PDA

View Full Version : B&W Conversion Help



rawpaw18
08-17-2008, 05:54 AM
Not sure what to do to kick black and whites up a notch. A couple of attempts from my recent vacation.
I introduced a lot of noise bringing up the blue channel, and basically tried to cover the dr in the histogram without much clipping.
Any advice would be helpful.


http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3292/2770821432_5cd6f0a5b2_o.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3271/2770820354_dce155dee8_o.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3123/2770819022_d88b097451_o.jpg

JTL
08-17-2008, 09:55 AM
Rich...

I would run them through some NR, than crank up the contrast and sharpness to bring out the tonal differences between the areas (so that it doesn't look so monochromatic) and to bring out the details, e.g....

http://jtl.smugmug.com/photos/353412300_Kq3Gh-L.jpg

The same technique could be applied to all of the shots to give them a little more punch...

ColColt
08-17-2008, 10:01 AM
I don't know about the D50 but the D80 has B/W filters you can use for changing the contrast. Yellow, being the more mild of the lot and one I'd use for any B/W shots in general, personally, Orange(good for clouds/landscape, Green (I've used this for portraits in old B/W film cameras) and Red which is the strongest of all. Of course, you have to wade through the menu to find it but, the filters are there.

JTL
08-17-2008, 10:54 AM
Although, I would never shoot black and white in-camera. I always shoot color and then convert later...you have infinitely more control that way...

I understand that some people might want to shoot B&W in-camera in order to see the image immediately on the LCD...but that is a small convenience to give up in order the gain unlimited flexibility later in the process...;)

Especially if you shoot RAW, any B&W filter/film effect can be better applied (and selectively applied) in post processing.

herc182
08-17-2008, 12:58 PM
Not sure what to do to kick black and whites up a notch. A couple of attempts from my recent vacation.
I introduced a lot of noise bringing up the blue channel, and basically tried to cover the dr in the histogram without much clipping.
Any advice would be helpful.


http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3292/2770821432_5cd6f0a5b2_o.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3271/2770820354_dce155dee8_o.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3123/2770819022_d88b097451_o.jpg

Rawpaw. I must admit that the first two shots dont really look right in B&W. I did the same thing and realised it wasnt the right kind of photo for black and white.

I have just got Alien Skin Exposure 2 and would HIGHLY recommend it for converting to B&W. I really dont like JTL's conversion. THere is severe halos on the clouds.

JTL
08-17-2008, 01:09 PM
I really dont like JTL's conversion. THere is severe halos on the clouds.It was a quick and dirty 15 second conversion to illustrate a point of how the foreground elements could be more clearly defined and not meant to be perfect, hence the "e.g." :rolleyes:

It could be done it perfectly using layers, but it's not my image and I'm not investing the time...;)

herc182
08-17-2008, 02:35 PM
sorry JTL. Didnt mean to offend.

rawpaw18
08-17-2008, 08:43 PM
Wow thanks for the responses, I was hoping you all thought these were perfect and wish you could do the same:D yeah right!


Rich...

I would run them through some NR, than crank up the contrast and sharpness to bring out the tonal differences between the areas (so that it doesn't look so monochromatic) and to bring out the details, e.g....



Appreciate you giving so freely of your time, I only used Lightroom noise reduction til it was maxed out. Was wondering should you shoot with a polarizer if you thought you would convert to B&W


I don't know about the D50 but the D80 has B/W filters you can use for changing the contrast. None of those features on a D50, But I did find using the color sliders in Lightroom changed things dramatically. Yellows worked good for the greens and the blue obviously the sky.


Rawpaw. I must admit that the first two shots dont really look right in B&W. I did the same thing and realised it wasnt the right kind of photo for black and white.



That was something I was thinking as well, guess it will take a lot of trial and error to figure ahead of time what scenes would convert best. Any help with what I should look for?


It was a quick and dirty 15 second conversion to illustrate a point of how the foreground elements could be more clearly defined and not meant to be perfect, hence the "e.g." :rolleyes:

It could be done it perfectly using layers, but it's not my image and I'm not investing the time...;)

We all know you spent 2 hours minimum on the edit, and I am definitely not worth the time.

Appreciate all the input very much.

Dread Pirate Roberts
08-17-2008, 09:10 PM
I assume you've already tried something as simple as converting from "RGB" to "LAB" colour space. That creates 3 channels - "Lightness", colour "a" and colour "b". The lightness channel is usually a fairly nice B&W.

