View Full Version : Sharp Portraits with Contrast

08-31-2005, 05:52 AM
Hi - I use an EOS 350D and want to do more portrait photography. However when I shoot in B&W I never seem to get the really good contrast and clarity that others seem to get

(see here for an example http://www.trekearth.com/gallery/Asia/Nepal/photo223475.htm)

Min are OK but more along the lines of subtle greys and whites. I have tried a higher ISO and changed the aperture with not much effect. Does anyone have any ideas?


Norm in Fujino
08-31-2005, 06:10 AM
Does anyone have any ideas?

First, a question: how are you doing your B/W conversion? If you're merely using the in-camera b/w setting or lowering saturation to 0 in photoshop alone, that may be one reason. If you haven't, try some of the methods described in this tutorial:


I found my b/w conversions looked much better after reading this. Other tricks include brightening the subject's eyes and applying unsharp mask.

Good luck.

08-31-2005, 08:02 AM
(see here for an example http://www.trekearth.com/gallery/Asia/Nepal/photo223475.htm)

Three things that make this picture so great:

From the camera -
- The photog used a lens that is known for sharpness and contrast, the Canon 24-70L.
- The photog positioned himself/the subject so that the sun backlit the hair, and filled in the face with a flash or reflector. By getting enough fill in the face the photog was able to bring out the contrast.

In PS -
- The photog used toning rather than a plain desaturation to make the photo have a strong charcoal tone and (I imagine) used USM and Contrast controls to up the contrast even more. I'd be willing to bet that he whitened the teeth a bit as well.

Great combination of in-camera and PS techniques made for an exceptional photo.

09-01-2005, 02:28 PM
Thanks guys - I'm actually shooting using the monochrome in feature in the EOS350D but the photioshop tips are really good. I'll give it a go!