Luminosity Blending Magic, 2

Here’s more on using a B&W image blended with a color image. Yesterday’s post showed if the B&W was a luminosity conversion, color image improvements were possible in a single quick blending step. How does that compare to the results from using desaturation or grayscale images in the blend?


What’s the difference?

For Luminosity Blending – A Lot

and for regular B&W prints – maybe even more so


Textures, Shapes & Lines

This is part of a series on Luminosity Blending –

A simple effective single processing step

for improved color, contrast & detail

Which conversion technique is best?

A viewer commented yesterday and questioned my stating that luminosity is the “best” conversion technique. He was right, of course, as what I meant is that in-my-opinion it most often produced the best B&W conversion. What is actually “best”? Here’s what I wrote on this exact question three years ago.

It depends. Depends? On what?

On which technique provides the result that YOU want.

That’s all that matters.

Myself, I see no redeeming virtue in desaturation and would never use it.

Between the other two I tend to prefer the luminosity technique.

I’m still researching details on grayscale vs. luminance when it comes to human vision considerations – something for a later post.

Regardless, I do 100% of my B&W in Silver Efex Pro 2 and the preset conversions are nothing more than starting points in my use of SEP 2.

(As an aside – the luminosity result is what Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 uses as its default neutral starting image – Preset 000. Take that for whatever it’s worth.)

As you should know by now – using that SEP2 default as your luminosity blending layer will

Result in no change to your original image (see example below)

If the reason isn’t clear, go back to the earlier luminosity conversion post & read it again

For comparison, try using SEP’2 Preset 005 instead (as a starting point) – or others

Conversion technique comparison examples:

AND – if the original is blended with each of the three above conversions we get the results shown below –

To conclude, if we used the B&W produced by SEP2 Preset 005 (left below) and blended that with the original we’d get the lower right image.

Tomorrow, Part 3, back to the real world and real photographs  and real luminosity blending examples to wrap up luminosity blending.

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2 thoughts on “Luminosity Blending Magic, 2

    • Thanks for continuing to follow the blog, Rose.

      Easy to forget. I know that I needed a refresher. You may recall that I occasionally wrote that one of my motivations for doing this blog was to document things for myself. Luminosity blending is a case in point.

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