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More control when making black & white conversions

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  #1  
Old 03-16-2011, 10:57 PM
Ishpho Ishpho is offline
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Wink More control when making black & white conversions

So i put together a short tutorial pretty much teaching people how to gain even more control when converting an image to black and white.
Allowing a chance for more control of shadows, highlights and midtones.
Hope you like
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kiOOMrSPMqo
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  #2  
Old 03-17-2011, 04:10 AM
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amica999 amica999 is offline
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Re: More control when making black & white convers

Nice! Thank you.

Although your music choice is nice, it makes it a little difficult to listen to you :-)
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Old 03-17-2011, 03:53 PM
klam klam is offline
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Re: More control when making black & white convers

Thanks for tut
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Old 03-17-2011, 04:57 PM
KTG KTG is offline
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Re: More control when making black & white convers

Annoying music. And there are more than two ways to process into B&W
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Old 03-17-2011, 06:36 PM
mushmush mushmush is offline
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Re: More control when making black & white convers

Thanks for that- as soon as I saw the selective color move it dawned on me what your technique was- pretty crafty
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Old 03-17-2011, 10:15 PM
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Re: More control when making black & white convers

I loved the music, thanks. Oh, what were you saying?
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Old 03-18-2011, 04:43 AM
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MBChamberlain MBChamberlain is offline
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Re: More control when making black & white convers

I am not a fan of the Black and White adjustment, in fact, I instruct my students to avoid it at all costs.

Reducing saturation is the most lossy method of BW conversion, but the Black and White Adjustment is, arguably, the most destructive. Rather than functioning by using the multichannel data, it uses frequency modulation applied to the already lossy desaturated image. (set all the sliders to 50 and compare it to a straight grayscale conversion)

The fundamental problem with this method is that it's basically selecting areas based on color and shifting it up or down to make them brighter or darker. The horrible tonal compression of the method not withstanding, the edges of these selections are prone to severe artifacting.

You can get the exact same, or even better results using the channel mixer instead with a method that utilizes all of the original image data. KTG is correct, there are dozens of methods and techniques for B&W conversion, but the channel mixer is so versatile and efficient, I use it to great effect on 99 out of 100 photos.

Using selective color, dodging, burning, and assorted blending techniques are all very useful for fine-tuning an image underneath a conversion layer.

I am attaching a photo that was converted to B&W using both the channel mixer and the black and white filter, note the severe damage black and white has done trying to handle the transition from the skin to the background. CM also provided better tonal variations and transitions in the skin.

Cheers,
Michael
Attached Images
File Type: jpg cm-vs-bw.jpg (95.6 KB, 85 views)
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Old 03-18-2011, 08:45 AM
Ishpho Ishpho is offline
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Wink Re: More control when making black & white convers

Quote:
Originally Posted by MBChamberlain View Post
I am not a fan of the Black and White adjustment, in fact, I instruct my students to avoid it at all costs.

Reducing saturation is the most lossy method of BW conversion, but the Black and White Adjustment is, arguably, the most destructive. Rather than functioning by using the multichannel data, it uses frequency modulation applied to the already lossy desaturated image. (set all the sliders to 50 and compare it to a straight grayscale conversion)

The fundamental problem with this method is that it's basically selecting areas based on color and shifting it up or down to make them brighter or darker. The horrible tonal compression of the method not withstanding, the edges of these selections are prone to severe artifacting.

You can get the exact same, or even better results using the channel mixer instead with a method that utilizes all of the original image data. KTG is correct, there are dozens of methods and techniques for B&W conversion, but the channel mixer is so versatile and efficient, I use it to great effect on 99 out of 100 photos.

Using selective color, dodging, burning, and assorted blending techniques are all very useful for fine-tuning an image underneath a conversion layer.

I am attaching a photo that was converted to B&W using both the channel mixer and the black and white filter, note the severe damage black and white has done trying to handle the transition from the skin to the background. CM also provided better tonal variations and transitions in the skin.

Cheers,
Michael
Technically they work in the same way, I'm pushing the information in the channels manually while the channel mixer does it automaticaly by blending the different channels
so it's not better or worse
Channels do it manually and provide even more control and allow you to be even more specific. *Paraphrasing Natalia*

more than one way to skin a cat
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Old 03-18-2011, 08:47 AM
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Re: More control when making black & white convers

@MB - Can you post the colour version please.
R.
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  #10  
Old 03-20-2011, 10:02 PM
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MBChamberlain MBChamberlain is offline
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Re: More control when making black & white convers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ishpho View Post
Technically they work in the same way, I'm pushing the information in the channels manually while the channel mixer does it automaticaly by blending the different channels
so it's not better or worse...

...more than one way to skin a cat
Sorry it's taken me a couple of days to get back to you, I've been out of town on a gig.

They don't even come close to working the same way. For the time being, we will ignore the selective color part of your video... this is a viable technique I've been recommending for fine tuning black and white since `04.

The black and white adjustment doesn't actually use the color data in the conversion. It only uses color data to control which areas of the grayscale conversion get modulated and by how much. It is the channel mixer that performs the mix manually.

I very rarely make universal statements when it comes to retouching techniques, because most of them have viable uses. I think we can universally agree that a flat grayscale conversion is a very bad thing. I also think we can universally agree that compressing your tonal data is a bad thing as well.

I wrote a brief but detailed analysis of the Black and White adjustment shortly after it first came out in which I started with the formula that the black and white tool uses and break it down to examine exactly how it completes its tasks. I've uploaded it to my web site for you guys to check out...I'd post it here, but it's 350k.

I agree that there is more than one way to skin a cat, but I also feel that some ways are undeniable superior to others. Because the cat imagery is unappealing, I will use an orange as an example instead... but there is a big difference between pealing an orange with a paring knife and pealing an orange with a chain saw. One has a clean outcome and the other has a very, very big mess to clean up.

In your video, you complain about the lack of control the black and white adjustment gives you. My point is that it is because the black and white adjustment itself is simply based on a completely flawed principle. All I'm suggesting is that if you are having to make drastic adjustments to an image as simple to convert as the one you demonstrated just to get an acceptable result, you have to consider that the tool your using just plain doesn't work like it should and you should consider working with a different tool.

And of course, you are welcome to take everything I say with a grain of salt and keep doing it whatever way you want to do it. That's what we're all about here, sharing our knowledge and experience so that everyone can make informed choices when they pick up the pen.

Oh, and I probably should have said this previously, but welcome to the community, I look forward to your input, though in future videos I recommend pulling the music down a bit, it's a bit overpowering.

Repairman: I'm attaching the color version of that photo for you as you requested.

Cheers,
Michael
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File Type: jpg orig.jpg (93.5 KB, 27 views)
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