How do you do this?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by jansch, Mar 13, 2010.

  1. jansch

    jansch TPF Noob!

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    Hello,

    The blacks and whites in this image actually look black and white. Everytime I've tried shooting BW or converted to BW whie PP-ing, it always ends up looking rather bland and gray-ish, its more shades of gray rather than extremes. How do you get this crisp BW look?

    Thanks in advance :)

    EDIT: Sorry, had to remove the image for copyright reasons.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2010
  2. thebeatles

    thebeatles TPF Noob!

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    What program do you use to process your photos? In lightroom, I would increase the blacks, clarity, contrast, and exposure just a bit to get that sort of look. Maybe a slight bit of lens correction or vignetting to make it look like ^that^ photo. BTW, I usually always shoot in color and desaturate in PP.
     
  3. jansch

    jansch TPF Noob!

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    Thanks. :)

    I have Photoshop and GIMP both. Prefer Photoshop over GIMP. And I've never used any of the features that you just mentioned except contrast. I'll check PS to see if those tools are present, assuming they must be.

    I don't know anything about PP- nil. Is there any good book or something that'll help me get a grasp of the technical aspects? maybe PS-centric?
     
  4. thebeatles

    thebeatles TPF Noob!

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    I have heard you can find some free helpful tutorials on sites like youtube. Can't think of any books off hand as I haven't purchased a processing book yet.
     
  5. FattyMcJ

    FattyMcJ TPF Noob!

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    Start here: YouTube - PeachpitTV's Channel

    And go from there, watch those and then the "Related Videos" and you'll learn tons.
     
  6. jansch

    jansch TPF Noob!

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    Thank You. :)
     
  7. pharmakon

    pharmakon TPF Noob!

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    I bought Scott Kelby's Photoshop cs4 book. It covers a lot of topics and includes 3 or 4 different methods of b&w conversion. I would say it is a good book. But the online tutorials are much cheaper and you don't have to wait for them in the mail ...
     
  8. Hamtastic

    Hamtastic TPF Noob!

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    What's black, what's white, and the range of grays in between is called contrast. There are a lot of different ways to control it from lighting and exposure to processing.

    All processing software is going to have some buttons/sliders/tools labeled "contrast", but often the best tools for contrast adjustment have some other name for instance "levels" and "curves".

    You might start out with levels (I think it's under Image>Adjustment>Levels in PS). Levels shows you the histogram (a bar graph of the tonal range in the photo) and allows you to adjust the black point, white point, and middle gray points. If you look at the levels of one of your "gray-ish" photos you will see that the histogram may not extend all the way to the ends of the scale. Sliding the little white and black triangles until they are at the edges of the histogram (makes the darkest gray black and the lightest gray white) will probably perk up the photo.

    Curves is similar, but you get more adjustment control. With curves you can adjust black and white, and then brighten highlight grays and darken shadow grays (creating an S shaped curve) if you want lots of contrast like the photo above.

    You should be able to find plenty of levels and curves tutorials. Get in and fiddle; it's easy enough to see what's going on with your eyes.

    With both film and digital it is almost always easier to increase contrast in processing than to decrease it, so I prefer to start out with a lower contrast raw file or neg. As usual the best practice is to try and get it as close as possible at the time of exposure, but that may require control over lighting, and that's not always an option.
     
  9. Proteus617

    Proteus617 TPF Noob!

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    I think the look you are going for is called Tri-X.
     
  10. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    They are. You'll find them in ACR (Adobe Camera RAW) If you right click on an image one of the choices will be to 'Open in Camera Raw'.

    Which version of Photoshop you have determines which set of tools you'll have available.

    Which conversion methods are available to you for converting a color image to black and white will also be determined by which version of Photoshop you have.

    The likely reason your other attempts have been lackluster is that you are making them Greyscale images, not B&W images. There is a substantial difference.
     
  11. jansch

    jansch TPF Noob!

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    Hey, thanks for the tips. :)
    I had no idea about levels and curves. Will look for some tutorials. Thanks a ton again! :)
     
  12. jansch

    jansch TPF Noob!

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    Yes, I convert them to the greyscale mode.
    I'm using Photohop CS3, but it never opens RAW files. I always end up opening them in UF RAW and then transferring them to GIMP, where I edit, or convert them to TIFF files and edit them in PS. I dont have ACR. Do I have to pay for it?
     

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