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Thread: Black & White manipulation in portraits

  1. #1
    New Member mau romero's Avatar
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    Feb 2013
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    Monterrey, México
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    Mauricio Romero

    Black & White manipulation in portraits

    Hello again!

    Now my post is about technique. Do you have a style when working with black and white portraits ? What do you like in a b/w portrait?
    For comments and opinions, I'll post some of my portraits right here.

    Pásenla bien por acá y saludos desde México ü
    Mau Romero

    [IMG]Black & White manipulation in portraits Retrato en abril por mau romero, en Flickr[/IMG]

    Black & White manipulation in portraits
    Sin título por mau romero, en Flickr

  2. #2
    dubaiphil's Avatar
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    Phil Page

    Re: Black & White manipulation in portraits

    Me personally, I tend to add a little selective sharpening in the focal plane and then maybe a little tonal contrast using Silver Efex, depending on whether I want a little extra pop on the subject compared to the background, which I generally throw a little out of focus.

    I'm generally shooting with available light and taking shots quickly with subjects that don't have much time to spare, so occasionally I'll add a separate layer and adjust the curves on the background, or selectively lighten the subject a little to make them stand out a bit more. A light vignette if required and then I'm done.

    Here are a couple of examples:

    1. Very little adjustment needed on this as the light was good:

    Black & White manipulation in portraits


    2. Again, lucky with the light, but a little tonal contrast added

    Black & White manipulation in portraits


    3. Selective sharpening, tonal contrast, darkening the curves for the background and a little vignette

    Black & White manipulation in portraits


    4. Light selective sharpening and tonal contrast

    Black & White manipulation in portraits


    5. Light tonal contrast and curves adjustments

    Black & White manipulation in portraits

    All 5 with D700 and 2/35 Distagon

  3. #3

    Join Date
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    northern Virginia suburb of Washington, DC
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    Re: Black & White manipulation in portraits

    I don't have a single black-and-white style with anything. As an example, if a particular image calls for high contrast, I use it. If not, I don't. In summary, I use whatever post-processing makes the image look like what I had in mind when I released the shutter.

  4. #4

    Join Date
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    Allan Short

    Re: Black & White manipulation in portraits

    Mauricio: You now ask about technique, you got an answer from one of I think the best portrait shoots on CIC that is Phil Page or "dubaiphil". Without looking at the post production, look at the composition they I will say catch the mood not create it. Your first shoot, standard straight on, fills full frame, shot with the camera slightly upwards. Now look at Phil's, only one in portrait the others in more of a landscape mode, the camera is looking (focused) on the eyes that draws you into the face and the person. It makes sense to me. Look at his web site see how he works the image. You are just finishing school, now take those things they have taught you, now wrap, twist, bend, crush, and destory those things thus creating your own style, not a style that you need to give to your teachers to pass.

    Cheers:

    Allan

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