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Thread: gravestone images, B&W

  1. #1

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    gravestone images, B&W

    hi everyone,
    this is my first thread, so please be patient if I get something wrong, like only attaching a thumbnail instead of the big picture .

    I'm studying photography at the moment and my assignemnt for this week is B&W. This picture was taken in colour and converted to B&W in photoshop, (this is quite tightly cropped from the original too). I did this before I had done much research about the most effective methods of converting to B&W, so was really just trying different settings in the RAW window of Photoshop. (PS and I are not friends, but that's a whole 'nother story)

    gravestone images, B&W

    All comments and suggestions for improvement gratefully received.

    thanks,
    Lexie

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    Re: gravestone images, B&W

    Hi Lexie,

    Well done on getting the image uploaded and inserted -- you're one of only a handful who have managed to do that first time!

    The image itself - to me - looks like a technically competent capture (although it needs a touch of output sharpening) (in Photoshop - on the down-sized image - click on filters -> Sharpening -> unsharp mask. Dial in 50% and 0.3 pixel, and toggle preview (whilst looking at it at 100%) and look at the difference). If on the off chance it makes the gravel and/or trees too frosty just let me know, and I'll show you how to fix that too).

    As for the image itself - not something I'd shoot personally, so a little hard for me to comment on that kind of topic / composition, but perhaps a subtle vignette to draw the eye more towards the monument? (? -> lens correction -> right-hand tab, at the bottom) (sorry, don't thave Photoshop handy just at the moment).

    Hope this helps

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    Re: gravestone images, B&W

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Hi Lexie,
    The image itself - to me - looks like a technically competent capture (although it needs a touch of output sharpening) (in Photoshop - on the down-sized image - click on filters -> Sharpening -> unsharp mask. Dial in 50% and 0.3 pixel, and toggle preview (whilst looking at it at 100%) and look at the difference). If on the off chance it makes the gravel and/or trees too frosty just let me know, and I'll show you how to fix that too).

    As for the image itself - not something I'd shoot personally, so a little hard for me to comment on that kind of topic / composition, but perhaps a subtle vignette to draw the eye more towards the monument? (? -> lens correction -> right-hand tab, at the bottom) (sorry, don't thave Photoshop handy just at the moment).
    Hope this helps
    thanks for the feedback Colin,

    I wondered if the picture looked a wee bit artificial, the writing on the stone is very dark and stark? I used an unsharp mask, but I think I set it about 150% and can't remember what radius. I've still got the original colour pic, so I'll go through a few of the tutorials on here and have another play around with it to see how it looks.

    All help getting to grips with Photoshop gratefully received, I've had a few tantrums while trying to work out how to use it to get the best out of my pictures I prefer to spend extra time taking a good picture and make minor adjustments in photoshop to bring out the best, rather than just point and shoot thoughtlessly and then try to make it look good in photoshop - to me that is taking away from the craft of photography! I've had discussions with my course tutor about this, I was getting disgruntled (not grumpy at that stage, but having seen next week's assignment, now I am grumpy) about the amount of graphic design and digital art assignments in the course, rather than concentrating on the basics of what all the adjustments and tweaking can do to a picture. Still, I am passing the course at this stage and only another 5 weeks to go, then I can concentrate on the photography papers, not photoshop.

    Lexie

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    Re: gravestone images, B&W

    Lexie

    Delighted to see that you've made it to the point of setting up a new thread. Well done.

    As to the specific point of your assignment, how did you convert this one? It is a good conversion and with the inclusion of Colin's comments (although) I think you need to watch the effect of output sharpening on the trees behind the gravestones (don't think they'll take much more).

    I don't know if it's a part of this section of your course, but, for me, one of the first crucial questions in B & W conversion is 'Is this a suitable candidate for B & W conversion?'

    I think some people getting into B & W, think that everything they previously shot for colour can now be converted into B & W. And that just doesn't work. Which is why some of us try ... and try ... and try ... to 'see' in B & W. In other words, seeing teh scene and thinking - this is a B & W picture waiting to be taken.

    And that's about strength of line, shape, tone and texture. A colour image is about colour. A B & W has got to be about these other things.

    For what it's worth, my 'guru' Michael Freeman, author of 'The Complete Guide to Digital Black & White Photography' (Ilex, 2009) concentrates his attention of the black & white dialogue in Photoshop as the best tool for B & W conversion.

    Now must go - It's 6am and Ireland v Wales is just about to start at the Rugby World Cup. And then it's France v that other lot!

