B&W conversion question

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by zeppelin390, May 8, 2009.

  1. zeppelin390

    zeppelin390 TPF Noob!

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    I'm just learing about taking color pictures in RAW format, and then using Image Data Converter to change into B&W. What I'm confused about is which method is better. Is it a personnel preferance, or is one way definately better than the other?
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I don't know anything about Image Data Converter...but in Photoshop, there are many, many ways to convert an image to B&W....so any option that you choose, should allow you to make adjustment etc.
     
  3. dcclark

    dcclark TPF Noob!

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    I would never use any automated B&W conversion -- it's very easy to use Photoshop (or Gimp) with their built-in Channel Mixer, to get a much better effect.
     
  4. zeppelin390

    zeppelin390 TPF Noob!

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    but are there any desired effects that one can get from doing a conversion, instead of just taking a regular B&W photo, or visa-versa?
     
  5. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    Yes, a nearly infinite number of effects.
     
  6. JE Kay

    JE Kay TPF Noob!

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    When I want to shoot B&W I get out the F5 or my friends RZ.

    Nothing touches film for shooting B&W. :thumbup:
     
  7. zeppelin390

    zeppelin390 TPF Noob!

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    k, thanks guys
     
  8. meenu

    meenu TPF Noob!

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    Hi,

    You can use contenta converter for conversion and processing, I have used it and works fine for me, it depends what your actual requirement is. But it is userfriendly you can check out the trial version which is available for free and then see if it is ok for your work, I am also a beginner, I hope my opinion is of some use to you.
    Warm Regards,
    Meenu
     
  9. fast1

    fast1 TPF Noob!

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    what are the cons of the automated version?[​IMG]
     
  10. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    they really don't know what you want the image to look like.
     
  11. dcclark

    dcclark TPF Noob!

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    The camera converts to B&W in one way only -- typically taking the relative brightness of each pixel and using that as an indicator of "how much black vs. white".

    Converting using the channel mixer lets you decide how much of each red, green, and blue channel is used in the conversion. This lets you achieve MUCH more dramatic effects -- for example, you can use 0% of the blue channel, and a blue sky will appear basically black (with very white clouds still). This can be applied for almost any color you like, and in more subtle ways. As just on example, careful mixing can increase the apparent contrast of the image, without blowing out entire light or dark regions.

    In short -- automated conversion will give you an image with no thought for artistic quality -- it's fully automated. Using the channel mixer allows you to make the artistic decisions -- after all, you probably wanted to convert to B&W because of its artistic merits in the first place!
     

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