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Thread: Help appreciated to improve this

  1. #1
    Mito's Avatar
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    Brian

    Help appreciated to improve this

    This is a first public attempt in B&W. The tree is I think about 1,000 years old. The texture of the trunk I'm quite happy with but what can I do with the background? I am on a very steep learning curve with both photography and PP. The brain doesn't have the capacity it used to have.
    Suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Help appreciated to improve this

  2. #2

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    Re: Help appreciated to improve this

    I don't know whether it's helpful, but when I go from colour to B&W I usually start by splitting the image into component colours R G B, and pick one that makes the subject stand out. I use PSP, I assume there is some equivalent in photoshop or other processing packages.
    Great image - I can see why you want to pick out the texture of the bark in B&W.

  3. #3
    dubaiphil's Avatar
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    Phil Page

    Re: Help appreciated to improve this

    I'm no master at black and white conversions in Photoshop. I have had good results using plug in software, and not have a reliable workflow with a few modifications depending on the subject and context. I'd deal with this in layers using Nik Software's Silver Efex, and start to finish would be a 2 minute job (another reason I like using this software!)

    Firstly though, I'd look at the sky to see if there is any way of recovering the highlights from the original colour file. Even if there's no detail or colour, at least to try to recover the leaves a little in the high contrast areas around the bright sky.

    Black and Whites are all about texture, shadow and light. With Silver Efex there is a great preset which brings out lots of micro contrast and texture. It's called High Structure (Harsh). It can do great things with the subject in the focal plane, but messes with the out of focus areas.

    So for the tree I'd use High Structure (Harsh) and play with the sliders to suit. That will bring the detail out.

    Then for the grass, leaves which are out of focus and sky I'd use a Neutral setting in Silver Efex, pulling back the brightness of the sky.

    Once done, that would really give some pop to the image.

  4. #4

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    Re: Help appreciated to improve this

    Quote Originally Posted by Mito View Post
    This is a first public attempt in B&W. The tree is I think about 1,000 years old. The texture of the trunk I'm quite happy with but what can I do with the background? I am on a very steep learning curve with both photography and PP. The brain doesn't have the capacity it used to have.
    Suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
    with level control in PS CS5

    Help appreciated to improve this

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