This picture of a rickshaw driver in Fort Cochin, Kerala, India was converted to Black & White using Silver Efex Pro from Nik Software. I subsequently added the old-school film border (they’re sometimes referred to as ‘sloppy borders’) with Photoframe from OnOne Software. Of course, as I point out in my book ‘Lightroom 2 Ontmaskerd’ (which, by the way, makes for a great New Year’s gift (as long as the one you’re giving it to speaks Dutch ), you could also use a scan of a sloppy border, and apply it in Lightroom as an Identity Plate in the Print Module. But that’s not the actual tip. The actual tip is about Lightroom’s filtering capabilities.
In Lightrooms Filter Bar, one of the metadata criteria you can filter on, is ‘Treatment’. That criterium can be ‘Color’ or ‘Grayscale’. Say you want to submit a picture to a B&W photo competition, and you want to use the Filter Bar to only show your Grayscale (btw, they’re called B&W as from Lightroom 3) pictures, you’d choose that option. However, if you look closely at the screenshot above, you’ll notice something wrong: there are at least two pictures that definetely are B&W, yet the Filter Bar doesn’t seem to find them. It categorizes them all as ‘Color’.
The reason is that the ‘Grayscale’ criterium only recognizes photos that have been converted to grayscale in Lightroom itself. If you use a plugin, even if you call it from Lightroom, as I did with Silver Efex Pro, the picture is not recognised as a B&W. Not even if you convert it to an 8 bit grayscale image (Image > Mode > Grayscale) in Photoshop. The solution is to ‘fool’ Lightroom by actually ‘converting’ your already grayscale pictures a second time to grayscale by hitting the Grayscale button in the Develop panel or hitting ‘v’, which is the shortcut for ‘Convert to Grayscale’. This will not change the look of your pictures, but it will make the Filter Bar recognize the pictures as B&W, and they will show up in your search results as the screenshot below shows.