I just read an interesting article in the swiss-german magazine „Photographie“ about converting color-pictures into black&white ones using Adobe Photoshop. Obviously we all know the integrated routine „mode/greyscale“ is not quite what we want. So there are a couple other ways to get rid of those over-saturated colors our digital cameras provide us with.
If you are a Photoshop-Jerk you might be using the „Channelmixer“ already, or convert your files to LAB-mode and throw away the a- and b-channels.
But from time to time we want to work a little more hassle-free, say relaxed, or just without digging too deep into Photoshop´s menus. The author of the article mentioned above, Roberto Casavecchia, recorded an „Action“ to get b&w the simple way. You can download it here by right-clicking & „save target as…“ and load it into your Photoshop installation. There are two more plug-ins he talks about, one is called „BW Workflow Pro“ from Fred Miranda the other is The Imaging Facory´s „Convert to BW Pro 3.0“. Fred Miranda doesn´t offer a trial version, but you can download one from The Imaging Factory.
I tried both Roberto´s action, which leaves you with a greyscale picture containing 2 layers to adjust kinda contrast or saturation in the shadows via the transparency-slider, and the Convert to BW Pro plug-in that has a lot of adjustment-options to offer (like pre-filtering with color-filter, color-response etc.). Here is what it looks like, judge on your own:
This is the original file. By the way, this is the AO-Center in Davos, where I work
This is the result using the Roberto´s action
This is the result using the „Convert to BW Pro 3.0“ plug-in