October 01, 2014, 05:19:58 AM

Author Topic: B&W Process  (Read 1993 times)

distant.star

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B&W Process
« on: August 06, 2014, 05:42:15 PM »
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Okay, I'll start with a question.

What provides the best results for B&W processing?

Doing it in LR is straightforward and gives adequate results.

I've never been able to get what I wanted out of Silver Efex Pro, and I don't know why. It seems by far the most sophisticated.

Lastly, I've recently tried Color Efex Pro B&W conversion. So, far this is giving me the best results. It seems more straightforward than Silver Efex and the effects are more obvious.

So, that's my experience so far.
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B&W Process
« on: August 06, 2014, 05:42:15 PM »

Canon1

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Re: B&W Process
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2014, 06:10:01 PM »
I really like silver efex pro. Admittedly I rarely do custom stuff, the presets are really great and I usually find one that just works perfectly with the image I'm converting. Occasionally i will adjust the sliders a little, but most of the time I "try on" the presets until I find the one that "fits".

climber

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Re: B&W Process
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2014, 06:24:25 PM »
I will give you an example of B&W post processing in the link below. Before B&W conversion, author here first adjusted luminosity contrast and colour contrast. He was using quite complicated approach, so if you are not familiar with photoshop, this could be too complicated. But the point is, to achieve the best luminosity and colour contrast before making B&W image.

Here is the tutorial:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKhBPT724No&feature=youtu.be

notapro

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Re: B&W Process
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2014, 07:36:28 PM »
I’ll throw out an answer here, but make no claim as to whether anything I write makes for best results in processing black and white images.

I open my images in Photoshop (CC or CC 2014), which pulls up Adobe Camera RAW.  After any adjustments for lens distortion/vignetting are done (if they’re done), I’ll convert an image to grayscale.  I find that for my “style” (taste/preference/aesthetic/whatever), punching up the clarity renders an image with something of a visual impact or presence.

I’ll start with increasing the clarity to +20, for example,  just to see what sort of effect it has.  I’ll then increase or decrease the value, or leave it at 0 (zero).

After a clarity adjustment, I may drop the blacks to -10 or -20, again, depending on what it does to the image and on what “look” (aesthetic/”vibe”/feel/etc.) I wish to portray.  As with the clarity, I may leave the blacks setting at 0, or even increase it to some positive value.

I then move to the contrast, and it may be anywhere from 0 to 30, or as high as 40, all depending on how I wish to present the final image.

I’ll adjust the whites and highlights to remove bright spots or areas that may appear “too hot”.  Adjusting the exposure can have a similar effect.  It depends on where the bright areas are in an image.  With a grey, overcast sky, the sky in an image might appear rather white (blown out, even), and attempts to lower the bright look of an overcast sky may render the subject in an image too dark, underexposed, non-vivid, more muted and less detailed in its appearance, or present it other similar ways.

An example of where I left the sky “hot” is in this image:

http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=1286.105

(page 8 in Image & Video Galleries »Black & White »Your best Architectural & City B&W shots).

Climber’s link (in the third post of this thread) shows what strikes me as a judicious processing of an image with a dull, overcast sky.  For my image, in the shot I had at the moment, details in the clouds were not apparent (it was mighty cloudy).  Still, I believe that following the example of the editor in Climber’s link might have benefitted the look of the sky in my shot.  Presented with a choice of the two images, though–one processed more extensively in the manner of the editor in Climber’s link, the other as I processed it–I would roll the dice as to which image I liked more.  I know that I would like both images.  I like having the white background look in my image, but I am confident that I would like and appreciate any details in the sky for the same image.

I want to mention, as Climber does, that color is important, and that I get the color image to where I think it’s “right” before I convert it to grayscale.  I noticed one day that, depending on the color settings, the grayscale settings would be different for any given image.  I tended to like more the grayscale conversions of images that were set “rightly” in color than those that were not so set, or than those that were left untouched.

I have also gone along “opposite” routes in my black and white processing, in accordance with the aesthetic and style I wished to present.  This image has at least one of the settings I’ve mentioned at -100:

www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=1195.330

(page 23 of the thread, the “gentle eye” photo)

As always for me, my processing proceeds in accordance with the sort of aesthetic element(s), feel, or aspect(s) that I wish to portray.  To offer a bit more about my perspective, I pursue photography as art, and not necessarily or only as a means of recording or capturing before me “just or strictly” what my eyes or the eyes of others might see.  Notwithstanding my approach, I err more generally on the side of relatively conservative processing for photographs in color that are “supposed to look like something/supposed to look like what the photographed subjects are” over changing their appearance more radically–as in the “gentle-“ and “aggressive eye” photos in the post I’ve referenced, though both photographs are undeniably of eyes.  The eye photos are in black and white, and for black and white images, my approach in processing is relatively less conservative than it is for ones in color.

I look forward to learning of what others do in their processing of black and white images.  It is nice to see the addition of this post processing section to Canon Rumors.

mackguyver

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Re: B&W Process
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2014, 10:23:34 AM »
I spent years doing B&W conversions using the various incarnations of PhotoShop's tools for this, starting with conversions in the LAB color space before they added the convert to B&W stuff.  PS wasn't always so sophisticated :)

These days, I have lots of tools including Nik Silver Efex Pro, which I have had limited success with as well.  My favorite tool in recent years is DxO Filmpack.  I find that many of the profiles get me the look I'm wanting, or do with some minor tweaking.  The chemists with Agfa, Fuji, Ilford, and Kodak spent many years coming up with those looks so I think there's something to them.

distant.star

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Re: B&W Process
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2014, 02:18:27 PM »
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Thanks for the good words on DxO Filmpacks. I've had other people say it works well.

