Group 39 Bulletin Board

2 threads - 8 total comments

This page is dedicated to discussions about our theme (Monochrome) that are outside the scope of our monthly images.

Thread Title: Blake Rudis on B&W Processing

Tom Pickering   Tom Pickering   Posted: 01/09/2021 16:36:39

Thread Title: Monochrome Conversion Techniques

M. Arfan Asif   M. Arfan Asif
There are various process flows to convert our color images to monochrome using different software. Can all members here share their preferred technique.
I use Adobe Photoshop > Image > Adjustment > Black & White > then I use the 6 levels of R,Y,G,C,B & M and work to achieve a desired effect for a particular tone and contrast. I am aware of the other techniques like conversion in CameraRaw, PS>Image>Mode>Grayscale apart from third party Nik, Topaz, etc. Let's discuss on this topic if and only if our Admin Dave agrees.   Posted: 05/26/2020 04:12:41
Steve Knight   Steve Knight
I'm using this same method more and more. Once I get the image close I will then sometimes use a levels adjustment layer to dial in what I'm looking for along with masking and burning/dodging specific areas as needed for tuning the image. I seem to be relying on this method more and using Silver Efex less.   Posted: 05/26/2020 19:30:50
Paul Hoffman   Paul Hoffman
I must admit I have more than one way of converting the image, it depends on the opening tonality of the image itself. But my favourite way is this.
All my images start in Lightroom so I will do basic tonal shit and convert to monochrome in there owing to the inclusion of the extra colour channels, especially orange. This comes in to play very handily with portraits, sunrises and sunsets.
I will then take it through to PS and using luminosity masks I will balance and tones the individual tonal areas, using this I can get very selective to the areas I want to effect.
With images that don't require so much orange and red, I would covert using Arfan way.   Posted: 05/27/2020 10:06:06
David Halgrimson   David Halgrimson
I use Lightroom for most of my post processing and then check out the B&W version in LR, if it looks like it will work I then use Topaz Silver Efex Pro 2. I go through a number of the presets to find one I like the best for the image. Then I make adjustments starting from the prefix I like. After I may make additional adjustments back in LR.   Posted: 05/27/2020 14:26:10
Vincent Cochain   Vincent Cochain
I use Lightroom (LR) to go in B&W, after the classical adjustments (objectives, crop, ...). After I adjust the level of different colors to treat the image as I like. After I can use Silver Effect Pro (SEP) to obtain a special effect. I usually try different presets, even if I usually use maybe 10 of them. I can make also adjustments at a preset. I come back in LR, and some adjustments can be done again. I don't use SEP for the portrait. I never reached a good result...
I don't use PS for the B&W.   Posted: 05/29/2020 01:12:27
Larry Crook   Larry Crook
I usually open the file in Photoshop and crop and use "image>adjust>levels to eliminate flat areas in the histogram then I open the file in Silver Effex Pro2 and make all the adjustments in that program.   Posted: 06/03/2020 11:42:30
Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
Regarding Digital Color Conversion: My method has always been based on Making the Color Image the best I can, as I remember, and including the emotional factor experienced at the time of capture.

After Deleting Dust I open (PSCC-Camera-Raw) and overall Exposure Adjustments are made first. Then I approach each color separately: this includes correction to color-cast (if applicable) and also adjusting chromatic-luminance so colors fit/mate well with each other. (Note I rarely over saturate colors). Next, if applicable, in Color Efex Pro-4 I apply "gentle" polarizing filter. (Note, I will begin using more often these types of glass filter in the field to obtain far more better results). Then I move to Silver Efex Pro-2 for all my BW conversion work.

Briefly, I love the Isolated Adjustment Tool for more and precise exposure correction. I actually never touch the "Structure" slider and if I do its to DECREASE, not add "structure". This is prevent the hyper-reality aesthetic I am so opposed to.

Most important to create and illuminate the entire composition into a specific visual aesthetic, I look at the frame through all the Color Filters. (In many cases, each one shows a terrible result, as such No Color Filter is used in those circumstances).

Custom Toning: a signature to 98 percent of my BW work is through (one) custom tone. Actually, soon as the piece Opens in SEFP-2, I change to this Custom Tone before any work is performed.

(After A 5-10 Minute Break)*, back in PSCC I look over very carefully Exposure Details, dust and other digital artifacts (like a fried pixel, (red or yellow spot) for example) are deleted.

Lastly, I go back into Camera Raw and add Sharpening Adjustment, if necessary. I use these features very lightly, carefully, if at all. Remember, do your Sharpening only after all other adjustments are made, as most algorithms in this feature are based on individual pixels: so I make sure all my adjustments are complete before subjecting pixels to this process.

*It is so important to step back from the monitor (I use a 36" diagonal screen) to rest the eyes and re-set our vision as it were. Another practice is to stand and walk back a few inches (or feet) from the monitor to get a better sense of it projection of details or the lack there of. This is even more important to consider when shooting and editing film compositions. (50 percent of my work is now film based).

Once you get use to any process, the process is rather completed in a very timely manner.   Posted: 12/11/2020 06:03:41

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