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Help with B/W portrait

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  #11  
Old 09-12-2006, 10:46 PM
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lkroll lkroll is offline
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For skin tones, try reducing mid-tones.

Hey Mike,

From all the reading and other folks who are much better at conversions then I am, I've found the reducing skin mid-tones gives more flattering results in the b/w realm. I used Fotomatic's Pseudo-IR filter with adjusted opacity to do this rendering this time (I like to experiment). I used a Tachyon method to remove the colors (Tachyon set to 50% and merged down. Set the resulting layer to Grain Extract; yes I'm using GIMP).

Sorry for the high compression noise; I would post a better one if you supply the full hirez version (original no retouch color of course). The one you linked is a little out of focus, probably due to downsizing.
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  #12  
Old 09-13-2006, 08:39 AM
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Flora Flora is offline
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Hi,

Roger,

*thank you so much* for sharing your B&W conversion technique!

Even though I love B&W pictures, I don't do many conversions so I'm kind of 'newbie' in this ...

Before seeing your file with the Color Balance A.L. on top (which is excellent!!), I tried two methods here:
  • in the first, I used the method you described ...
    Quote:
    create a solid color adjustment layer, set it's color to black, change the blending mode of this adjustment layer to color.
    ... followed by Levels and Curves Adjustment Layers to balance Shadows/Highlights and a final light sharpening... (Attachment 1)

  • in the second I used DigiDaan's Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layers technique, followed, as before, by Levels and Curves Adjustment Layers to balance Shadows/Highlights and a final light sharpening... (Attachment 2)

I would really like your opinion on the two conversions I made ...

Thanks in advance...
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File Type: jpg F_91486735-La.jpg (97.7 KB, 29 views)
File Type: jpg F_91486735-Lb.jpg (97.8 KB, 32 views)
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  #13  
Old 09-13-2006, 10:45 AM
Pam Pam is offline
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Whichever conversion method you choose will require some further adjustments on this image. It's rare that the image needs no further adjusting after the initial conversion to b+w.

What makes a good b+w? Generally, you want to have some pure black and some pure white in the image to give it some "punch". You want the majority of shadows and highlights to not be blocked up, that is, to not appear as large solid patches of white or black. Highlights should have some texture and shadows some detail. You don't want skin to appear "muddy". Of course, to achieve the look you want, you may have to throw all these guidelines out the window You are the final judge.

On this I used the channel mixer, made some curves adjustments, dodging and burning and some shadow/highlight adjustments:

B+W conversion after adjustments

This is how the initial conversion looked before adjusting. I used R - 30, G - 59 and B - 11. A good base for portraits is usually in the range of R - 30, G - 70. Play around with the sliders from there:

Initial B+W conversion


--
Pam
http://www.pbase.com/pam_r
'art is working on something 'til you like it...then leaving it that way'
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  #14  
Old 09-15-2006, 12:08 AM
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roger_ele roger_ele is offline
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Hi Flora,

You are welcome! As you know with this stuff there is no right or wrong. My taste, I like the one with the lighter skin on the girl - should be number one on the left.

I ran a whole bunch of tests, the LAB luminosity method gives the same results as any! of the other rgb conversion methods when the conversion method is changed to color blend mode and a curves layer is added to lighten the image. The amount of lightening changed depending on the image.

These methods include ... hue/saturation adj layer, Solid color adj layer, channel mixer adj layer, gradient map adj layer, or any of these on the image with fade to color blend mode (or fill with black and fade to color blend mode).

The easiest way to get the advantage of the color mixer adjustment layer with out the sweat is any of the methods' adjustment layers on top set to color blend mode, put just below this layer a hue/saturation adjustment layer in normal blend mode (or luminosity ) - move the hue slider and watch the relationships between the tones change ...

Have fun!
Roger
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  #15  
Old 09-15-2006, 06:00 AM
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Flora Flora is offline
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Thank you so much again, Roger!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by roger_ele
Have fun!
... I'm sure I will ...
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  #16  
Old 09-15-2006, 02:35 PM
Brash Brash is offline
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This is great! There is such an astonishing depth of knowledge here. Roger, you have done a great job on Mike's photo. Thank you for sharing your expertise. I look forward to trying the technique on my own colour photos. I have so much to learn, and this seems to be the place to do it!
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  #17  
Old 09-15-2006, 10:27 PM
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roger_ele roger_ele is offline
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Thanks Brash, Welcome to RP. I have learned tons here and feel very lucky to be part of this group ... please kick you shoes off, wiggle your toes and feel at home!
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