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Thread: B&W or Colour ?

  1. #1

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    B&W or Colour ?

    An older pic that I had meant to process but had forgotten about.
    Taken in rural Hong Kong late last year.

    Black and white or colour ? Both seem to have their merits but cannot decide which one is stronger.

    Or am I doing this all wrong ?

    Thanks.

    B&W or Colour ?

    B&W or Colour ?

  2. #2
    jiro's Avatar
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    Re: B&W or Colour ?

    #2 seems to have more "character" on the image, Bobo. The lighting is a little bit "blunt" or flat so you could probably introduce some lighting effects to really add drama to the scene. Some more extra grunginess but not going to the HDR type of effect would be nice. As you can notice, I am suggesting some more edginess on the processing because it would benefit the image. I have to say get rid of the embossed frame style as it does not seem to help the shot at all. Stick to a solid frame color, black maybe so the emphasis is on the shot. This I would love to play in photoshop!

  3. #3
    Letrow's Avatar
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    Re: B&W or Colour ?

    Given the detail involved I would definitely go for B&W here. I would probably look at the channel mixer (I use Gimp and don't know what that would be in Photoshop) and see what mix of B&W works best. But B&W will bring out more in this case I feel.

  4. #4
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    Re: B&W or Colour ?

    The color photo works for me. Not enough contrast in the first.

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    Re: B&W or Colour ?

    For me, the foliage in the foreground is spoiling the B&W option. Crop that away and you would have a much stronger effect with the building.

    But with the colour version, I think that bit of greenery actually helps to create a good balance.

  6. #6

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    Re: B&W or Colour ?

    Thanks Master Willie. Will try all your suggestions later today.

    Was taken on the 10th day of the new hobby and had absolutely no idea what I was doing (not that I know much more now).

    The RAW pic was flat, lacked contrast, generally poor. Today I would have dumped it but wanted PP experience so gave it a try.

    The file is uploaded here for your magic (if you have nothing better to do that is).
    http://www.mediafire.com/?3w8n2d42fcdm07k

    And thanks for the suggestions. I really appreciate your help.

  7. #7

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    Re: B&W or Colour ?

    Oh, cross post.

    And thanks Peter, John, and Geoff. Will try your suggestions as well. Really need to get this pp thing down proper.

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    jiro's Avatar
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    Re: B&W or Colour ?

    Quick edit using your jpeg file, Bobo:

    B&W or Colour ?

    11 layers:

    1 background layer
    1 Contrast layer with mask
    1 Detail layer with mask
    1 Combined layer with mask
    6 lighting effect layer with mask
    1 final dodge and burn layer with mask

    Here's the link to the .psd file for you: http://www.mediafire.com/?ny9rbud6p3y9zua

  9. #9

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    Re: B&W or Colour ?

    Dang, you have managed to make it creepy as well. Was trying to get that feel myself but did not quite manage as you can see.

    Your edit nailed my problem - my PP sucks because I am not that good at photo analysis. Also need to learn about doing more with layers like you have.

    I have a street food festival to go to later - trying out the flash for the first time - which will hopefully be fruitful.

    After that will get cracking on this one - with your detailed instructions it should'nt be that hard ....

  10. #10
    jiro's Avatar
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    Re: B&W or Colour ?

    Here's the edited version based on your hi-resolution file. Man, that file was big! My old dell desktop had a hard time processing the image in photoshop. I decided to add some warming filter on the final edit to make it look like it was shot at dusk.

    B&W or Colour ?

  11. #11

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    Re: B&W or Colour ?

    Hehe. That is the usual size for a 550D RAW. At least your comp did'nt blow up. My setup is pretty old too though I have got a new one but not had the time to set it up properly yet.

    The new edit - less creepy and more like it was like in reality. Very nice job. I am definitely going to give more attention to PS/LR expertise in future. If you can fix a poor pic like the original was into this, surely a bit more effort on my part would be the right thing to do. Guess I just needed that kick in the butt.

    And the first shoot with a flash today ? - DISASTER....
    Last edited by Bobobird; 26th June 2011 at 03:15 AM.

  12. #12
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    Re: B&W or Colour ?

    B&W or Colour ?

    Don't know if I helped it, but this is somewhat like b/w, yet with a little color. I did this in photoshop.

    I added a curves layer and imitated a cross-process color palette. Then I added a hue/saturation layer and played with the saturation and hues (duh...). I used your jpg instead of the raw.
    Last edited by johnbharle; 27th June 2011 at 12:19 AM.

  13. #13
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    Re: B&W or Colour ?

    B&W or Colour ?

    I downloaded the .raw and played with it in Lightroom. Not sure I added much that hasn't been added already, but the color is a little more saturated.

  14. #14

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    Re: B&W or Colour ?

    Thanks John for showing me a couple of other ways to process. The sheer number of options is giving me a headache! hehe

    I was wondering if there is in fact a standard workflow checklist for post processing a pic in PS or LR (ie check this, then this, then that, then do this and that, ....)??
    Last edited by Bobobird; 26th June 2011 at 07:49 PM.

  15. #15

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    Re: B&W or Colour ?

    That standard list would be worth a fortune just wanted to say I liked your image in color.

  16. #16
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    Re: B&W or Colour ?

    I think I'd classify as still a novice in LR. But I'm not afraid to play around. When I started with Lightroom, I found a workflow list. If you google "lightroom workflow" you'll get a lot of hits. When I import photos from my camera, I usually just start with the basic tab, then go to the detail and stop there. BTW, you can save a lot those as a preset and have it applied when you import.

    On your photo, I also played with the HSL. LR also has a large number of presets loaded in that will give you differing creative effects.

    The program's daunting at first, but every time I play with it I find out something new. Time is your friend, here.
    Last edited by johnbharle; 27th June 2011 at 12:24 AM.

  17. #17

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    Re: B&W or Colour ?

    Thanks James, John.

    PS gets more mileage then does LR. Maybe I should get try it with a bit more "intent to use" then just playing around now and then.

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