I've been shooting ilford color-process b&w film.

The local photo processor's equipment has a glitch; sometimes the resulting negatives are slightly colorful.

In the current roll, there's a faint blue stripe in some images, and an overall purple cast to others.

I'm not a very adept Aperture user; can someone supply or point to a recipe for fixing this?


There's a few ways to do black & white adjustments. Here are three that may be helpful. They're all essentially the same, but with slightly different control over how the image or individual colours within it are adjusted.

Black & White Adjustment

Aperture has a Black & White adjustment for very simple B&W conversion. It lets you choose how the Red, Green and Blue channels are combined for luminance (typically ~30%, 59% and 11% for R, G and B respectively). This is likely to be the simplest method. You shouldn't need to adjust the sliders, unless the blue/purple tints are significantly affecting the luminance (e.g. if they're 'added' to the image, rather than just a slight bias in Blue & Red channels).

Black & White Adjustment

B&W Adjustment, default settings.

Color Adjustment

There's also a Color adjustment that lets you modify Hue, Saturation & Luminance of up to 6 individual colours (with a specified range as to how close to said colour the adjustment takes place), so you could also specifically just desaturate your blue and/or purple tints. It may help to use the 'dropper' tool (in the circle on the left) to pick the right blue/purple colour tint for adjustment. I've found this tool useful for adjusting just one or two colours in the image, without affecting others. If your blue stripe is noticeably brighter, for example, you could also adjust its luminance (to a negative value), so as to hide it completely. If the purple cast is even, then it shouldn't need anything other than desaturation.

Color Adjustment

Color Adjustment, default Blue color fully desaturated & reduced brightness.

Enhance Adjustment

Or as @dpollitt points out, you can also just desaturate the image with the saturation slider. I believe this is the same as using the default settings on the Black & White adjustment (30%R, 59%G, 11%B).

Enhance Adjustment

Enhance Adjustment, whole image fully desaturated.

  • So, Aperture clearly thinks that this is a color image, as it shows the color adjustment options. – bmargulies Dec 10 '12 at 12:12
  • @bmargulies: well, obviously it is a color image, or else you wouldn't see any color.... – mattdm Dec 10 '12 at 12:15
  • I poked around and found that I could add the b&w adjustments even if they didn't show up in the column to start with. – bmargulies Dec 10 '12 at 12:24
  • Ah, yes, @bmargulies, Aperture only shows a small subset of the most commonly used adjustments by default, purely for convenience (you can actually configure which ones come up, but that's a whole other question). The rest you need to add from the drop-down if you need them (otherwise you'd always have a huge list of adjustments you're not interested in!) – drfrogsplat Dec 11 '12 at 0:08

If you want to remove all color, just slide the saturation slider all the way to the left. If the stripe is showing regardless of color, then you would have to repair the photo in something like Photoshop.

You can reference page 65 of the manual for more info on this particular feature - http://manuals.info.apple.com/en_US/Aperture_Performing_Adjustments.pdf

  • I did this once in Lightroom and then sent it off to be printed, omitting my usual step of converting to B&W in Photoshop. I was a bit surprised to find a slight color cast in the sky when I got the print from the lab. So be careful doing this. Hopefully Aperture does it better (OR I didn't just go all the way to the side in Lightroom, I've since reprocessed the shot so I don't know exactly what the settings were when I printed it.) – Paul Cezanne Dec 10 '12 at 12:01

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