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05-10-2009, 08:49 AM   #1
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Help with B&W Conversion
Lens: 110mm Camera: K10D ISO: 160 Shutter Speed: 1/200s Aperture: F5.6 

Starting to work on B&W conversions.

Please let me know what you think?

be well,
joe

Attachment 34275


Last edited by joelovotti; 12-15-2010 at 07:22 PM.
05-10-2009, 10:28 AM   #2
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Joe, first of all: this is a nice photo!

I think you didn't choose an easy subject for your B&W conversion! Although I am sitting behind the wrong monitor, I think the photo could use some more contrast, and probably clarity. I hope you don't mind I have given it a try. Please let me know if you don't like your photo abused in this way, and I'll remove it directly!

The only thing I did was adding contrast, and because the photo turned too dark doing so, I pushed exposure a little.
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05-10-2009, 06:08 PM   #3
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Thanks.

I agree with your thoughts but I see the best result somewhere between our two tries.

The issue is I don't want to blow out the white fur in his muzzle.

I used a technique from this months Popular Photography magazine and it seems to work nice.

joe
05-10-2009, 07:40 PM   #4
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To me, a slightly softer focus works with the subject. I get a very "at home" vibe...

05-11-2009, 12:42 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by joelovotti Quote
Thanks.

I agree with your thoughts but I see the best result somewhere between our two tries.

The issue is I don't want to blow out the white fur in his muzzle.

I used a technique from this months Popular Photography magazine and it seems to work nice.

joe
Hi Joe,

I guess it's all about what you want to conceive. One problem with the conversion to B&W is that you have only one "colour" from dark to light instead of a whole palette, and thus a B&W conversion by desaturation only tend to have only little detail. To get the most detail out of your photo, you have to spread the grays all over the dark-light range. Doing this too eagerly will result in blown out highlights and darks without detail in deed. In my opinion, this is not so much of a problem, as long as these areas are limited, and the main subject has enough details.

Back to your photo. The exposure is very good, and you have a lot of space to use the whole dynamic range between light and dark. The chance of loosing detail in the highlights or the blacks is small, if you only push contrast moderately, as I did. Personaly, I would push it even more (probably much more...). The only advise I can give is: try it, and try it into the extremes even. Not to keep the photos, but just for learning. See what happens. It's fun. Give it a try!

And in the meantime: your photo is your photo, and you have to convert it the way you like! And once again, I like this shot very much!

All the best,
Rense

EDIT: Is it just my monitor, or my eyes: has the photo a red haze?
05-11-2009, 05:33 PM   #6
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It's actually a split tone image in LR. The highlights are red and the shadows are blue. If your seeing red I need to dial it back a bit.

The article in Pop Photo suggests:
Dial in Exposure
Convert to Grayscale
Use the Color Sliders in the HSL tab to manipulate the contrast in the image
Go back and adjust white balance
Fine tune the contras and brightness
Adjust Clarity
Add Split Tone (very subtle)

I'll post the color version of this photo as manipulated with the above technique. I've got to get it from another computer.
05-11-2009, 05:45 PM   #7
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Color Version of Orig Photo

This is the original color photo after all the adjustments in the above post than unchecking the grayscale conversion.
Attachment 34415

Last edited by joelovotti; 12-15-2010 at 07:22 PM.
05-12-2009, 12:18 PM   #8
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First, great capture, and a good candidate to convert to black and white!

I can't advise much on your conversion technique (I use Picasa's filterconversion and that's as complication I can manage), but I find that BW photo's benefit alot from increased contrast. Whenever I convert an image to BW I always increase the dark areas. This doesn't blow the highlights but does increase contrast. I must say I prefer Rense's version.

05-12-2009, 10:52 PM   #9
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I think this technique described above is extremely poor. All effective colour to black and white digital work flows have some reliance on contrast adjustment.

This process described above seems to eliminate contrast. The image has become almost monotone creating hues of similar chromatic value. Removing all colour interpolation - greyscale - and there's just not much to work with.

The photo itself, otherwise fine, does not appear suitable for effective black and white conversion: mid-tone cat against mid-tone background, similar chromatic values, inherently does not offer the contrast required when the chromatic values are rendered in monotone.

Generally, effective black and white conversion from colour workflow should exaggerate to some degree the chromatic value range in colour mode then convert to black and white by myriad methods in order to establish suitable tonal contrast. Then go into toning: filters, split, duo, tri, tone, etc.

This is why photoshop's "channel mixer" is most often recommended: easiest method to play with the exisiting colour modes' wide dynamic range while seeing changes in real time to the chromatic values. With experience, the channel mixer becomes disappointing, giving way to myriad other black and white conversion workflows.
05-13-2009, 08:40 AM   #10
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Just my version...

I personally like very contrasty b&w images. Here is my take on your photo, hope you don't mind.



Photoshop: desaturate, +80 contrast, +40 brightness
05-14-2009, 05:28 PM   #11
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There's now three B&W conversions of my pic in this thread and I like them all. Each has a different feel and I think that's what I'm taking away from this.

With B&W conversions you can more easily create mood in an image. The three looks above show that pretty well.

Thanks to all for your thoughts and ideas.

be well
joe
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