2nd attempt at B&W...CRITIQUE please!

Discussion in 'The Black & White Gallery' started by katy625, Jul 8, 2009.

  1. katy625

    katy625 TPF Noob!

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    Please leave me critiques... ...let me know how to make it better if i need to! Thanks! Its my 2nd attempt at B&W. As far as the composition..i know its not great to shoot from straight in front but I found this picture to be pleasing to atleast my eye.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2009
  2. MattxMosh

    MattxMosh TPF Noob!

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    The "Black and Whiteness" of this image is very flat, and very soft. I expect black and white portraits to evoke a sort of emotion. At portraits I fail at so when I see others thats what I expect, what I can't emulate.

    I think a lot of that may have to do with the lighting, it seems small and very direct, making some harsh shadows across the eyes and shoulder.

    I'd suggest looking up some images taken on black and white film and try to emulate some of the qualities in PP. Oddly enough, reading up on color theory can help you extract more from black and white images. At least it did for me.

    Reading from your last thread I assume you are new to Photoshop. CS4 is daunting and there are loads of fine adjustments to be made. It can be intimidating. The first time I fired up 5.5 I think my head almost exploded. Aside from that practice!
     
  3. javier

    javier No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Katy,
    While I am no expert on black and white photography, i do shoot allot of people. This image looks somewhat flat and the composition is unflattering to the model. Would you mind if I tried an edit? It would consist of a crop and some curves adjustments.
    Let me know.
    Thanks javier

    By the way, you have a very pretty model there!
     
  4. katy625

    katy625 TPF Noob!

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    Go ahead!!! I would love to see what you can do! Let me know when your done what steps you took!
     
  5. javier

    javier No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Katy,
    Going on what Matt said, I agree with his observations. I shoot allot of black and white film of which I don't believe digital can match unless your shooting with a FF rig and then it is still tough and requires allot of PP. Now in saying that, keep at it...

    Here are two different samples of what I came up with. Each took about 3 minutes of PP in CS3 which is the only thing I use. I hear and read that lightroom is easier to use and gives wonderful results, but I am used to CS3 and frankly I spend as little a time PP pictures. I would rather be shooting. I never shoot RAW either...

    The first is your sample.
    [​IMG]

    This one edit consist of a simple crop to make her face the focal point and position it off to the side a tad. The rule of thirds should be used here. I wish the back ground was not so distracting. Any way.
    1) crop
    2) using cs3'S filters added 8% grain and increased contrast 50 %
    3) further lighting adjustment tweaks with curves and that's it...
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2009
  6. javier

    javier No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    This version is a little more complicated.What made it hard was working with the low quality Jpeg, but here is what I did..
    1) moved it into unsharp mask and adjusted it to 250% at 0.3 radius and closed it. I then re opened unsharp mask and set it to 20% with a pixel radius of 60...I then created a new layer and and chose adobes soft light (seems to work with portraits) and flat end the image. Played with curves for final touch up and done.


    [​IMG]
     
  7. katy625

    katy625 TPF Noob!

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    You did a great job! Thank you for your help and instructions. I can really see the contrast now that you all have been speaking about and the flatness of my photo. I guess I was looking for a certain softness about the photo but didn't take into account how the black and white should really appear. I love your take. The picture looks very old Hollywood. Very pretty!
     
  8. ladybug31087

    ladybug31087 TPF Noob!

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    my only comment is that you broadly lit her...with females (esp. those who are not rail thin) its usually best to use narrow lighting
     
  9. ladybug31087

    ladybug31087 TPF Noob!

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    butterfly or hollywood lighting is also very effective for 'old school pin up' type photos
     

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