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B/W conversion in Capture NX 1.3

Discussion in 'Nikon Capture and View NX' started by mercurius, Aug 2, 2009.

  1. mercurius

    mercurius

    12
    Jun 16, 2009
    UK
    I am looking for help with B/W conversion in Capture NX 1.3. I have done a search on the forum but can't find any relevant posts. It may be my searching.

    Apologies if this has been covered here before.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. I'm using Capture NX2, but I think the black-and-white capability is the same in your version. Check your help screen index for two entries: "black and white" and "black and white conversion."
     
  3. Adkid

    Adkid

    818
    Jan 3, 2009
    Portland
    Try looking under the picture controls. I think that there is a black and white option.
     
  4. It can be done by using Filter / BW conversion or by using Base Adjustments / Photo Effects / Method - Enhance Photo / BW. I haven't tried either but that's the 2 obvious avenues.
     
  5. mercurius

    mercurius

    12
    Jun 16, 2009
    UK
    Thanks all for your replies.

    Do you have any tips and hints on B&W conversions using these tools?
     
  6. I use Black and White Conversion (Ctrl-Shift-B in a PC). Works well for me. I then play with Filter Strength, Brightness, Contrast, Color Points and sometimes add some Colorize in a low ~12% Opacity to get a sepia/brownish tint, using Normal or Overlay.
     
  7. CTRL shift B didn't do anything for me in V 1.3.

    To the OP what about turning the saturation all the way down?
     
  8. I tried the Ctrl-shift-B and it worked great. I assigned it to a Function key on my Wacom Bamboo. Now when I open a file I hit one key to make the image full screen and the next one to turn it to black & white with all the controls in the Adjust step area. Really neat. Thanks for the tip...
     
  9. mercurius

    mercurius

    12
    Jun 16, 2009
    UK
    B/W conversion

    alexf,

    Could you please step through your workflow in a bit more detail?

    Do you do any conversion from NEF, other adjustments before you do the B/W conversion? I know that it depends on the particular photo, but I wonder if there are particular combinations of settings that you have found effective?

    Thanks.
     
  10. JDillon

    JDillon

    12
    Aug 2, 2008
    Maryland
    Mercurius,

    I’ve had luck with the following approach in NX for B&W conversion. The workflow is based on the Film/Filter conversion method used in PS. Even though I now use NX2, the workflow is much the same.

    1. Open color image;

    2. “Final” crop;
    Right now I am of the school for doing an early crop (even in NX2);

    3. Adjust global tonality (double threshold method, levels and curves, or LCH);

    4. Add “Film” edit step - Filter > B&W Conversion;
    Preliminary adjust filter hue, filter strength, brightness and contrast to taste (use the View > Lost highlights, and Lost Shadows to get in the ballpark);

    5. Add “Filter” edit step - Filter > Photo Effects > Black and White
    Preliminary adjust brightness, and three color sliders to differentiate tonal differences;

    6. Fine tune steps 4 and 5 to taste (white balance readjustments at this point can also significantly impact the image);

    7. Optional: Add “Toner” edit step (s) - Filter > Tint
    Adjust brightness, color sliders, and opacity to taste.
    Suggested settings: Sepia (RGB = 20-30, 4-11, 12-22), Silver Gelatin (10-30, -15- -5, -50 - -40), Palladium (15-22, -12- 0, -35 - -25), Silver (-10 - 0, 0-10, 0-10);

    8. Optional: Fine tune steps 4-7;

    9. Add global USM input sharpening step;

    10. Optional: Add global high radius USM to enhance midtones (10/75/0, opacity 10-50 or to
    taste);

    11. Optional: Add “neutral” LCH edit step, activate opacity, and select multiply (to build mid-tone contrast), then adjust opacity to taste, say 10 or so;

    12. Optional: Ditto # 11, but use the +/- brush to brush (using multiply(burn) or screen(dodge)) areas that need touch up;

    13. Output sharpening;

    14. Print

    Additional comments:

    Having the two B&W conversion steps in NX offers an enormous flexibility in adjusting the B&W image. Additionally, I sometimes add several toner edit steps (for each tone) and check and uncheck them to see what I like best. (I wish NX allowed naming of the filter steps as I get them mixed up all the time). I usually dial back the opacity in the toner steps to 10-20 or so, but that is only my taste. To speed up the workflow, save steps 4 and 5 as an action and give it a name like "B&W conversion". The next time, just load the setting in one step. (Batch > Load Settings > B&W Conversion). I’ve also had luck doing edit step 3 after B&W conversion, but before step 7. It is easier to see the direct impact on the B&W image with that approach. One last thing. One can also use the plus and minus brush during step 7 to add different tones to different areas of the image. I have played with adding “grain” in NX, but other software like Nik’s Silver Efex Pro are so much better. Have fun.

    Hope this helps.

    Jim
     
  11. Jim,

    Do you have a link to your galleries that would show examples of this conversion?