Do they ever lower their price for sales or such?

Also, how might you think it compares to Nik Analog Efex? I've played a little bit with this, but not B&W.
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mackguyver

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Re: B&W Process
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2014, 02:24:21 PM »
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Thanks for the good words on DxO Filmpacks. I've had other people say it works well.

Do they ever lower their price for sales or such?

Also, how might you think it compares to Nik Analog Efex? I've played a little bit with this, but not B&W.
Yes, they have sales fairly frequently, but I think the most recent one ended on 7/31.  Sorry, but there should be another along soon, probably around Photokina time, if they follow patterns of the past.  I think the profiles are quite a bit better than Nik's based on how they create them and the interface is a lot easier to use.  You can download a free trial and play around with it.

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Re: B&W Process
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2014, 02:24:21 PM »

zim

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Re: B&W Process
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2014, 04:00:44 PM »
you can get filmpack 3 essential for free, not the full package but still good

https://www.dxo.com/intl/sony


mackguyver

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Re: B&W Process
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2014, 04:14:31 PM »
you can get filmpack 3 essential for free, not the full package but still good

https://www.dxo.com/intl/sony
I didn't realize they were still giving that away - thanks for sharing that for everyone else! 

anthonyd

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Re: B&W Process
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2014, 04:56:56 PM »
If you are not afraid to experiment a bit, and/or you have a limited budget, let me recommend "Gimp".  It is open source software that aims to provide Photoshop like functionality.   Photoshop lovers hate it, but I won't enter that religious war, it does what it does.
Anyway, it offers you a channel mixer option, where you can create a B&W image from a single RGB channel, or any custom combination of channels you want (i.e. 80% R + 15% G + 5% B).  You can even use negative values, which in some cases it makes sense (e.g., negative blue if you want to darken that bright purple shirt that your model was wearing without affecting the skin tone).

If you go down this route, you might also want to install the "g'mic" plugin and play with its channel mixer.  That one allows you to mix in different colorspaces (CMYK, HSV, Lab, RGB and YCbCr).

Happy hacking.

lintoni

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Re: B&W Process
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2014, 05:53:21 PM »
you can get filmpack 3 essential for free, not the full package but still good

https://www.dxo.com/intl/sony
Excellent! Thanks for the link!
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lintoni

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Re: B&W Process
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2014, 06:01:40 PM »
If you are not afraid to experiment a bit, and/or you have a limited budget, let me recommend "Gimp".  It is open source software that aims to provide Photoshop like functionality.   Photoshop lovers hate it, but I won't enter that religious war, it does what it does.
Anyway, it offers you a channel mixer option, where you can create a B&W image from a single RGB channel, or any custom combination of channels you want (i.e. 80% R + 15% G + 5% B).  You can even use negative values, which in some cases it makes sense (e.g., negative blue if you want to darken that bright purple shirt that your model was wearing without affecting the skin tone).

If you go down this route, you might also want to install the "g'mic" plugin and play with its channel mixer.  That one allows you to mix in different colorspaces (CMYK, HSV, Lab, RGB and YCbCr).

Happy hacking.
G'MIC plugin also includes various film emulation filters, including some b+w.

Some more on that at the link:

http://blog.patdavid.net/2013/08/film-emulation-presets-in-gmic-gimp.html
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distant.star

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Re: B&W Process
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2014, 06:47:18 PM »
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Interesting, I never thought about Gimp. It was the first program I used for photos, and I still use it today for some things. I'll have to explore the B&W possibilities.


If you are not afraid to experiment a bit, and/or you have a limited budget, let me recommend "Gimp".  It is open source software that aims to provide Photoshop like functionality.   Photoshop lovers hate it, but I won't enter that religious war, it does what it does.
Anyway, it offers you a channel mixer option, where you can create a B&W image from a single RGB channel, or any custom combination of channels you want (i.e. 80% R + 15% G + 5% B).  You can even use negative values, which in some cases it makes sense (e.g., negative blue if you want to darken that bright purple shirt that your model was wearing without affecting the skin tone).

If you go down this route, you might also want to install the "g'mic" plugin and play with its channel mixer.  That one allows you to mix in different colorspaces (CMYK, HSV, Lab, RGB and YCbCr).

Happy hacking.
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Re: B&W Process
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2014, 06:47:18 PM »

DominoDude

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Re: B&W Process
« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2014, 08:06:11 PM »
you can get filmpack 3 essential for free, not the full package but still good

https://www.dxo.com/intl/sony

Thanks for that tip, zim! Might check that one out.


I don't have that much of a process myself; one day I feel the need to create ultra-contrasty, moody B/W's, other days they end up hazy, with low contrast and overexposed. And I'm never smart enough to write down what I did and how I was thinking (if at all).
For future experiments, not specifically in B/W, I've started to look for other SW - Gimp has been mentioned, but to that I can add DarkTable (www.darktable.org), and Photivo (photivo.org). Perhaps it can give some of you ideas for new or better ways to process B/W.
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stephan00

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Re: B&W Process
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2014, 02:39:49 PM »
According the the site which comes up after getting the free version of FilmPack 3, they do have an ongoing sale of version 4 until August 15th:

essential 49 (instead of 79)
expert 99 (129)

So still a few days to tinker around with version 3 to see whether you like it  :)

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Re: B&W Process
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2014, 02:39:49 PM »