Rooz
08-17-2008, 09:15 PM
far be it from me to disagree with phil who has a far better eye than me at this sort of thing but i think the lone tree one is a great mono conversion.

i just added a little blue and bumped the contrast here Rich. with more effort you could savet he highlights in the clouds if you were so inclined.

JTL
08-17-2008, 10:42 PM
We all know you spent 2 hours minimum on the edit, and I am definitely not worth the time. All kidding aside, I don't think you can get the result you really want with Lightroom. You need to do some masking layers so as to treat the sky/clouds separately from the rest of the scene and for that you need CS2/CS3...and it would take about 10 to 15 minutes (and some patience in the masking) to do it right...but, it can be done...

Rooz
08-18-2008, 01:25 AM
NX can do that easier than CS3. from my experience anyway.

rawpaw18
08-18-2008, 04:23 AM
DPR, I did not try that at all. Have not read about doing that, is that a ps program?

Thanks for your help Rooz, Going to have to play with it some more.

JTL, I do have original ps but have not worked with layers much, guess i can't take the easy way out anymore.

Thanks again

herc182
08-18-2008, 05:22 AM
NX can do that easier than CS3. from my experience anyway.

I have found that CS3 is the fastest program to use on the market. Corel Paint Shop Pro is very good and cheap but very slow. I have not found NX to be that quick either. Having said that, its all using my laptop which aint the quickest.

Your conversion looks good BTW. The contrast increase makes a good bit of difference!

Dread Pirate Roberts
08-21-2008, 12:59 AM
in photoshop CS2 and 3

pull down menu "image" -> "mode" -> "lab colour"

It will make the three channels for you, the "lightness channel is a very good black and white conversion

rawpaw18
08-21-2008, 04:50 AM
Thanks DPR,
I have cs(1) that I play around with but it is not as user friendly as 2/3
to me. I will try and give it shot.

cvicisso
08-31-2008, 07:06 PM
Rawpaw - I love the second shot and wouldn't change a thing! ;)
Although, I would never shoot black and white in-camera. I always shoot color and then convert later...you have infinitely more control that way...

I understand that some people might want to shoot B&W in-camera in order to see the image immediately on the LCD...but that is a small convenience to give up in order the gain unlimited flexibility later in the process...;)

Especially if you shoot RAW, any B&W filter/film effect can be better applied (and selectively applied) in post processing.JTL - doesn't RAW save the original color data even if you shoot in B/W? I'm asking - I don't really know the answer. I was thinking of shooting RAW+jpg in B/W for that very reason - to have an instant preview on the LCD plus a smallish file (jpg) to compare to later when applying a B/W filter effect to any RAW files that seemed worthy in PP. :confused:

rawpaw18
09-01-2008, 06:34 PM
Thanks for the kind words.

cvicisso
09-05-2008, 10:08 AM
JTL - doesn't RAW save the original color data even if you shoot in B/W? I'm asking - I don't really know the answer. I was thinking of shooting RAW+jpg in B/W for that very reason - to have an instant preview on the LCD plus a smallish file (jpg) to compare to later when applying a B/W filter effect to any RAW files that seemed worthy in PP. :confused:Does anyone know the answer to this? My D70 doesn't have a B&W mode (but my future D90 does:D), so I can't try it out yet.

Thanks in advance.

cvicisso
09-09-2008, 09:35 AM
JTL - doesn't RAW save the original color data even if you shoot in B/W? I'm asking - I don't really know the answer. I was thinking of shooting RAW+jpg in B/W for that very reason - to have an instant preview on the LCD plus a smallish file (jpg) to compare to later when applying a B/W filter effect to any RAW files that seemed worthy in PP. :confused:Maybe one of you lucky peeps with a newer Nikon than me (D40, D300...) can take a shot in B&W/monochrome and check to see if the RAW file still has the color data in Capture NX or whatever else they use for post-processing RAWs? Sorry to keep beating this horse, but I'm really interested in the answer and I can't use my D70 to test it out. Thanks in advance.

rawpaw18
09-13-2008, 04:39 AM
Did you ever get your answer?

cvicisso
09-13-2008, 09:18 AM
Did you ever get your answer?Nope. It's kind of bizarre actually. It really only involves shooting one RAW image in BW/monochrome (D70 can't do this) and then seeing if the color data is there (my guess is YES) in whatever program you use to fiddle with your RAW files. Whaddayasay, Rich - can you hook a brother up? ;)

cvicisso
09-15-2008, 06:20 PM
While I wait for either someone here to shoot a monochrome RAW image or I remember to bring a memory card to the mall next time I'm there (any bets which one will happen first? :p), I decided to fiddle around with some old pics of mine that I thought would look good in B/W...