    Mike
     
  12. Sorry to respond late but I missed the thread for a while.

    I use Capture 2, but I believe the concepts are the same for the older Capture 1.3

    I shoot only RAW. Process the basics first, things like Adjust/Light/D-Lighting, Exposure Compensation, Contrast, Curves then cropping if needed.

    For B&W I use Filter/B&W Conversion. This allows you to control Filter Strength, Brightness, Contrast and Filter Hue. Sometimes I want a little colorized version, sepia or brownish so I add Colorize, some brownish color, adjust the Opacity and Blending Mode to either Normal or Overlay. I have saved a few combinations so I can just recall the actions at any time. HTH.

    Here's a link to my B&W Gallery (the newest photos are done with Silver Efex Pro), and a three samples of the above method using only CNX2:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 23, 2009
  13. JDillon

    JDillon

    12
    Aug 2, 2008
    Maryland
    LOL! I really wish my pictures were worthy of having a gallery :smile:. Recently though, I've been working on some B&W conversions of 30 year old Kodachrome slides that might be interesting and worth posting. Will try to do that, time permitting.

    Jim
     
  14. e_No

    e_No

    May 16, 2009
    Downey, CA
    Is this for ViewNX or Capture NX2?
     
  15. Capture NX
     
  16. mercurius

    mercurius

    12
    Jun 16, 2009
    UK
    B&W conversion

    Jim,

    Wow! Thank you very much for detailing your workflow. I've only just picked up your reply, so apologies for the delay in acknowledging it, but will definitely experiment with the techniques you have suggested.

    Very many thanks for taking the time and trouble to reply in such detail.

    mercurius
     
  17. mercurius

    mercurius

    12
    Jun 16, 2009
    UK
    B&W conversion

    Alex,

    Thanks for sharing your approach. I love your gallery and the effects you get, especially the silver effects and light sepia toning.

    mercurius
     
  18. JDillon

    JDillon

    12
    Aug 2, 2008
    Maryland

    Mercurius,

    Glad it might be useful to you. I have experimented with (and have) quite a few programs (LR2, Silver Efex Pro, Alien Skin Exposure, Niks Color Efex 3.0) and many B&W PSCS2 actions. Frankly, to my aging eyes, they all work very well and we are blessed to have so many choices. My dream though is to have Nik make a Silver Efex Pro version for NX2; maybe someday... .

    Jim
     
  19. mercurius

    mercurius

    12
    Jun 16, 2009
    UK
    B/W conversion -1st attempt for C&C

    Using your advice, I've been experimenting a bit with b/w conversion in Capture NX 1.3 and would welcome some feedback on this shot taken last weekend in Laugharne, Carmarthen, Wales.

    _DSC0010copy.jpg
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


    The workflow I followed was as follows:
    1. Basic adjustments to the RAW image, including exposure.
    2. Levels and curves adjustments.
    3. Black & White conversion with a bit of tweaking of Filter Hue and Filter Colour Strength.
    4. Filter effects> Tinted and then an Overlay using the colour picker to try and get a silvery effect (though this doesn't appear to have been applied - see my question below)
    5. Crop.
    6. Convert to JPEG.

    Some questions: my experience is that there seems to be a clash between the B/W conversion and Photo Effects which seem to cancel each other out. Is this the case and, if so, how do you get round it?

    The finished items looks a bit flat and the sky is boring - perhaps this is the original image, though in colour it seems quite well exposed. Is there any way I could get a bit more umph into it?

    One of my aims was to try an get a similar effect to the prints of James Ravilious, an English photographer who took an incredible series of photographs of Devon life in the 1960s. They have a luminous silvery quality which is very attractive. See here for some examples of his art: http://www.jamesravilious.com/

    Any suggestions as to how to achieve that type of look other than by trial and error (as I am doing at the moment!)?

    Many thanks for your suggestions and encouragement - I welcome any feedback.

    mercurius
     
  20. Ooh. Never seen Ravilious work. Very nice! Thanks for the link.

    For your question, I don't use both methods as they do seem to cancel each other (maybe Jason or someone else more in the know can explain). I generally use B&W Conversion. If I want to get more fancy with coloring I use Silver Efex Pro. The detailed explanation you received on Coloring with Photo Efects in NX is very good and does work, just takes a little more experimentation.

    Your sample photo is good, but I'd use more sharpening on the right wall, and maybe darkening the sky, dark clouds a tad more. It is flat as you said.

    Something like this maybe?
    Ignore the artifacts as I re-saved on a JPEG a couple of times. Much better to work on a RAW file anyway.
    [​IMG]
    Applied a color point on the darker cloud. Don't remember if NX1 has it, else just mask select the darker cloud, then apply LCH curve darkening a bit. Then I applied B&W Conversion, 40% filter strength and more contrast (10-12). Finally I selected the right side wall and sharpened a bit more.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 4, 2009
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