My B&W Technique

Joined
Jan 26, 2005
Messages
1,475
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Live in Ohio but from NJ
Since I've received some favorable compliments about my B&W work both here and on DPR I thought I'd post some details around my approach (although every shot is pretty much a unique experience, I tend to use the same basket of techniques on most shots). The goal of the final image is to really focus attention on the eyes while not being obvious.

Here is the original shot:
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Here is the final product:
View attachment 6518

Here is the animated GIF showing each stage described in detail below (allow this to load - it's 800k).

Note the entire sequence will repeat (2 seconds each stage and 5 seconds for the final image):

View attachment 6519

Here are the tweaks seen in the GIF:

1) Contrast: I used nik Efex Pro 2 "BW Tonal Balance" to add some contrast. I selectively painted in the contrast using a mask (brush opacity 10% so I gradually add contrast using a Wacom tablet to paint).

2) Selective Dodge/Burn: I create a new OVERLAY layer and check the box for 50% gray (this fills the layer with gray). I then dodge/burn various areas to bring out detail in the eyes, deepen some shadows, calm some hot spots, and hilght some key lines like the lips and eye lids.

3) Vignette: typical method of creating a layer, making an oval selection, inverting selection, feathering 160 pixels, filling with black and lowering opacity to around 30%

4) Levels Adjustment: simply pulled the right end arrow LEFT to brighten the image (from 255 down to 240). Then pulled the middle (gamma) to the right to darken a bit (.96)

Hope this is useful.

Joe
[/img]
 
Joined
Jan 25, 2005
Messages
994
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Alabama
Hey Joe,

Just saw your post. This is just the kind of expert tutorial that we need here at the Cafe, to show us noobs what can be done if you know what to do. 8)

Thanks for taking the time to put this together. :wink:

Regards,

Frank
 
Joined
Feb 23, 2005
Messages
957
Location
Montreal, QC, Canada
That's very generous of you, thank you. I must add I appreciate the effective pedagogical approach you followed. And excellent results too.
 
Joined
Feb 4, 2005
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Virginia Beach, Virginia
Hi Joe,

Nice job on the B/W but here is a suggestion and that is to put this in the Photoshop forum since this is technically a PS technique. That way those who visit that forum will see it. Other than that, thanks for the instructions. It will come in handy:)
 
Joined
Feb 22, 2005
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Location
Athens Greece
Joe, you're relly creating photos out of photos out of Wacoms out of PCs out of PSCSs and other warez out of ...nothing!!!! E X C E L L E N T ! ! !

Is there a University degree on this cratf? :D
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2005
Messages
1,475
Location
Live in Ohio but from NJ
Catz said:
Hi Joe,

Nice job on the B/W but here is a suggestion and that is to put this in the Photoshop forum since this is technically a PS technique. That way those who visit that forum will see it. Other than that, thanks for the instructions. It will come in handy:)
Hi Melissa,

This was first in the general discussion forum then uncle frank moved it to the PS forum but now the PS forum no longer exists (???) so it's here. Strange.

Joe
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2005
Messages
1,475
Location
Live in Ohio but from NJ
Catz said:
Sorry Joe,

Patrick just told me that the Photoshop fora has been combined with 'technical discussion' so I am very sorry for what I said. I had not idea that some foras are being combined.
No need to be sorry, we both thought the PS forum was still around. :D
 

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