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  • Writer's pictureSteve Gemmell

Converting a colour slide into mono

Converting a colour slide into a mono image was something I never attempted back in my film shooting days. I'm guessing it would have been quite tricky to do. It was never something I had even considered as a possibility back then. I used to shoot black and white negative film of course and develop and print it too. You can see some black and white negative scans in this post.

But now in the digital age it is fairly easy to convert a colour transparency. Once scanned into the computer it is a simple matter to convert a colour slide into mono using one of the many software applications available. To achieve the first three images seen below, I scanned them at a very moderate size as jpegs. I would normally use Lightroom or Photoshop to edit and convert them. However in this instance I actually used Apple's Photos application which comes with any mac or iPhone or iPad etc. I was very surprised to discover that on the desktop version of this app there is quite a comprehensive array of tools you can use to edit an image. I've never bothered to do this before but have to say it is a handy tool for quick editing, plus everything replicates to your other IOS gadgets seamlessly.

At some point I will scan selected images at a much higher size and resolution and in TIFF or PSD format so that I can edit them in Lightroom / Photoshop. It would be interesting to see how they print as well.

It is difficult to remember exactly when and where these images were taken as they are all at least 40 to 50 years old. However I believe the first image was taken on holiday in Cornwall. I seem to remember these ruins are from the tin mines that used to exist there. I could be completely wrong of course!

I'm pretty sure the second image is Edinburgh castle, probably shot from Princes Street through the trees.

For the third image I have absolutely no idea where that is. If anyone recognises it please let me know. For reference I have also included the original colour slide for the picture. I think it is an image that works well in both the mono form and also in colour

Tin Mines Cornwall
Edinburgh Castle shot from Princes Street
Edinburgh Castle
Beautiful Clouds Landscape
Cloud Landscape
Original Color Slide

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