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January Side Challenge - Duotones (non-B&W)
Posted By: travis_cooper, 01-02-2008, 10:05 AM

Again, thanks to everybody that participated in the December Side Challenge. It did better than I thought it would, and hopefully we can get more and more participation in the coming months. For those of you that didn't see it, or just didn't participate before, basically this thread is for posting pictures that meet the current month's theme, then hopefully receiving comments from others participating and we can all help each other out. In order for this to work the best, the more comments you can leave the better, so please comment as much as you can.

To keep with the learning that I received from the B&W challenge, lets move things to duotones. Give us some good examples, and again explain to us how you did your conversion, so we can learn some new ways to get those nice duotone looks. As the title suggests, since we already did B&W, you shouldn't post B&W pictures, but any other duotone will work.

Have fun, and post as often as you can, the more you participate the more you will learn.

Last edited by travis_cooper; 01-02-2008 at 10:06 AM. Reason: Spelling
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01-03-2008, 09:58 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Cash Quote
...
And here are the same gamma extremes which reveal the highlights (non-black portions on the left side) are all shades of orange and the shadows (non-white portions on the right side) are all shades of blue:
Hi Mike.
Well, I was close in my original guess - blue shadows (classic) and warm highlights but more orange than I had thought. Anyway, it makes a great duotone example / 1st "entry" if you don't mind me calling it that. I realize the subtle nature of your duotone / split tone image makes it easily confused with B&W. But I think subtle usually works better than very obvious coloration. So kudos to you.
QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Cash Quote
Remember that part of the reason for the duotone process is to make ones black and white photos print in a more pleasing way, especially since printers do a better job making subtle blends than they do trying to print 256 shades of gray with one color of ink (black).
Exactly. So if a posted image obviously needs more than one ink color to reproduce it, but doesn't obviously require 3 or more inks (tritone, quadtone, etc), we should accept it as a "legit" duotone.

QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Cash Quote
If introducing blue and orange to the mix results in a pleasing b/w appearance and prints well, then that sounds like duotone to me. (And the photo printed beautifully, by the way).
It sounds like a duotone to me even if the mix isn't pleasing and doesn't print well. We can also just pretend "black" comes from high density application of two inks in cases where an image obviously contains two colors and black.

Cheers.

-Mark

01-03-2008, 10:16 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by xs400 Quote
I used the link supplied above by SWEnginner and followed the description in the link to create the following Duotone image of the Golden Gate Bridge. The two colors I chose for my duotone image were black and yellow.
Nice entry. Glad to see you found the link useful. Overall, I like the result you have come up with. For my taste, the yellow you chose might be too saturated. Can you comment on why you chose yellow?

I like the bright highlights in the city. I'm not sure it is possible, but I'd like to see a bit more contrast in the foreground hillside vegetation and and water.

Regards.

-Mark

Last edited by SWEngineer; 01-04-2008 at 07:42 PM. Reason: fix the quote
01-03-2008, 11:31 PM   #18
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Hmm a duotone or split toned image without black could present an interesting challenge. You'd first have to get your head around what subjects could actually work without black so were talking about low contrast or high key? That could certainly add to the knowledge gained in the B+W challenge.
01-04-2008, 07:41 PM   #19
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an entry of sorts

But more of an example as I didn't put my heart into this one

It also attempts to illustrate for Kaimarx that going w/o black isn't that big of a barrier. Of course if your duotone ink choices are both very light or very saturated, yes, it will be tough to work with.

Here's the final representation of the duotone image "printed" on pure white paper. I haven't printed the duotone, so I'm not sure how accurate this representation / preview is. Please ignore the nasty jpg artifacts in the sky. I made the duo tone starting with jpg original linked below. This duotone "uses" 2 inks: Pantone 1545C (a dark brown) and Pantone 2707C (a light blue) - no black. On a properly calibrated monitor, it will have an obvious blue tint and you should be able to identify the deep shadows colors as "warm, not black".



Here's a link to the original: http://www.pbase.com/swengineer/image/72358208.jpg

Here's a small sized version of the B&W conversion I did to form the basis of the duotone. If you think the duotone looked like a B&W, this should prove to you it is not. If you still think the duotone looks B&W (and especially if you also think this image looks tinted) your monitor probably needs calibration:


Here's the "plate" for the Pantone 1545C (darker = more ink density):


Here's the "plate" for the pantone 2707C. (It uses a lot of ink relative to the 1545 plate):


Finally, here's a perpendicular gradient overlay of the two colors to illustrate how they mix and "print" on the paper. 1545C density goes 0 to 100% from top to bottom. 2707C density goes 0 to 100% from L to R. The UL corner is pure (paper) white. The LR corner is as close to black as this combo can make. It may looks as if the duotone image gets closer to black than this gradient. But that's just an illusion due to the much higher local contrast in the duotone:


Comments are welcome. I'll submit a more serious entry at some point. Hope this serves to get or keep the ball rolling.

