Converting to B&W.. just as film would see it

Discussion in 'Graphics Programs and Photo Gallery' started by zedin, Feb 6, 2006.

  1. zedin

    zedin TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    While I have done some reading via searches and found that most folks like to use the channel mixer to convert their images to B&W I want to work on pre-visualizing the shot already in b&w. What way in PS would be the most 'accurate' at translating a color image to how it would appear if taken on B&W film? With the channel mixer it seems folks just adjust an image until they see what they like. I want to just convert over so I can see if I did it 'right' in the camera just as if I was shooting B&W film. True you can do post processing with film but I want to try and get it where I need to do as little after the pic as possible. So all of that rambling to ask what is the best way to convert the image that is not subjective and would emulate what image you would have gotten with B&W film. (Will work out how to simulate a filter on camera later =p)
     
  2. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    There are a lot of different films out there. Tri-X, T-Max, HP5, Delta, Pan... They all look different. If you want to try and emulate one of them, you will probably need to get a plug-in or set of filters for PS.
     
  3. mannella

    mannella TPF Noob!

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    First of all don't use channels to make a colour picture Black and White just use the desaturate tool, then in channels click the monochrome box and then you can adjust the tone more accuratley.--Lenny
     
  4. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    The channel mixer can be your best bet for simulating the use of filters, or different films. I think that's what mannella is referring to. Another way would be to make a hue/sat adjustment layer, and desaturate completely, then make another hue/sat adjustment layer, between the background and the first, and change the hue. You'll get different tones in your B&W then.
     
  5. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Question: Why not just shoot B&W film in the first place? It opens up a whole realm of exposure, filter and printing techniques.
     
  6. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    Because some of us shoot digital.
     
  7. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    If you're going for a specific black and white emulation, you'd probably do well to take a few rolls with some different black and white films and then try an emulation.
     
  8. Luke

    Luke TPF Noob!

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    you're damn right. some people speak as if film is some artifact, instead of trying to emulate with digital why not shoot film in the first place, it's cheap and if it's a look you like then it's stupid to waste time trying to get a BW 'effect' with digital.
     
  9. ahelg

    ahelg TPF Noob!

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    The way I feel works best for me is if I open my photo in Adobe RAW and set saturation to -100. Then slide the various sliders back and forward to get what you want. Also you may have difficoulties getting the whole picture perfect. What I do is first I get the sky the way I want and save it as a tiff. Then I do the foreground and save it as a tiff. I then go into Photoshop and put them together. Theres a good article about this in this months Digital Photo as well as a load of other articles about B&W photography.
     
  10. ahelg

    ahelg TPF Noob!

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    A lot of us students use digital because we don't have to worry about the cost. People say it's not expensive, but to us it is. When I started out I used film but when I got my hands on a D70 I've never looked back. Two rolls of film and developing would cost a whole weeks worth of money for me. Also it's not very cheap in Norway. I may do some more film when I move to England this summer, but it all depends on the price.
     
  11. Kent Frost

    Kent Frost TPF Noob!

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    Because dealing with people in a lab who, in this town, are so self-righteous that they wouldn't admit to a mistake even if you stood next to them and watched them make it, and also having to go to the store every time you need a new handfull of rolls of film and then take them BACK to the store to get them developed by aforementioned jack@$$es is a huge hassle. Not to mention the time consumption of scanning. Besides, if you're good enough with producing quality BW "effects" with your digital imagery, then you'd know how to pull a perfect-looking BW image out of your hat almost every time. I'd much rather have the flexibility digital gives when doing BW, rather than have to buy a whole set of colored filters to achieve the same effect with film.

    And of course film isn't an artifact. But it's a hell of a lot more cumbersome than I'd like it to be, otherwise I'd shoot it instead.
     
  12. Nov

    Nov TPF Noob!

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    You could take a look at Exposure (http://www.alienskin.com/exposure/index.html) but I think its overpriced or alternatively the BW conversion actions from http://www.1clickactions.com are very good.

    I don't really think its possible to simulate a film with any accuracy as there are too many variables (developer, agitation, processing tome etc).

    I have settled on a conversion called "SolidColor" (or something like that) from http://www.1clickactions.com that I feel gives good results - whether or not it is film-like is another matter. There are about 10 or more BW conversion actions in the package so I think its a case of choosing which action in the way I used to choose whick film/developer.
     

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