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  #1  
Old April 22nd, 2011, 06:33 AM
Sandrine Bascouert Sandrine Bascouert is offline
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Default Black and white conversion...

I made a retouch these days and I tried a black and white conversion (with some enhancement specific to the BW version) and I would like to know if you see some issues, because I'm never have been good at black and white conversion. (When I take the photographs I usually decide before if It'll be in BW so I shoot accordingly)

Here the original and the colour retouched version:


and the BW:


Any help appreciated
(this is a "fun" project so far....)


it's also one of my first attempt to retouch a man's face :)
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  #2  
Old April 22nd, 2011, 07:43 AM
Bart_van_der_Wolf Bart_van_der_Wolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandrine Bascouert View Post
I made a retouch these days and I tried a black and white conversion (with some enhancement specific to the BW version) and I would like to know if you see some issues, because I'm never have been good at black and white conversion. (When I take the photographs I usually decide before if It'll be in BW so I shoot accordingly)

[...]

Any help appreciated
(this is a "fun" project so far....)

it's also one of my first attempt to retouch a man's face :)
Hi Sandrine,

I'm glad you didn't go completely overboard with smoothing the facial structure. However, I would have left a bit more shading under the eyes to indicate that the eyesockets are slightly recessed relative to the cheekbones.

This becomes even more important with a B/W conversion, since we lose color clues.

As for the conversion, you can change the skin brightness into anything relative to the make-up, so I can't comment on that. There is a benefit when starting from color though, you can use a Hue and Saturation layer and pretty much change any hue difference into something brighter or darker. When you turn down saturation all the way, you get a very good preview.

Cheers,
Bart
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  #3  
Old April 22nd, 2011, 09:08 AM
Sandrine Bascouert Sandrine Bascouert is offline
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Quote:
I'm glad you didn't go completely overboard with smoothing the facial structure. However, I would have left a bit more shading under the eyes to indicate that the eyesockets are slightly recessed relative to the cheekbones.
good point, I wasn't sure about that.. I usely go a bit further on evening texture on female retouching, but since it's a different gender might be a different style as well IMHO
Quote:
As for the conversion, you can change the skin brightness into anything relative to the make-up, so I can't comment on that. There is a benefit when starting from color though, you can use a Hue and Saturation layer and pretty much change any hue difference into something brighter or darker. When you turn down saturation all the way, you get a very good preview.
Good point again, I'm always stuck to the Channel mixer in monochrome for my conversion so I don't wander anywhere else, my mistake for being so stubborn...


thank you for your input...I'll have a go tomorrow for the undereyes...
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  #4  
Old April 22nd, 2011, 10:19 AM
Nill Toulme Nill Toulme is offline
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I like it, but I think you need to tone down the shiny reflection on the nose. (I've been doing a lot of that lately, so it jumps out at me.)

Nill
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  #5  
Old April 22nd, 2011, 10:58 AM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Sandrine, another method is to play with is the Luminosity module.
Discard the a/b channels. The luminosity channel conversion also would allow
better sharpening control. All other controls work as usual.

Have you looked at the channels layers. The three RGB channels. See the effect of
manipulating one or the other.

Regards.
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  #6  
Old April 22nd, 2011, 11:46 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fahim mohammed View Post
Sandrine, another method is to play with is the Luminosity module.
Discard the a/b channels. The luminosity channel conversion also would allow
better sharpening control. All other controls work as usual.

Have you looked at the channels layers. The three RGB channels. See the effect of
manipulating one or the other.
Sandrine,

I use both and blend to taster with my channel generated mage.

