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Thread: Post-processing B&W with Silver Efex Pro

  1. #1
    rob marshall

    Post-processing B&W with Silver Efex Pro

    I've been experimenting (imagine Frankenstein and electrodes...) with B&W processing. Originally I was using standard presets in SEP, or just changing the sliders on the right, but I tried this method this morning.

    Here is the original RAW SOOC. It's Laugharne beach. the boathouse on the left is where Dylan Thomas wrote most of his work.

    Post-processing B&W with Silver Efex Pro

    I did some editing in RAW (CS5)
    Post-processing B&W with Silver Efex Pro

    In CS5 I added an SEP layer with a 'neutral' preset, then flattened it. This was just to get a base B&W image. I think all neutral does is just map the colours to a standard B&W scale of tonality.

    I then selected the sky using the magic wand tool and used Levels to give a bit more pop to the sky. Then I inverted the selection and ran SEP again. This time I selected 'high structure' preset and when it went back to CS5 it only applied it to the selected area (all areas except the sky). I didn't want the sky high structured as it's too harsh. I then changed the blend mode to luminosity (thanks, Jiro!) which boosted the contrast of that change.

    Finally I dodged and burnt a few areas, and sharpened. here is the final result.

    Does anyone have any other methods for using SEP, or other software, for B&W?

    ON BLACK

    Post-processing B&W with Silver Efex Pro

  2. #2
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Post-processing B&W with Silver Efex Pro

    Rob

    Am not on my own computer so cannot assess the impact of the process.

    However, am just trying to tranlsate that workflow into GIMP-speak. The problem of course is that I can't connect GIMP and SEP. But am wondering how to move an image back and fore between the two.
    Last edited by Donald; 26th May 2011 at 11:39 AM.

  3. #3
    victor's Avatar
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    Re: Post-processing B&W with Silver Efex Pro

    Rob,

    Same work flow I have adopted with SEP2 and other packages which I am finding to be very flexible in their use. I use CS5 as well.

    I presume layers can be done in GIMP but for Donald to link back/into SEP2 Donald will require PS Elements as a min. requirement.

    Like the Photo !!

    Regards

    David

  4. #4
    rob marshall

    Re: Post-processing B&W with Silver Efex Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    However, am just trying to tranlsate that workflow into GIMP-speak. The problem of course is that I can't connect GIMP and SEP. But am wondering how to move an image back and fore between the two.
    Yes, I see the problem. I presume you convert the image in SEP then save it and go to GIMP? With the method I use SEP just adds a layer in CS5, and when you click OK in SEP after conversion it goes back to CS5 with the converted layer above the original colour layer. I can then change the layer blend mode to luminosity to use Jiro's 'pop the image' method to retain the colour, or if it's a BW conversion I want I just leave the blend as normal. Following that I can run SEP again (which adds another layer) and if required I can just do it on a specific selection. It's very easy to flow back and forth making changes. I think you would need Elements as a minimum, as David said above.

  5. #5
    JK6065's Avatar
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    Re: Post-processing B&W with Silver Efex Pro

    Don't you use the control points and the color filters, Rob?

    When processing in SEP I select the color filter that gives me the intended balance among the tones. If necessary I adjust contrast and structure over the entire image. After that I use the control points to adjust contrast and tone on a local scale.
    In CS5 I reduce noise, sharpen the image and, if prefered, I addept the micro contrast as well to make it 'pop'.

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