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Thread: Attempt at B&W - C&C please

  1. #1
    davidedric's Avatar
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    Attempt at B&W - C&C please

    Hi,

    I am trying converting some existing pictures to B&W. Here are a couple of photos, the colour original and my B&W attempt. I would greatly appreciate C&C as to how to improve the image - I think I mean to maximise its impact. (Incidentally, I would have loved to comb those leaves out of his mane, but he wasn't having any!)

    Attempt at B&W - C&C please

    Attempt at B&W - C&C please

  2. #2
    Rhoads238's Avatar
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    Re: Attempt at B&W - C&C please

    Dave,

    I think that you should make a mask for the background and darken it somewhat. This would seperate the lion from the background a bit more. I would also have try to recover some of the detail in the lower left side of the lion. Probably burning this area set to highlight would do the trick. Just make sure you dont have the exposure adjustment set too high otherwise the lion will be patchy. Just do it slowly and you will get the result your looking for.

    Btw if you want to remove the leaves it would most certianly be possible to do so in PP. That is if you are into that sorta thing.

    -Jason

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    Allan Short

    Re: Attempt at B&W - C&C please

    Dave how did you get to B&W as there are many ways somebetter than others. I open use Silver EFex Pro to do my B&W images, however I sometimes do them in RAW. I did one, of your image, where I brighten up the background, then darken the lion. This is a personnel slant on your image, if you do like like it, I will gladly remove it.

    Cheers:

    Allan

    Attempt at B&W - C&C please

  4. #4
    RockNGoalStar's Avatar
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    Re: Attempt at B&W - C&C please

    As Jason suggested, I'd be inclined to go for a darker background. I also added a vignette and made a tighter crop... ...hope you don't mind...

    Attempt at B&W - C&C please

    Lovely portrait though. Shame she didn't groom herself for you and remove those leaves tangled up in her fur!

  5. #5
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Attempt at B&W - C&C please

    Dave

    As Allan indicates above, there are many routes available to get to a B & W image. I used to do it at the RAW conversion stage, until I invested in Nik's Silver Efex Pro.

    If you are interested in getting serious about B & W I would, as I have done on here before, have no hesitation in saying that the first thing you should get is Michael Freeman's 'The Complete Guide to Black & White Digital Photography', 2009, Ilex. I know there are other books out there and other people may recommend them over this. But this book never left my side for months. It still sits beside me on this desk and I refer to it often. Although he primarily refers to use of Photoshop's B & W dialogue tool, it is easy for those of us who don't use that to translate to the software we do use, because these key messages are not software dependent.
    Last edited by Donald; 25th October 2012 at 11:21 AM.

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    davidedric's Avatar
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    Re: Attempt at B&W - C&C please

    Thanks for the feedback and the re-working very helpful. It is interesting that one darkens the background and the other lightens it - and they are more pleasing than mine. I'd started by increasing the tonal range to maximum, but it didn't get me what I was looking for.

    Donald. Thanks for the pointer. I did buy the book after an earlier recommendation from yourself. I am working through it, but it will take me a long time. I know I am at the start of a very long journey!

  7. #7
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Attempt at B&W - C&C please

    Quote Originally Posted by davidedric View Post
    Donald. Thanks for the pointer. I did buy the book after an earlier recommendation from yourself. I am working through it, but it will take me a long time. I know I am at the start of a very long journey!
    My apologies, Dave. I keep posting up references to that book whenever people express an interest in doing B & W work. I should keep a note of to whom I have made the suggestion.

  8. #8
    davidedric's Avatar
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    Re: Attempt at B&W - C&C please

    No worries, Donald. I just wanted you to know that I'd been paying attention!

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    Mark von Kanel's Avatar
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    Re: Attempt at B&W - C&C please

    its ok Donald ive just ordered it on your recommendation (or my wife has) for Christmas

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