If you send out press releases or images for ads that will be appearing in newspapers I highly recommend a few steps to ensure that you get good looking images when the paper goes to print.

musician eric miller in black and white photo

Eric Miller image converted to black and white using the LAB mode in Photoshop with a curves bump.

Number one – Do not send a color image unless it is possible the image is going to be printed in color. Many times in the newspaper world since they are on deadline and shorthanded the conversion from a color image to black and white is to desaturate the image. Period. There is no consideration for the tones or where they fall or what colors are going to come forward. I highly recommend using a method I have made with a Photoshop Action.

Convert the file to LAB Color Mode In the Channels Palette Select the B Channel and Delete it. Then Select and Delete Channel Alpha 2. Convert the file to Greyscale Mode. Convert the file to RGB Mode. Add a Curves Adjustment Layer. Pull down on the 3/4 tone and up on the 1/4 tone in the Curves Dialog box adding contrast to the image.

This makes for a pretty clean BW and with the Curves Adjustment Layer you can make changes to the highlights and shadows if necessary before saving the file. If you would like this action already complete rather than building it yourself send me an email and I’ll get it to you.

The other thing that will help your image stand out in newsprint is to sharpen your image until it almost looks too crunchy on your screen and when printed with the spread of ink it will be sharp in print. If an image is not ‘over sharpened’ this way the spread of ink will make it look soft. Here’s what I do…

Flatten the image. Go to Filter > Sharpen > Unsharp Mask with these settings – Amount 500% Radius 1.7 Threshold 7. Your image will look frightening! Wait there’s more… Go to Edit > Fade Unsharp Mask Change the Mode to Luminousity and fade to 40% Opacity. Your image will look a bit sharp but will print beautifully on newsprint at these settings. Want that action? Email me.

Conversion and sharpening will make your images stand out from the rest…

Yours in Creative Photography,         Bob