July 7, 2009 / Idea File Supplement

Six Steps to Enhance and Prepare Black and White Images

Written by Idea File Staff

All black and white digital images will need the color mode set to grayscale, the resolution set to 225 dpi, and the file format saved as jpeg. The following steps show how to go through the “basic three” steps and also show how to adjust image tone, add contrast and increase sharpness.

1. Set Mode Color

  • Open an image
  • Select the Image menu and choose Mode
  • Select Grayscale from the Mode menu
set_color2
2. Adjust Resolution

  • Select the Image menu and choose Image Size
  • Resample Image should not be checked Note: This option is located at the bottom of the window
  • Enter 225 pixels/inch into the Resolution entry Note: the Width and Height should change when this step is performed.
  • Click OK
resolution2
3. Tonal Adjustment

  • Select the Image menu and choose Adjust
  • Select Levels from the Adjust menulevel_grey2
  • Enter 12 and 243 for the Output Levels
  • Manually slide the outside Input triangles (the left is black and the right is white) to the base of the mountains. Do not go into the mountains. This will adjust the black point and white point of the image. Note: No more than 40 for the left Input Levels window or less than 200 for the right Input Levels window should appear.
  • Manually slide center Input triangle (gray) to adjust midtone levels of image. Stay within the range of 1.00 to 1.60. These numbers can be viewed as the slider is adjusted in the middle Input Level window. Note: This adjustment is strictly visual. Staying within the range of 1.00 to 1.60 will not hamper the image.
  • Click OK
4. Increase Contrast

  • Select the Image menu and choose Adjustcurves
  • Select Curves from the Adjust menu
  • Place the cursor approximately over the 25% point and click
  • Enter 25 for Input
  • Enter 20 for Output
  • Place the cursor approximately over the 75% point and click
  • Enter 75 for Input
  • Enter 80 for Output
  • Click OK

Note: Ctrl Z (Win) or Command Z (Mac) to see if the effect improves the image or not. Use discretion.

5. Sharpen Image

  • Select the Filter menu and choose Sharpen
  • Select Unsharp Mask from the Sharpen menu
  • Enter 106 for Amount
  • Enter 1.6 for Radius
  • Enter 10 for Threshold
  • Click OK
unsharp
6. Save Image

  • Select the File menu and choose Save As
  • Name files: 3 digit page #-3 digit position #_subject.jpg example: 001-001_zebra.jpg
  • Select JPEG for format
  • Click Save
  • Set Quality to 8 under the Image Options area
  • Set Format Options to Baseline (“Standard”)
  • Click OK
save2

jpg2

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Idea File Staff

Idea File Staff reports are posts compiled by the Walsworth Yearbooks Marketing Department, covering a wide range of yearbook topics.