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Thread: What are my options

  1. #1
    Ricco's Avatar
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    What are my options

    After reading Harold Davis' "creative black and white", last weekend I was playing around with over / underexposing some macro shots. After this I thought I would try to replicate some of the photos in his book through PP. My goal was to learn different techniques and get a bit of broader experience.

    Although I had a go at a few different techniques, I'd love to hear from guys more proficient than myself to know if there are any good "recipes" out there. Beyond the normal PP workflow, are there any good creative techniques that would produce something different?

    (At this stage I should say that I run Lightroom and GIMP)

    This one is direct from the camera. No fiddles. Remember I was intentionally over exposing.
    What are my options

    This one was using a layer mask blending to a lower layer of black
    What are my options

    This one using the same as above except with an inverted layer mask
    What are my options

    This one done in lightroom with one of the presets
    What are my options

    I also tried different versions of B&W also.

    Anyhow - any other creative processing techniques that I should know about? Any other suggestions?

  2. #2
    jiro's Avatar
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    Willie or Jiro is fine by me.

    Re: What are my options

    A key to successful black and white conversion is having an image with good contrast. You need to have a lot of information going on between the shadows and the highlights. If you are overexposing a shot, you might not get a good image at all with regards to a good black and white conversion. Conversely, if you are underexposing a shot by a lot, there is not much detail left for the eyes to look upon when you reduce it to black and white. Some may highly disagree with the idea but when I experimented on my black and white conversion, what I did notice was that it was much easier for me to work on an image that was properly exposed first then convert it to b&w than to start with a very poor exposure and try to resuscitate it on the post processing. However, if you deliberately want to introduce a certain effect on your image with black and white conversion in mind then you are always free to do so.

    If you want a more technical but highly educational study about black and white conversion theory, I would recommend that you look into the tutorial made by "lynda.com entitled: Foundations of Photography Black and White. " It discusses the theory behind image data and how it relates to looking at images with black and white conversion in mind. Hope this helps.

  3. #3
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: What are my options

    Quote Originally Posted by jiro View Post
    ... what I did notice was that it was much easier for me to work on an image that was properly exposed first
    Agree 100% with that statement.

    My 'bible' in terms of teaching about B & W has been Michael Freeman's The Complete Guide to Black & White Digital Photography, Ilex, 2009

  4. #4
    Ricco's Avatar
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    Re: What are my options

    Thanks Jiro - I guess I wasn't specifically after the black and white in this case, I just wanted to experiment to see different effects. It was more so the book that prompted me to try some new things. Obviously some of the above aren't black and white so for me it was just experimenting.......

    What got me interested in the effects of over vs under is some of the high and low key images that I saw in the book. Although there were some cracking images that were formed from images that clearly had high contrast as you outline above, there were equally some good ones with very subtle tones and variations.

  5. #5
    Ricco's Avatar
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    Re: What are my options

    One more if you indulge me for a bit longer!

    This time playing in LAB colourspace.

    What are my options

    or

    What are my options
    Last edited by Ricco; 14th July 2011 at 02:27 PM.

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