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  • Help with Black & White.

    Boiling hot day here - shut inside - thought I would try my hand at converting a colour to Mono. Know absolutely nothing about it so just hit Auto in PS.

    Should I crop out the horizon completely? (I thought it gave depth, but perhaps not)

    And should the whole thing be darker?

    What exactly makes a good Mono?


  • #2
    Re: Help with Black & White.

    Lyn

    What makes a good mono? That's largely up to what you want to acheive with your image but the basics are form, texture, tone and contrast.

    Your image has tone and texture but both need enhancing ( in my view but others might not think so ). Contrast needs boosting and yes it is perhaps a little bright. So my personal suggestion would be
    • crop out the headland on the right as it is distracting
    • lower overall brightness slightly but not too much
    • boost blacks slightly
    • maintain highlights as they are to create some luminosity
    • work on the post only, using curves and layer mask for instance, to boost contrast and texture and maintain luminosity on the LHS where the light is coming from
    • dodge the background a little to enhance depth overall
    • do a little contrast work on the water immediately around the post but not too much and adrken it slightly to highlight the post and enhance apparent contrast
    • maybe a light vignette to concentrate attention on the post even more?

    That's my personal take and I'd probably do more but it is such a personal thing. The important thing is that you have tone and texture to start with and with care you can create luminosity as well.


    Hope that helps and apologies for the length of my reply.


    cheers


    Hec
    I've worked hard to be this grumpy. It hasn't been easy at times but it's worth it.

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    • #3
      Re: Help with Black & White.

      Hec that is all great advice now I am looking forward to the revision
      .
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      [I].
      .
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      • #4
        Re: Help with Black & White.

        Lyn
        What PS are you using and are you starting from RAW. Most auto setting for B&W often create flat grey images.
        Good contrast and bright colours often make the best B&W images as they give a better tonal range.

        I dont normally ask this with B&W shots as you want help with B&W can you show us the colour image. I usually convert to B&W from RAW in ACR. Its all about creating contrast and tonal range.

        Look at other B&W work to see what works too.

        I will look for a tutorial
        OMD E-M1 OMD E-M5II MMF3 12-40 pro 12-50 EZ 14-42 EZ 9-18 f4.0 -5.6 40 -150f4-f5.6 R 60mm f2.8 macro Sigma 105 f2.8 macro Holga 60mm plastic Holga pinhole lens lens and a XZ-1 Olympus - 35 SP Trip 35 Pen EEs OM2sp

        I nice view does not mean a good photograph. My FLickr

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        • #5
          Re: Help with Black & White.

          Must admit I take colour out in Saturation first and then use contrast and levels to boost.
          In certain circumstances I also use High-pass to bring out one section of the image.

          I suppose that those of us who started with only monchrome to play with, have different criteria we adhere too.
          The picture tells the story, great when you have a bad memory.DW.

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          • #6
            Re: Help with Black & White.

            Meant to point to this earlier but this is an excellent monochrome site I belong to

            http://www.digitalmonochromeforum.co.uk/

            have a look at some of the high quality work and there is lots of "how to" information which is it's core purpose really.

            cheers

            Hec
            I've worked hard to be this grumpy. It hasn't been easy at times but it's worth it.

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            • #7
              Re: Help with Black & White.

              This image is dominated by the post. I need to see more of the scene.
              For me, mono is about mood and atmosphere but this image does not convey this in any way. Sorry!
              Dave

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              • #8
                Re: Help with Black & White.

                I gave it a go and will delete it if you want but what do you think of this


                Not my shot 5 by alf.branch, on Flickr
                OMD E-M1 OMD E-M5II MMF3 12-40 pro 12-50 EZ 14-42 EZ 9-18 f4.0 -5.6 40 -150f4-f5.6 R 60mm f2.8 macro Sigma 105 f2.8 macro Holga 60mm plastic Holga pinhole lens lens and a XZ-1 Olympus - 35 SP Trip 35 Pen EEs OM2sp

                I nice view does not mean a good photograph. My FLickr

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                • #9
                  Re: Help with Black & White.

