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Critique Black & White Conversions

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by Cleanimage, Jan 28, 2019.

  1. I've been playing with black and white conversions lately in Lightroom. Comments on ways to achieve the best look in B&W would be appreciated. Here are some examples.
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  2. Are you using the HSL controls to modify these? For example, the pelican in flight might stand out more if the sky is darkened a little so the white on the head of the pelican separates from the sky a bit more. To get to that you could darken the blue channel in HSL if the sky has any blue in it. The second image is an example of what I mean. The seagull in flight has better separation because the background is not so washed out.

    Nice examples. Keep at it. I love black and white images but always have a difficult time getting my own to look as good as the stellar ones I see from others.
     
  3. Everything about the third one works especially well for me.

    As for a tip: If you have or get Silver Efex Pro, which is part of the old Google/Nik suite of software now being sold by DxO and is a plug-in for the Adobe products, it has a very helpful tool that displays how many of the 11 zones advocated by Ansel Adams are included in the photo and where they appear. Once I finally switched over to Photoshop, I began doing all my monochrome conversions using Silver Efex Pro.
     
  4. #3 is a keeper in my mind because of the range of tones it shows (besides being impeccably well focused and composed!).
    I second Mike's recommendation for SilverEfx. I also work with DXO-PhotoLab 2's FilmPack. B&W conversions are tough to master but so rewarding when you get it right.
     
  5. First, these are wonderful bird shots, John! I also like Silver Efex Pro. It's definitely worth checking into!
     
  6. Walter - Thanks for the feedback. I've been playing a bit with the HSL channels after I do the initial conversion to B&W but need to get more conversant with the impact that each channel has on the final output. I've also been playing around with some landscapes and can see how adjusting the blue channel can dramatically change the look of the image. Again, thanks for the feedback.
     
  7. Nick - Thanks for the feedback. I'll have to take a look at SilverEfx in the future if I get more deeply into B&W.
     
  8. Dossy - Thanks for your comments. As I said to Nick, I'll have to take a look at Silver Efex if I continue to explore B&W conversions. I appreciate the feedback.
     
  9. Great b&w series, John!
    It definitely helps if the basic material is sound.
    #3 is also my favourite image.
    And I'll my vote to the suggested silver efex and also FilmPack from DxO as well.
    Those are the two tools I use for my b&w conversions.
    Mostly silver efex for city- and landscapes.
    I prefer FilmPack for images with shallow depth of field.
     
  10. Very nice series John. I would like to say that "The darks seem a bit too dark to me in #1. Whites need to be whiter in #4 if the bird isn't grey in real. #2 and #3 looks good .My fav is #3". I use Silver Efex Pro too, it is a very helpful software.
     
  11. I like #3 and #4. I have the old Silver Efex sw from google, I’ll sometimes use but most of the play around with the b&w sliders in PS. I think LR has the same sliders.
     
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