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Black & white

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  #1  
Old 02-10-2011, 10:28 PM
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daygraphics daygraphics is offline
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Black & white

I am working on a portrait and after really cleaning it up, and color correcting it to my satisfaction (and hopefully the customers), the customer tells me he want a nice Black & White for his final. Now that is not always so easy to accomplish after the fact. The subjects were all wearing WHITE shirts with a light neutral canvas backdrop. Conversion made them all darker (fleshtones) than their clothes and their surroundings and rather flat. I alternately adjusted using the black and white adjustment control, and built up layers, using varying density masks to achieve a more dramatic black and white final. This can certainly be a subjective call, as my wife likes the straight Grayscale conversion while I prefer the route I went. Give me your opinions...

www.daygraphics.net/GRAY_CONV.jpg
www.daygraphics.net/BW_ADJUST.jpg
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Old 02-11-2011, 03:02 AM
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Re: Black & white

i prefer the adjustments, the before seamed to have way to much white, and made it eye-straining to look at because it lacked depth. I really like what you have done here.
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Old 02-11-2011, 11:35 AM
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Re: Black & white

Your render is very good. Of course it also depends on what the customer wants, and everyone has a different touch when hands on. When i do a B & W work I use to add a blue thin film (or filter) with very low density in order to give it some punch, but then again, depends on the portrait.

Last edited by Boneappetit; 02-11-2011 at 01:01 PM.
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Old 02-11-2011, 01:13 PM
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Re: Black & white

Nice job DG. I'd like somewhere in between the two! 'Adjust' has the better contrast/interest but conv has better tone for my tastes. I'd like to try a tritone with black and two greys on this one as in arty B/W compositions. Bad luck with the Steelers!
R.
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Old 02-11-2011, 01:57 PM
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Re: Black & white

Some good suggestions. I think I agree with all of them. I'll rework it a bit and see if I can't implement your input. Thank you very much. Yeah RM... it was a "sad day" in the burgh. But hey, life goes on.
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Old 03-03-2011, 07:01 PM
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Re: Black & white

Personally, I don't think either one is an acceptable black and white conversion method for this image. They are both very flat and dead looking. Can you post a color version so we can see exactly what you were working with? It would make it easier to give you a recommendation on the method.

Without seeing the original photo, I'd recommend a channel mixer adjustment layer set to monochrome with the values at about <70,80,-40,0> as a starting point, this will brighten up the skin tones without blowing out the shirts too badly.

If you need to dodge and burn, do so on the original color layer, don't flatten the image and then try to dodge or burn, you'll get better results.

Sorry I'm late to the game on this one, but hopefully it can help you the next time a client wants a black and white image.

Cheers,
Michael

PS, Attaching a sample of a person with tanned skin and a white t-shirt to demonstrate the difference between the techniques.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg D25_6917.jpg (89.6 KB, 44 views)
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  #7  
Old 03-04-2011, 11:12 AM
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Re: Black & white

Hi Michael,

Thanks for the input. I am actually struggling with this one because of the very fact that you mention. The family's flesh tones are darker than the white shirts and backdrop. Any/all conversions and filters, curves, passes, etc. that I've tried have left me wanting. If this were for print, I would have a clearer idea of what I want and need - given the printing specs, press conditions, dot gain and what-not, but this is ultimately for photographic output.

Also, if I knew they were going for a black & white, I would have had the photographer set up his lighting differently - with more dramatic key light(s) and maybe more fill (particularly on the light side of face areas).

If you would like to have a go at it - go right ahead.

www.daygraphics.net/FAMILY.jpg

Interesting to note that the example you've shown looks to overall light and actually somewhat flat for me, but maybe it is the direction I need to head. Thank you for your suggestions. Maybe I can get something that I like - and most importantly - the client.

Last edited by daygraphics; 03-04-2011 at 11:53 AM.
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Old 03-04-2011, 11:48 AM
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Re: Black & white

Dargraphics, the link to your image does not function.
Regards, Murray
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  #9  
Old 03-04-2011, 11:52 AM
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Talking Re: Black & white

Garsh darn-it, you are right Murray. CAPS... that's it!!! Those darn Capital letters!!!

www.daygraphics.net/FAMILY.jpg
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Old 03-04-2011, 01:16 PM
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Re: Black & white

I also think the gray conversion is too flat and prefer your targeted B&W version. I think it is headed in the right direction but still lacks a bit of punch.
So I tried adding some microcontrast and shadow/highlight inversion. I did so rather agressively. However if you or your client likes that style, you could produce a version somewhere in between the two. With conversions to B&W, there are so many tastes different people have. Sometimes it is best to show the customer several styles and see what they like.
Attached is a screenshot of my sample and the link is to a higher res version.
http://www.divshare.com/download/14226455-afc
Regards, Murray
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File Type: jpg Daygraphics Family MM Screenshot.jpg (152.2 KB, 41 views)
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