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My first B&W conversion

Discussion in 'People' started by cincyMAT, May 14, 2005.

  1. I snapped a quick shot of these Ladies at a company picnic lunch. I was to far away for my flash and the lunch room is very dark. First pic is the best I could manage for a color shot the second I played with in PS.

    I'd appreciate your thoughts about processing that would improve either picture.

    Pic in color:


    Pic in B&W

  2. Somehow Mark you have really blown your highlight during the B&W conversion. The exposure on your original image is fine so it has to be your conversion process.
  3. Hi Gordon,

    Actually, that was the "look" I was going for when I converted to black and white. I was aiming for a high key effect with a tinge of softness for the faces. The prints from my R800 are not as bright since they're not backlit as the photos are on screen.

    Thanks for your comment as it does give me a thing or two to think about.
  4. Normally Mark when you are going for a hi-key effect the background is white the clothes are white (or light colored) and you push the exposure up a tad. Here your have blown out all detail on the neck area of two of the ladies and the shirts on all three. I understand what you were trying to do but purpously blowing hi-lites is generally not the way to achieve it. I hope you don't mind my critical comments. For a soft look in the facial area you might try a gausian blur.
  5. Gordon,

    Your post caused me to reconsidered the look I was going for. I appreciate your comments. So, I got out my Scott Kelby books and read a bit about B&W conversions. While I'm not totally happy with this as the skin tones are not exactly what I have in mind (I really want something more luminous) I did manage to preserve the highlights. Am I heading in the right direction?

  6. Absolutely, this is a big improvement. I would use the burn tool in PS to tone down the neck area on the middle lady a tad.
  7. Gordon,

    Wow, stop making me use tools I've never tried before!! Just kidding. Actually I tried cloning the bright spots on the middle and right ladies necks but it just didn't look right. Hmm, so that's what the burn tool is for. Here's the result with just a touch of darkening.


    Thanks for your input.
  8. JessP7


    May 3, 2005
    North MS, USA
    I must say that there's a big improvement from the first BW to the last. I understood what you were trying to accomplish too, but I have no suggestions to make. I am about as green as they come at this stuff. I learned a lot just reading this thread. Thank you! :) 
  9. Hi Jess,

    It's fun to try things that are outside of the "comfort zone". I just had a feeling that hidden inside of the color photo was a black and white image that would more clearly show the subjects personalities. I appreciate Gordon's inputs as now the picture allows the subjects to shine through without any glaring technical faults distracting from the image. Fun stuff.
  10. As long as you have done all that you might try one more. The subjects each have a dark halo around their head. Use your paint brush tool after picking up the white with an eye dropper. Paint out the dark halo. You can also do this with your clone tool if you would like.
  11. My Dear Gordon,

    That's not a dark Halo!! It's a drop shadow!! You're killing me!! :D 

    Really now I do apreciate your help. I'll have to do one without the drop shadow to see how it looks.
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