As an amateur I organise my photos in Bridge which does everything I require apart from one thing, I cannot find a means of attributing the color mode. It is visible but not editable under the file properties and if the original setting was correct it displays B&W otherwise it is a default of RGB. I have been scanning a lot of older pictures and would like to differentiate between colour & B&W. I could be dilligent and ensure it is set correctly at the time of scanning but it is a bit late for that. Thanks


1 Answer 1


When Bridge is showing an image that is B&W, that means that there is only one channel in the images. Only 256 shades of gray. When you have a grayscale image that shows up as RBG, that means that even though the colors are all grayscale, the image was saved as a three channel RGB, 256 shades of red, 256 shades of blue, and 256 shades of green. But the values of the red, green, and blue are all equal.

Changing a grayscale RGB image into B&W is not something that can simply be changed by editing the metadata. That is why this shows up under "File Properties" in Bridge. It's a property of the file itself. The image has to be resaved as a one channel grayscale jpeg.

  • \$\begingroup\$ If re-saved as grayscale or dot gain the color mode will remain RGB; the color profile will then be grayscale/dot gain (if embedded). \$\endgroup\$ Jan 9 at 16:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ Depends on what you do and what programs you use. For example, to do so in Irfanview, you would have to convert to grayscale (Cntl+G). Then when you save as jpeg, it will be a 1 channel grayscale jpg and should show up as B&W in Bridge. I can't answer anything about dot gain. \$\endgroup\$
    – StarGeek
    Jan 10 at 5:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ It seems like it should show up as B&W in bridge, but it doesn't, it shows with the color mode of RGB, and a color profile of Dot Gain (single channel grayscale). B&W/grayscale is not a color space, and I think that is the issue... I have tried it several ways with several programs and it never shows with color mode of B&W; but I do not have Irfanview. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 10 at 14:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ It sounds like the programs you are using are still saving it as an RGB image. Here's an example in GIMP. Use the Image Menu->Mode->Grayscale and export as jpeg. The result shows up as B&W for me in Bridge. \$\endgroup\$
    – StarGeek
    Jan 22 at 16:01

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