these RGB files. Without exception, their answer would be to simply change the mode from RGB to grayscale using Photoshop. I would then load an RGB image (illustration 1) into Photoshop, apply Change Mode to convert it to grayscale and produce an image (illustration 2) where the details have all disappeared into a single tonal value. After the initial reactions of astonishment have subsided, I begin to explain what happened to the image.

Illustration 1

Illustration 2

When Photoshop converts a color image to grayscale, it bases the values of the gray tones on the luminosity or brightness strength of the various color elements in the original image. The problem with this system is that different…...

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