                  Originally posted by Grumpy Hec View Post
                  Meant to point to this earlier but this is an excellent monochrome site I belong to

                  http://www.digitalmonochromeforum.co.uk/

                  have a look at some of the high quality work and there is lots of "how to" information which is it's core purpose really.

                  cheers

                  Hec
                  Thank you very much Hec for your replies and the link. I will most certainly have a look at that, and no need to say sorry for the length of your reply. I appreciate you taking the time and there is plenty in your words for me to think about.
                  I am still learning Photoshop, and not very good at it yet, so there is plenty in what you have said to work on. I am determined that this year I must step up and do a lot more pp.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Help with Black & White.

                    Originally posted by Imageryone View Post
                    Must admit I take colour out in Saturation first and then use contrast and levels to boost.
                    In certain circumstances I also use High-pass to bring out one section of the image.

                    I suppose that those of us who started with only monchrome to play with, have different criteria we adhere too.
                    Thanks for this - another idea for me to try. As I said to Hec, I am not very practiced with Photoshop, but this year is the year to really knuckle down with it, and I thought Mono would be an interesting place to start.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Help with Black & White.

                      Originally posted by benvendetta View Post
                      This image is dominated by the post. I need to see more of the scene.
                      For me, mono is about mood and atmosphere but this image does not convey this in any way. Sorry!
                      Don't be sorry Ben - LFI is the place to say what you think, and I appreciate it!
                      I understand that the very first step with Mono is to choose your subject carefully. Not everything lends itself to B & W, but when people get it right, I just love it!
                      I only chose the post because I could see texture, but I have a few steam locomotives that I can practice on too. And will keep mood and atmosphere in mind.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Help with Black & White.

                        Originally posted by alfbranch View Post
                        Lyn
                        What PS are you using and are you starting from RAW. Most auto setting for B&W often create flat grey images.
                        Good contrast and bright colours often make the best B&W images as they give a better tonal range.

                        I dont normally ask this with B&W shots as you want help with B&W can you show us the colour image. I usually convert to B&W from RAW in ACR. Its all about creating contrast and tonal range.

                        Look at other B&W work to see what works too.

                        I will look for a tutorial
                        Alf - here is the original. I have done nothing at all to it except resize it for the forum.
                        I do not shoot in RAW, but am going to give it a go.
                        My Photoshop version is CS3.
                        I note what you say about contrast and tonal range. Thank you.


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                        • #13
                          Re: Help with Black & White.

                          Mono film handled colour differently according to its formulation. Some were more sensitive to specific parts of the colour spectrum.

                          A technique I've used is to break the image down to 3 different mono layers (Red, Green and Blue) and then use the layer merging options to recombine to taste as a mono image, photo editors sometimes give that option as a one stage process using a colour/channel mixer.

                          Not up on Photoshop so can't point towards specific tools.

                          Nick
                          Nick Temple-Fry

                          Medicine as a science ranks somewhere between archaeology and economics.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Help with Black & White.

                            Originally posted by alfbranch View Post
                            I gave it a go and will delete it if you want but what do you think of this


                            Not my shot 5 by alf.branch, on Flickr
                            Certainly don't delete it Alf - I can see how you have darkened the post, which is what it needed.
                            As Ben said, my choice of photo probably isn't a good example, but it is helping me get a picture of what I need to aim for.
                            Thank you for taking the time, I have plenty of ideas now to have a fiddle around with.
                            What steps did you take with it?

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                            • #15
                              Re: Help with Black & White.

                              Originally posted by Nick Temple-Fry View Post
                              Mono film handled colour differently according to its formulation. Some were more sensitive to specific parts of the colour spectrum.

                              A technique I've used is to break the image down to 3 different mono layers (Red, Green and Blue) and then use the layer merging options to recombine to taste as a mono image, photo editors sometimes give that option as a one stage process using a colour/channel mixer.

                              Not up on Photoshop so can't point towards specific tools.

                              Nick
                              Hi Nick - In PS in the Black & White conversion section there are sliders that you can use of the different colours. This may do something along the lines of what you are suggesting. Others will know. And I will have a play around too.

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