Asher
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  #7  
Old April 22nd, 2011, 12:46 PM
Sandrine Bascouert Sandrine Bascouert is offline
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Hello, and thank you to all...
@ Nick
I agree with the reflections, but to eliminate them completely makes the nose flat, maybe I must find something inbetween...
@Fahim
What do you reckon about any difference between working in "luminosity" blending mode and working with Lab , honetly I'm not used to work in Lab, makes me loose all my cardinal points (there some Lab Gurus around, I know, these things are like a religion)

I know \I've got an issue with a blur there (motion blur, the camera might have moved during shooting) but for once, it's not my fault :)
I must admit that the motion blur is the worst to deal with, although there is a function in the smart sharpen filter, never so accurate, and not easy to determine the angle anyway) if anyone has a trick, you're very welcome...
@
Asher
I got to give it a try...
Every user has his own solution as always


I must also try luminosity masks to control any sharpening
I reckon I've oversharpen the make up in the colour version in order to make sparkle the gold, there's no need of this for the BW version....

Cheers!
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  #8  
Old April 22nd, 2011, 12:56 PM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandrine Bascouert View Post
Hello, and thank you to all...

@Fahim
What do you reckon about any difference between working in "luminosity" blending mode and working with Lab , honetly I'm not used to work in Lab, makes me loose all my cardinal points (there some Lab Gurus around, I know, these things are like a religion)

Cheers!
Hi Sandrine. You know what I think about Gurus. Ask them what the time is. They shall look at your watch and tell you the time.

Unless a nerd comes up with some estoteric difference there is no practical difference between the luminosity channel and Lab mode.

The third channel in the Lab mode is Luminosity.

Best sharpening method for me is..

Blend mode to soft
high pass filter
control to taste
immediately fade high pass filter to Luminosity mode.

Regards.
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  #9  
Old April 22nd, 2011, 02:57 PM
Sandrine Bascouert Sandrine Bascouert is offline
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Quote:
immediately fade high pass filter to Luminosity mode.
Which version do you have?
I'm totally embracing the smart filters/smart layers thing, makes things easier to fade/correct...(yet at lot slower as well)

And you're right about gurus, after meeting one you better look at your watch to check if it's still there....


PS: just for my sharpening workflow, I usually use HP for "abstract" things like texture (ground walls etc...) I really do prefer smart sharpen filter in luminosity mode sometimes with a luminosity mask... and I usually increase the sharpening in the Highlights (not to sharpen the noise when there is some)
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  #10  
Old April 22nd, 2011, 04:14 PM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Sandrine, I have CS3. Don't know what that is. It is about 2 previous versions. Good enough for me.

Yes, the HP works especially well with textures and the like.

Regards.
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  #11  
Old April 23rd, 2011, 03:13 AM
Sandrine Bascouert Sandrine Bascouert is offline
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Fahim,
I've got CS4. The smart layer/smart filter comes with that very version...It allows you to apply almost all filters and to change their settings afterwards, you can also have access to a "fade" command even after many operations and not only straight after the filter being applied. It's very handy for retouching for me eg...applying a sharpening amount that is not suitable for such and such printer/display/whatever... you can change on the go...(I used to make three stamped layers with 3 sharpening amounts that I used to turn off/on for my canon, for the web > thumbnail, for the web> large display, with CS2, my former version), it comes easy now...
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  #12  
Old April 23rd, 2011, 03:24 PM
Joachim Bolte Joachim Bolte is offline
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I did some more things than only convert to B&W, I added my layers panel to show what...


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  #13  
Old April 23rd, 2011, 03:32 PM
Sandrine Bascouert Sandrine Bascouert is offline
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yours is nice Joachim, some some reason it did add some noise/grain. Works better without...Although I see a big black clipping on the lips... It's just me?
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  #14  
Old April 23rd, 2011, 05:47 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joachim Bolte View Post
I did some more things than only convert to B&W, I added my layers panel to show what...


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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandrine Bascouert View Post
yours is nice Joachim, some some reason it did add some noise/grain. Works better without...Although I see a big black clipping on the lips... It's just me?

Joachim,

I like your enterprising approach. It's fine to have a soft face, but them why a sharp band of makeup war paint?

I feel that this man needs three things to his portrait to show his being as opposed to his colors.
  • Texture on the face. This guy is a man and tough. He needs skin that sees the air and its insults.

  • Secondly he needs eyes that have details. Now, there's barely pupils defined and nothing interesting in the irises. For sure there must be detail to bring out.