-Mark

01-05-2008, 01:34 AM   #20
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Maybe I picked a bad theme for this month. While I am learning a lot about what a duotone really is, I didn't mean for this to get so technical. I was thinking along simpler lines, this should be a thread mostly about taking pictures and getting comments on them, please continue the duotone conversation, as I am learning, but lets start seeing some pictures so we can learn from each other. I promise I will get something up this weekend, and next time I'll pick a better (simpler to understand) topic.
01-05-2008, 06:19 AM   #21
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duo/tritone

i originally had this as a duo tone.......blk/pantone 438c
redone after reading the thread as a tri-tone blk/pantone 5635c/5473c

duotone 2 color process
tritone 3 color process
quadtone 4 color process

travis, when the idea is born, it's best to let it grow.........

btw.....left is tritone......right is duo

Last edited by gpaual; 01-26-2008 at 04:16 AM.
01-05-2008, 06:40 PM   #22
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I really like those shots, this is what I had in mind for this challenge. I prefer the second one the best, I like the colors in it a lot more. I hope to have something worth submitting to the thread soon.

01-05-2008, 07:00 PM   #23
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Okay, here is my first submission. I wanted to get something up, since I started the thread I figure I better participate, so I didn't spend too much time in conversion. I just used the sepia preset in LR, then adjusted exposure and the tonal curve. This is a fountain behind the Utah State Capitol building.

01-08-2008, 12:59 PM   #24
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Left gallery comment for Travis

Left gallery comment for Travis
01-08-2008, 01:14 PM   #25
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I don't understand duo tones well enough to know if this technically qualifies as one, but here's my contribution. I have found the discussion thus far to be interesting.

Conversion done directly from raw file in Digikam
01-12-2008, 02:12 PM   #26
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I left comments for Travis & Scott on their linked photos.

I worked on several entries recently and will get them up in the next few days, starting with the one below. I'll assume the click through works... You should be able to see / leave comments there (on PBase) if you like.

The addition of color or tinting in large part distinguishes duotones from B&W. (This is true at least for the digital simulations we're stuck with on the forum.) So I'm interested to know why people choose a particular color or color pairs. That seems at least as important as the technique used to produce the duotone.

In the image below, I chose yellow highlights and purple shadows. In my mind, this helps recast the image as a sunset. (The original was shot in the early afternoon with the sky fully blue.)
Here I simply used the Lightroom "Split Toning" controls after "Convert to Grayscale" and subtracting a lot of blue with the gray scale mixer (to darken the sky). I tinkered back and forth with the saturation of the two split tones before finding a combination I was satisfied with. I ended up using rather high saturation levels which leaves the image looking decidedly "in color" not "B&W". Not path I typically choose, but I like it here.

[update] Scott (sajmmiller) pointed out the high noise. This came from going too far negative with the blue in the Lightroom gray scale mixer and was not intentional. I decided just to live with it for now.


Last edited by SWEngineer; 01-12-2008 at 09:26 PM. Reason: add info
01-12-2008, 07:53 PM   #27
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Mark (SWEngineer),
I left a comment in your PBase gallery.

Nice shot! Makes me want to learn more about duotones.
01-13-2008, 11:41 AM   #28
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toy soldier

Another Lightroom split tone conversion.

Adjusted exposure etc. Convert to grayscale.
Split tones - highlights tan (low sat), shadows a yellowish green (med sat), balance +68.
Refine exposure etc.

I chose the colors to get an overall sepia tint to evoke a sense of nostalgia and to make the statue similar in color to a plastic toy soldier.

A couple of trees came out green as well. I only wanted the statue green, but that was not possible in Lightroom. PS made quick work of this problem, however. I just painted over the errant trees with color sampled from a tan area and set the new painted layer mode to "Color". And I decided to lighten the tree on the far left as well - dodging by painting white (low opacity) on a "Softlight" layer below the color paint layer. The lesson learned here: If you are going to combine two colors in a duotone effect, the B&W tones will determine which areas get which colors. So plan to have brighter objects in one color and darker in another. Otherwise, you may have a complex problem to get what you want.

Click on the image takes you pbase where you can see or make comments if you care to.

-Mark

01-13-2008, 12:28 PM   #29
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I have 2 examples:

Pentax K10D ,Tamron SP AF 28-75mm f/2.8 XR Di LD (IF) 1/100s f/13.0 at 75.0mm iso100


Pentax K10D ,Pentax smc P-DA Fish-Eye 10-17mm F3.5-4.5 ED (IF) 1/400s f/7.1 at 10.0mm iso100
01-13-2008, 06:32 PM   #30
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last one for a bit

Here's a different twist: blue foreground and sepia background. I think (hope) the sepia dominates. The blue is just a foil for the sepia to try and ensure the foreground looks completely B&W. Here B&W symbolizes the present and sepia the past. The footprint carry us from one to the other (or so I hope). Not the best fitting image, but fun to think about and play with. Click on the image and comment if you like.

-Mark

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