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    Re: gravestone images, B&W

    Hi Lexie,

    Quote Originally Posted by Lexie in NZ View Post
    thanks for the feedback Colin,
    You're very welcome

    I wondered if the picture looked a wee bit artificial, the writing on the stone is very dark and stark? I used an unsharp mask, but I think I set it about 150% and can't remember what radius. I've still got the original colour pic, so I'll go through a few of the tutorials on here and have another play around with it to see how it looks.
    Generally, you'll need at least 3 sharpening passes at varying times in your workflow - I wrote a little about it recently, so you might find this here useful.

    All help getting to grips with Photoshop gratefully received, I've had a few tantrums while trying to work out how to use it to get the best out of my pictures
    Photoshop is a VERY "deep" and "wide" program - you could do a 3 year university course on it, and still not master every feature & function. I suggest though - because it has such a profound effect of the outcome of our work - that one is well advised to invest in some training on it. Personally, I'd recommend popping along to www.kelbytraining.com - signing up (only $24.95 a month) (USD) - and check out all of the online video material - it's really top-notch stuff (and no, I'm not on commission, darn it!).

    I prefer to spend extra time taking a good picture and make minor adjustments in photoshop to bring out the best, rather than just point and shoot thoughtlessly and then try to make it look good in photoshop - to me that is taking away from the craft of photography! I've had discussions with my course tutor about this, I was getting disgruntled (not grumpy at that stage, but having seen next week's assignment, now I am grumpy) about the amount of graphic design and digital art assignments in the course, rather than concentrating on the basics of what all the adjustments and tweaking can do to a picture. Still, I am passing the course at this stage and only another 5 weeks to go, then I can concentrate on the photography papers, not photoshop.
    Getting it right "in camera" is always best (wherever possible) - the last thing I want to do is have to more work on 1200+ images in Photoshop after a shoot than I really have to. But having said that, post-processing has ALWAYS been a part of photography (even in the film days). Personally I strive for getting stuff as good as possible in-camera, and then do whatever it takes to get the image looking it's best in Photoshop. Sometimes that's a little, sometimes it's a lot. You might as well face your fears and make it your friend though, because ultimately, there's just no way of avoiding it.

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    Re: gravestone images, B&W

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    Now must go - It's 6am and Ireland v Wales is just about to start at the Rugby World Cup. And then it's France v that other lot!
    watching Ireland v Wales here too, Black Mac in hand because Guinness doesn't travel well at all - c'mon the Bhoys

  7. #7

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    Re: gravestone images, B&W

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Generally, you'll need at least 3 sharpening passes at varying times in your workflow - I wrote a little about it recently, so you might find this here useful.

    Photoshop is a VERY "deep" and "wide" program - you could do a 3 year university course on it, and still not master every feature & function. I suggest though - because it has such a profound effect of the outcome of our work - that one is well advised to invest in some training on it. Personally, I'd recommend popping along to www.kelbytraining.com - signing up (only $24.95 a month) (USD) - and check out all of the online video material - it's really top-notch stuff (and no, I'm not on commission, darn it!).

    Getting it right "in camera" is always best (wherever possible) - the last thing I want to do is have to more work on 1200+ images in Photoshop after a shoot than I really have to. But having said that, post-processing has ALWAYS been a part of photography (even in the film days). Personally I strive for getting stuff as good as possible in-camera, and then do whatever it takes to get the image looking it's best in Photoshop. Sometimes that's a little, sometimes it's a lot. You might as well face your fears and make it your friend though, because ultimately, there's just no way of avoiding it.
    Hi Colin,
    I certainly do have A LOT to learn about photoshop and it has been a very steep learning curve - I had never used it before I signed up for this level 5 (diploma) course! I think I have picked up the basics OK - I certainly look back at some of the things that caused me trouble in the early weeks and wonder, but I know I still have a very long way to go

    I've found various on-line tutorials and a useful book at the library, plus the course resource notes are usually pretty good, although some weeks there is not much help because at level 5 "we shouldn't be holding your hand and walking you through everything step by step". I was looking for tips on how best to convert colour to B&W when I found this site, so am very glad that the course notes weren't more detailed on this occasion

    I'll have a look at your tutorial on sharpening images - I have been using the unsharp mask right at the very end of the process, but I'm keen to find more efficient and effective ways to do it. I'm beginning to get fonder of photoshop, and certainly want to learn how to use it most effectively to get the best out of my photos. I can see the difference it has made to my work - some pictures that I hadn't quite got right in the camera and managed to "rescue" (only because they were shots of a family trip to Wellington and I won't be back there any time soon, if it was local stuff I'd go back another day and do it again) and some pictures that I think I had set up pretty well before clicking the button and managed to enhance them and really bring out the best.

    I've been out this afternoon making some more pictures for the B&W assignment - will post a few on here for comments when I've converted them.

    thanks,
    Lexie

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    Re: gravestone images, B&W

    Oh well, that's the the other half of my cultural heritage (my mum was Irish), out. Only 6 teams left to choose from to support.