  • Lastly the lips must be strong enough to stand equally with his eyes and warpaint!
Just my point of view for a consistent male character.

Asher
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  #15  
Old April 23rd, 2011, 10:40 PM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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I can't see anything but a frog!

Do we need to kiss the frog to see a handsome person?
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  #16  
Old April 23rd, 2011, 10:46 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fahim mohammed View Post
I can't see anything but a frog!

Do we need to kiss the frog to see a handsome person?
"You may now kiss the frog!"

And they all lived happily ever after!

Asher
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  #17  
Old April 23rd, 2011, 10:55 PM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Asher your kiss has not transformed it. Maybe this is a continental frog. Needs something stronger than a kiss!
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  #18  
Old April 24th, 2011, 02:57 AM
Mark Hampton Mark Hampton is offline
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Sandrine,

I just make B&W images - Process;

1)white balance - exposure control ACR

2)Luminosity Masks CS5 (the action)

3)Convert to B&W using Adjustment Layer (using one of the filter profiles I would have used when working with film)

4)Save and sleep - dream of the image - Rework to match your dream from memory !

the last step is the most important :)

I hope this helps !
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  #19  
Old April 24th, 2011, 03:20 AM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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All I see is a frog!

can someone please throw some garlic, onion or whatever. Please.
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  #20  
Old April 24th, 2011, 03:24 AM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Thanks folks. It is a Prince now!!
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  #21  
Old April 24th, 2011, 04:23 AM
Sandrine Bascouert Sandrine Bascouert is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Hampton View Post
Sandrine,

I just make B&W images - Process;

1)white balance - exposure control ACR

2)Luminosity Masks CS5 (the action)

3)Convert to B&W using Adjustment Layer (using one of the filter profiles I would have used when working with film)

4)Save and sleep - dream of the image - Rework to match your dream from memory !

the last step is the most important :)

I hope this helps !

Yes it is...now I see a lot of issue with the colour retouching

- blotchiness on the forefront due to some bad split frequency cloning (although I'm now using mostly the Healing brush tool instead of the clone tool) I may have used the colour layer instead of the texture one at some point, could mend it by decreasing the saturation but mending is always mending > Sh*t.

-I think I removed too much of the texture on the cheeks (He doesn't look like he ever have to use a razor eg: the beard comes naturally that shape: you all dreamed of that :) )

-The original is blurred and it's not a good starting point, I just love that face, that's all. But I won't use in any portfolio so I won't spend too much time on it...I just wanted to push the thing to the perfection and realised that even after 4 hours or so, I'm far from it.

Sleeping on it made me realised that...So yes it helps...


After that, the BW conversion is more a question of feeling hence my question, just wanted to have all the other folks ideas about that...


And BTW: I can't remember the last time I ate or even seen frogs legs... (or even snails for what it matters) part of the myth probably: But I must disappoint you, probably as well widespread as the beret and the stripped jumper amongst youngsters... Quarter pounder with cheese is the new French... ("Royal cheese" we call that, so french isn't it?)
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  #22  
Old April 24th, 2011, 12:38 PM
Joachim Bolte Joachim Bolte is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandrine Bascouert View Post
I see a big black clipping on the lips... It's just me?
nope, I darkened the upper lip to make it appear that the light strikes more from above than it does. And for the skin, looking at the original it seems that the guys is wearing heavy makeup. In my edit I didn't smooth the skin, but I didn't sharpen it either. the make-up around the eyes, on the other hand, is metallic. So to bring it out even more I left the sharpening in there.
Irisses could use a little punch, I agree.
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  #23  
Old April 24th, 2011, 03:49 PM
Bart_van_der_Wolf Bart_van_der_Wolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandrine Bascouert View Post
After that, the BW conversion is more a question of feeling hence my question, just wanted to have all the other folks ideas about that...
Here are some expert opinions about B/W conversions:
http://www.photoshopforphotographers.com/pscs2/download/movie-07.pdf

Martin Evening and Russell Brown are experts in using Photoshop and Lightroom in unconventional ways, in order to get the most out the programs. I like the Hue/Saturation method (which can be used with a curves adjustment layer as well) described on page 4, because it has a relatively low chance of generating artifacts. That may be especially important when working on other people's files.

