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Another B&W Photo
Posted By: slick100d, 04-23-2007, 08:29 PM

I know there's another thread going, but the more, the merrier! I made my first attempt at a B&W conversion today. I tried the simple desaturate method, but wasn't happy with that. I searched on the Image Processing forum and found a post with a few other methods. I tried the channel mixer which worked pretty good. I also tried a plug-in from Cybia that looked almost identical to the channel mixer method but was easier to do.

This was done with the plug-in using the green channel. What do you think?


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04-24-2007, 08:57 PM   #2
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No comments or criticisms; good, bad or indifferent? I'm just looking for tips on black and white conversions.
04-24-2007, 09:16 PM   #3
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Hi Slick,

This is a good first attempt. However there isn't much of a contrast gradient in this conversion.

A useful rule-of-thumb that works well in almost all cases is to have a region of true black (RGB = 0, 0, 0) and a region of true white (RGB = 255, 255, 255) and a good mix of greys inbetween.

If you're working in Photoshop, you could try to add a "curves" adjustment layer. You seem to have a fair share of highlights already. What you're missing, IMO, is regions of the darker shades. Try pulling the contrast curves lower in the bottom-left part of the curve.

If you're comfortable with dodging and burning you could try and use those techniques to add a little more to the conversion.

I hope that helps!
Nikhil
04-24-2007, 09:21 PM   #4
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Sorry that we can't post comments instantly slick, it's a little slow on here these days. The better weather has a lot to do with that, plus it's a week day.
You can usually expect some comments by morning, but I wouldn't hold my breath until then.

Focus is perfect, and I wouldn't change all that much on it myself.

However I'd like to see a color version of that pic, in my opinion B&W doesn't do it justice.

Plus I think that if you moved a little you'd get his eyes in it a little better. Even though they're closed it would still add a little to the picture.

Keep it up though, the only way that you'll learn is keep on trying different things.

I've been playing around with cameras for years, and have altered my style more in the last year than I had the rest of the years together.

04-25-2007, 10:42 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nixarma Quote
Hi Slick,

This is a good first attempt. However there isn't much of a contrast gradient in this conversion.

A useful rule-of-thumb that works well in almost all cases is to have a region of true black (RGB = 0, 0, 0) and a region of true white (RGB = 255, 255, 255) and a good mix of greys inbetween.

If you're working in Photoshop, you could try to add a "curves" adjustment layer. You seem to have a fair share of highlights already. What you're missing, IMO, is regions of the darker shades. Try pulling the contrast curves lower in the bottom-left part of the curve.

If you're comfortable with dodging and burning you could try and use those techniques to add a little more to the conversion.

I hope that helps!
Nikhil
Thanks for the input. I'm working with Photoshop Elements 3 but I have installed a plug-in that adds curves. I have some tutorials on curves bookmarked and need to do some reading. I'm also using Rawshooter Premium and it has curves; would this be a better place do make the adjustment? I haven't tried dodging and burning. I have some things to try now. Thanks!
04-25-2007, 10:54 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by little laker Quote
Sorry that we can't post comments instantly slick, it's a little slow on here these days. The better weather has a lot to do with that, plus it's a week day.
You can usually expect some comments by morning, but I wouldn't hold my breath until then.

Focus is perfect, and I wouldn't change all that much on it myself.

However I'd like to see a color version of that pic, in my opinion B&W doesn't do it justice.

Plus I think that if you moved a little you'd get his eyes in it a little better. Even though they're closed it would still add a little to the picture.

Keep it up though, the only way that you'll learn is keep on trying different things.

I've been playing around with cameras for years, and have altered my style more in the last year than I had the rest of the years together.
Sorry, I didn't mean to jump the gun but things are getting buried faster these days! I wish we had better weather; it's been raining for several days.

I can put up the color version this evening when I'm home. I took this picture to test out my newly acquired Tamron 80-200/2.8 to see how it held up at full zoom and wide open. I should have some time tonight to work on it.

Thanks for your help.
04-25-2007, 11:08 AM   #7
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I don't have experience with Rawshooter Premium. I used to use Rawshooter Essentials for a while before I bought Bibble Pro.

In the workflow that I typically use, I correct for exposure and a certain degree of saturation in the RAW converter and perform the rest of the processing in Photoshop.

Adjusting the curves might yield you a better result in Elements than in RSP. However, there are no hard and fast rules and only experimentation will give you a definitive reply.

I'd be interested in seeing the reprocessed image!

N.
05-05-2007, 03:18 PM   #8
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Finally back at it!

I apologize for taking so long, but between a sump pump malfunction at home and a water line break at work, I've been a little busy.

OK, here's the original color version:



Here's my latest (of several) attempts at black and white. I upped the contrast and learned to use the burn tool (very useful!).



C & C welcome. I promise I'll be patient this time.

05-06-2007, 12:13 PM   #9
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| like the colour one better... dunno why.. looks more like a dog i guess
05-07-2007, 02:40 AM   #10
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One way I like to do the conversion (in GIMP) is to decompose to RGB, with each channel in a separate layer. Red comes out as the base layer, then green, with blue at the top.

I turn off visibility for the blue, then experiment with various blend modes and opacities for the green layer. Then I re-enable visibility for the blue layer and do the blend/opacity monkeying again, going back to fiddle with green again as the urge strikes me.

On my most recent photo converted this way, I also had one area that was in strong light and one in strong shadow, so I made my first try at a ND layer mask, put in on the blue layer, and blended in "Darken Only" mode to tone down the light while not throwing the dark area into pitch blackness. I'll take the liberty of including it here for illustrative purposes. Forgive the dust from the negative; I overlooked it and didn't notice it until I had finished. Also forgive the fact that it didn't come from a Pentax. (From a 1956 Ricoh rangefinder):

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