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    Re: gravestone images, B&W

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    As to the specific point of your assignment, how did you convert this one? It is a good conversion and with the inclusion of Colin's comments (although) I think you need to watch the effect of output sharpening on the trees behind the gravestones (don't think they'll take much more).
    The picture was converted using the RAW window in photoshop because at that stage it was pretty much all I knew I am hoping to pick up a few more techniques here though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    I don't know if it's a part of this section of your course, but, for me, one of the first crucial questions in B & W conversion is 'Is this a suitable candidate for B & W conversion?'
    The course notes were rather vague, although the tutor did emphasise the need for careful composition and trying to find texture in the shot. I have to send in four images, nominating the best one to be graded. I've been down to the beach this afternoon and found some fantastic rock formations so will see if they look as good as I hope in B&W.

    thanks,

    Lexie

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    Re: gravestone images, B&W

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    Oh well, that's the the other half of my cultural heritage (my mum was Irish), out. Only 6 teams left to choose from to support.
    my father's a Yorkshireman, but I'll still be cheering for the French Nothing personal, just don't like the English style of rugby - hope the French don't self destruct!

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    Re: gravestone images, B&W

    Quote Originally Posted by Lexie in NZ View Post
    my father's a Yorkshireman, but I'll still be cheering for the French Nothing personal, just don't like the English style of rugby - hope the French don't self destruct!
    Looks like it worked!

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    Re: gravestone images, B&W

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Looks like it worked!
    surprised you couldn't hear us yahooing way up there at the other end of the island

    about the Irish result, though Wales did play well - might have something to do with their Kiwi coach?

    Lexie

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    Re: gravestone images, B&W

    Quote Originally Posted by Lexie in NZ View Post
    surprised you couldn't hear us yahooing way up there at the other end of the island

    about the Irish result, though Wales did play well - might have something to do with their Kiwi coach?

    Lexie
    Tonights event will be interesting

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    Re: gravestone images, B&W

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Tonights event will be interesting
    Just means that I've got to get up at 5:30am again.

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    Re: gravestone images, B&W

    It's a bit of a change of subject from gravestones, but still B&W -

    here is the original picture -
    gravestone images, B&W

    this conversion was done using the channel mixer in photoshop -
    gravestone images, B&W

    and this conversion was done using the Hue-Saturation adjustment layer -
    gravestone images, B&W

    What do you think folks? All comments and suggestions gratefully received

    thanks,
    Lexie

    sorry the pictures are so big, I thought I had resized them to fit!

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    Re: gravestone images, B&W

    Quick comment at half-time!

    That done with the channel mixer seems to have a bit more contrast in it. A broader range from black to white across the histogram

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    Re: gravestone images, B&W

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    Quick comment at half-time!
    dedication above and beyond Los Pumas are not lying down and giving up yet, is this where the AB's choke this time?

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    That done with the channel mixer seems to have a bit more contrast in it. A broader range from black to white across the histogram
    I like that one best, the water seems more life-like, if that makes sense? You can imagine the sun sparkling on the sea. The shapes in the rocks are fascinating, any geologists out there can tell me how they were made? I made a few more pictures of the cliffs at the same bay, will post them later, when converted to B&W.

    Lexie

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    Re: gravestone images, B&W

    Quote Originally Posted by Lexie in NZ View Post
    dedication above and beyond Los Pumas are not lying down and giving up yet, is this where the AB's choke this time?
    Well done you All Blacks. That makes for an interesting semi-final next week-end.

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    Re: gravestone images, B&W

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    Well done you All Blacks. That makes for an interesting semi-final next week-end.
    It certainly does

    Attached are some more B&W images

    Another one at the cemetery -
    gravestone images, B&W

    Fascinating shapes in the cliff face at the beach -
    gravestone images, B&W

    Forest ferns, inspired by (but not even close to as good as) one of Ansel Adams' wonderful images
    gravestone images, B&W

    Thanks to the feedback from people here, and the tutorial on Converting a Digital Colour Image to Black and White I've learned a lot this weekend

    My problem now is which image to nominate as the "best" for grading in my assignment

    Lexie

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    Re: gravestone images, B&W

    Quote Originally Posted by Lexie in NZ View Post
    Another one at the cemetery -
    gravestone images, B&W
    That's a very good conversion of a subject well made for the B & W treatment. Although that higher stone behind the McNeil (another Scots lineage) headstone is a bit of a distraction.

    I think the shapes at the cliff face is an example of one of these that doesn't work so well in B & W, despite the shapes. For me there is too much similarity in tone acros the image and we're not given a a clear, primary point of interest.

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