3.5. Examples

3.5.1. Converting to black and white

3.5.1.1. Overview

Black and white conversion can be achieved in several ways with darktable. Indeed, darktable comes with a lot of modules, especially for color manipulation. In this manual, I will show you 4 ways to perform a black and white conversion.

3.5.1.2. The obvious way: monochrome module

To perform the conversion, just activate the monochrome module (Section 3.4.3.7, “Monochrome”). You can then simulate a color filter, by dragging the circle above the colors you want to filter. Filter size can be modified via scrolling the mouse wheel.

3.5.1.3. The simple way: color correction module

To perform such conversion we use the color correction module (Section 3.4.3.5, “Color correction”).

  1. Activate the color correction module

  2. Use the bottom slider to set saturation to zero

3.5.1.4. The LAB way: color contrast module

To perform such conversion we use the color contrast module (Section 3.4.3.4, “Color contrast”).

  1. Activate the color contrast module

  2. Set both steepness sliders to zero

3.5.1.5. The artistic way: color zones module

To perform the conversion we use the color zone module (Section 3.4.3.8, “Color zones”).

  1. Activate the color zones module

  2. By default, the active tabbed control is set to saturation whereas the select by combobox is set to hue. This means that color are selected according to their hue (horizontal scale) and you can change for each hue its saturation (vertical scale). You simply need to set all points to the minimum of the vertical scale to de-saturate every hue.

  3. But now if you want, you can keep some hues a little bit saturated, so your image will be all black and white but some hue. A classical use for portrait is to keep red hue saturated in order to make the lips standing out.

    You can also use one of the available presets that perform black and white conversion, keeping some hues saturated.

3.5.1.6. The sophisticated way: channel mixer module

To perform the conversion we use the channel mixer module (Section 3.4.3.2, “Channel mixer”).

  1. Activate the channel mixer module

  2. Select the gray output channel

  3. Set the proportion of each color, the sum having to equal 1 if you want to keep your global lightness.