Gorman-Holbert Conversion Method


This black and white conversion method is named for Greg Gorman and Mac Holbert. It is also referred to as the Carr Method after its developer Rob Carr. It is a Luminosity Based method. It gives outstanding results, especially for portraits.

Greg Gorman's original conversion tutorial page. (pdf)

Steps in Photoshop
  1. Select Image > Mode > Lab Color to convert the image to Lab mode.
  2. Go to the Channel palette and select the Lightness channel
  3. Select Image > Mode > Grayscale and discard the "a" and "b" channels.
  4. While holding the Control key click on the Gray channel.
  5. Select Select > Inverse to select the shadows.
  6. With the shadows selected select Image > Mode > RGB Color to convert back to RGB.
  7. Go to the Layers Palette.
  8. Create a new Solid Color layer.
  9. Select a color from the color chooser.
  10. Change the Blending Mode of the solid color layer to Multiply
  11. Hit Ctrl-Alt-Shift-E (Command-Option-Shift-E) to create a new merged layer.
  12. Change the blending mode of the new layer to Overlay. Set opacity to 20%.
  13. Select Filter > Other > High Pass
  14. Set the radius to 50 pixels.

Like other Luminosity Based methods, the Gorman method does not take advantage of the color information in the photograph. It relies entirely on the image's luminosity and intensifies them with Solid Color Toning. Gorman works especially well on fabrics and curved surfaces, and on portraits.

Original color
Gorman
Straight grayscale

Choosing a different color for the fill layer will add toning to your image.

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