Cheers,
Bart
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Last edited by Bart_van_der_Wolf; April 25th, 2011 at 02:20 AM.
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  #24  
Old April 24th, 2011, 05:24 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bart_van_der_Wolf View Post
Here are some expert opinions about B/W conversions:
http://www.photoshopforphotographers.com/pscs2/download/movie-07.pdf

Martin Evening and Russel Brown are experts in using Photoshop and Lightroom in unconventional ways, in order to get the most out the programs. I like the method Hue/Saturation method (which can be used with a curves adjustment layer as well) described on page 4, because it has a relatively low chance of generating artifacts. That may be especially important when working on other people's files.

Cheers,
Bart
Bart,

Working with two Hue/Sat layers is a great approach. I've downloaded the PDF file as it is perfecly succinct. I wonder how these methods compare with Nik plugin, Silver Efex Pro 2? I'd imagine that Nik's advantage is there is no need for experience, one can get the look of different specific B&W films and with grain too!

For those who do not know about the Nik option from making B&W derivatives photographs from color pictures, there's an introduction with video education and free trial here.

Asher
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  #25  
Old April 25th, 2011, 02:27 AM
Sandrine Bascouert Sandrine Bascouert is offline
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Thanks you guys,
I also like the way Martin Evening does its training. I reckon I learn most of what I know with his "photoshop for photographers series". I'll have a look at these and I think I'll make another try during the week, because, as Mark pointed out, I need to sleep on this. 3 or 4 nights maybe :). I know I will start all over, no need to hide the truth to myself. :)
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  #26  
Old April 25th, 2011, 02:37 AM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Of course, there is HP4, Tri-X, BW c41s just to name a few.

An excellent F100 costs what Pounds 100/=

In-house develop. Bulk film.

No need for Martin Evening!

p.s can use coffee crystals for developing too! Drink and Dunk you might say.


Just another medium. I use it often.
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  #27  
Old April 25th, 2011, 03:58 AM
Bart_van_der_Wolf Bart_van_der_Wolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fahim mohammed View Post
Of course, there is HP4, Tri-X, BW c41s just to name a few.

An excellent F100 costs what Pounds 100/=

In-house develop. Bulk film.

No need for Martin Evening!
Hi Fahim,

We have a saying in the Netherlands; "There is more than one road that leads to Rome".

However, in the case of your example, in my view the waiter gets too much attention (unless he is the main subject) because of his proximity and the lightness of his outfit. When we want to draw the viewer's attention more to e.g. the three people at the table, we could tone down the brightness of the waiter in postprocessing. That's probably easier to do with a Color-to-B/W conversion than with masks and burning.

Cheers,
Bart
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  #28  
Old April 25th, 2011, 08:49 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fahim mohammed View Post
p.s can use coffee crystals for developing too! Drink and Dunk you might say.


Just another medium. I use it often.
Fahim,

I like the grain in this picture.

Coffee? How refreshing. How does it look and does it tone the negative too?

Asher
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  #29  
Old April 25th, 2011, 10:21 AM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Asher, thanks.

Yes coffee has mostly toned the few negs I developed into a brownish color. But reasonably useful in a cinch.

Bart,

Of course you are right. I was just remarking that bw film is available as an option. Not necessarily easy to pp, maybe not to someones liking etc.

I just happen to think that there are subjects that seem very appealing to me on film. Just as I love film, its look, grain, DR. One other tool to consider. That's all.

Kindest regards.
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  #30  
Old May 8th, 2011, 03:27 AM
Sandrine Bascouert Sandrine Bascouert is offline
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Just saw that and I haven't read it yet but I think it worth spend some time on it...
You know I don't like keeping things for myself :) :

Black and white conversion tutorial
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