These shots are all from an old Canon P&S (before my dslr days)... and I'm using a Mac which I have not made friends with yet :mad:... so I'm limited to just the basic iPhoto tweaks (read: not much).

Anyway, just looking for some C&C (sorry to hijack your thread Rich!!). Thanks in advance.

I was actually pretty happy with the colors in this first one before the conversion, but I'm a sucker for B/W and decided to give it a shot anyway:

cvicisso
09-15-2008, 06:30 PM
This next one is clearly overexposed, but I liked it because of the textures of the gnarly tree trunk, and thought that I could perhaps rescue it in monochrome, but I'm not thrilled with the results.

cvicisso
09-15-2008, 06:34 PM
I was happy with the composition in this next one, but the colors didn't really excite me. I personally like this one MUCH better in monochrome, but think it might be too 'bright' on the left hand side??

cvicisso
09-15-2008, 06:41 PM
Last one. Overexposed and I'm not sure if I got too artsy with the composition, but I think the monochrome feels better.

Thanks in advance for any pointers.

Dread Pirate Roberts
09-16-2008, 05:43 AM
That sewer cover keeps drawing my eye off the girl.
Don't know enough to comment on B&W vs colour though.

Rooz
09-16-2008, 06:01 AM
sorry for not answering this sooner. if you shoot in B&W RAW you can switch back to colour in PP. its the same principal with any other picture mode whether its vivid, standard, etc.

nice B&W's. i prefer them to the colour versions. the 2nd one in particualr is very nice. i think it could be alot better with a bit of fiddling around.

cvicisso
09-16-2008, 06:05 AM
That sewer cover keeps drawing my eye off the girl.Thanks Dread - me too now that you mention it. I really like that image for some reason though... maybe I'll take the time to clone out the sewer cover someday.

cvicisso
09-16-2008, 06:19 AM
sorry for not answering this sooner. if you shoot in B&W RAW you can switch back to colour in PP. its the same principal with any other picture mode whether its vivid, standard, etc.Whew! Thanks for confirming that, Rooz. You saved me a trip to the mall.

So, then, back to JTL's post - it seems to me that the 'best' option for shooting B&W (if - like me - you cannot pre-visualize the result in your head) might be to shoot monochrome RAW with whatever digital 'filters,' settings, etc you think will do the trick. That way you get an immediate preview on the LCD, and you can still do the much better conversion to B&W from color later on your computer using the RAW file. Su-weet. :D


nice B&W's. i prefer them to the colour versions. the 2nd one in particualr is very nice. i think it could be alot better with a bit of fiddling around.Thanks Rooz. I like the B&W versions too, and I really hoped that I could do better with that second image. Like you said - maybe with a bit of fiddling (once I learn more about what I should be fiddling with). Also, if I would have had a 'real' camera at the time, I would have loved to reduce the depth of field in the first image. Ah well... these were all just vacation happy snaps with a point-and-shoot, so I'm just happy they turned out decent.

Thanks again Rooz.

Rooz
09-16-2008, 06:39 AM
Rooz, CNX and U-Point to the rescue.

cvicisso
09-16-2008, 07:24 AM
Rooz, CNX and U-Point to the rescue.:eek::eek::eek: Rooz - if you ever get desperate, sleep easy knowing that you could always either be a Capture NX salesman or my wife's personal photographer!! Those are great!! My CNX free trial expired a long time ago, so I haven't played with it for a while. You just convinced me that I should wait no longer. I wonder if I could get any kind of a deal with the D90 purchase?

rawpaw18
09-17-2008, 04:25 AM
Nice conversions Rooz,
Nice shots btw, but it does not look like Virginia Beach:)

cvicisso
09-17-2008, 04:52 AM
Nice conversions Rooz,
Nice shots btw, but it does not look like Virginia Beach:):D Busted.

Thanks Rich. These are from a ski trip a few years ago in Switzerland. We decided to take a day off of skiing and hopped a train into Berne. Everything was closed for some reason (can't remember why now), but we enjoyed ourselves just walking around and taking in the beautiful sights. What a gorgeous city!

Thanks again for the compliment on the shots.