Old 12-31-2014, 05:36 PM   #1
BUFFIE
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Default Help with B&W image

I could use some help on this B&W image - rejected for color/hue

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...92&key=7467993

The previous rejection was for being underexposed

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...73&key=4147425

I would appreciate any guidance on a technique when converting from a color image to B&W (adjusting exposure/contrast or color). I liked the B&W version and wanted to try something different.

Here is the original image in color.



Thanks in advance for any assistance - and happy new year.
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Old 12-31-2014, 05:52 PM   #2
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Both versions look a little overexposed to me. Reduce the exposure slightly and increase contrast. Color to b/w seems to reduce the contrast. Here's where you can use your histogram to get the full range you want.
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Old 12-31-2014, 06:04 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobE View Post
Both versions look a little overexposed to me. Reduce the exposure slightly and increase contrast. Color to b/w seems to reduce the contrast. Here's where you can use your histogram to get the full range you want.
Interesting - in Photoshop, "auto-anything" leaves your image as is.

I'm with Bob, here - definitely needs an increase in contrast. I think a little more exposure vs a little less however:

Click image for larger version

Name:	RP UP 951.jpg
Views:	100
Size:	181.5 KB
ID:	8824

/Mitch
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Old 12-31-2014, 06:53 PM   #4
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Well, not every image makes a good B/W. Yours is mostly the same grey, for this type of photo you should have strong black, white and range of greys in-between?????

There are all kinds of tutorials but many often suggest using the channel mixer, or use RAw converter and mess around with the sliders.

Not sure how my revision looks here but it is the two minute variety. I set black point in curves, darkened the sky with the burn tool and then brightened everything. Just trying to point out getting increasing the range.

Bob
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Old 12-31-2014, 10:56 PM   #5
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Default Thanks for the replies

Boosting the contrast definitely helps define the dark vs medium shades. I will give that a go - and thanks for the replies.
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Old 01-01-2015, 01:01 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mgoldman View Post
Interesting - in Photoshop, "auto-anything" leaves your image as is.

I'm with Bob, here - definitely needs an increase in contrast. I think a little more exposure vs a little less however:

Attachment 8824

/Mitch
Don't know about PS, but in PSE my observation is that if the image has even the tiniest bit of total black or total white then the auto contrast adjust wont move that end of things. Auto color is nice, it often does useful things, but as far as I am concerned auto contrast is a useless tool. It doesn't seem to be able to distinguish between little contrast but a few pixels at the extreme vs a properly distributed range of tonality.
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Old 01-01-2015, 07:12 PM   #7
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Default Thanks for the assistance

Thanks for the replies. Boosting contrast was it.

Image © BUFFIE
PhotoID: 512571
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Old 01-02-2015, 06:13 PM   #8
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Sorry, but to my taste the contrast of the UP engine shot is painful to look at. I disagree with RP's decision to up load it.
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Old 01-03-2015, 09:13 AM   #9
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I'm glad you got it uploaded. I don't what Dennis Livesey's objection is but I think the picture could be better. The nose and the sky look too dark, not white enough for a good B&W pic. Here's a b&w technique I picked up on the web. I'm not great at photoshop so I may be mixing up steps:

In photoshop...
Put the color pic into grayscale.
Crank up the exposure all the way until you are clipping highlights.
Crank up clarity to 60 or 80 or more.
Crank up the contrast.
Adjust the blacks until nearly clipping.
Adjust these elements until you get a strong two-tone look where the light tones are very white and the blacks are hard and sharp but not blown out.

If you do this I believe the nose of the power in your picture will look white and only white. It won't have the hue it presently has. It will be much starker.

Doesn't work for everything but I know it works great with rails.

Last edited by SFO777; 01-03-2015 at 09:16 AM.
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Old 01-03-2015, 04:56 PM   #10
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The nose is too dark a tone and throwing off the contrast IMO.
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Old 01-03-2015, 07:15 PM   #11
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Any set of instructions where the first step includes the word "grayscale" is inherently suspect if not downright useless.

If you are going to do B/W conversion, do it right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SFO777 View Post
I'm glad you got it uploaded. I don't what Dennis Livesey's objection is but I think the picture could be better. The nose and the sky look too dark, not white enough for a good B&W pic. Here's a b&w technique I picked up on the web. I'm not great at photoshop so I may be mixing up steps:

In photoshop...
Put the color pic into grayscale.
Crank up the exposure all the way until you are clipping highlights.
Crank up clarity to 60 or 80 or more.
Crank up the contrast.
Adjust the blacks until nearly clipping.
Adjust these elements until you get a strong two-tone look where the light tones are very white and the blacks are hard and sharp but not blown out.

If you do this I believe the nose of the power in your picture will look white and only white. It won't have the hue it presently has. It will be much starker.

Doesn't work for everything but I know it works great with rails.
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Old 01-03-2015, 10:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRMDC View Post
Any set of instructions where the first step includes the word "grayscale" is inherently suspect if not downright useless.

If you are going to do B/W conversion, do it right.
Ok, the above instructions worked for me but like I said, I'm no expert. But now you have to provide a link or instructions for "do it right" B/W conversion.

The grayscale conversion thing turns out to be a box you check in camera raw.
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Old 01-04-2015, 01:12 AM   #13
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Here is my version of a B&W conversion for this image. I used Aperture and the B&W conversion orange filter to get the yellow a brighter, more accurate and more pleasing tone.
(Click on the image to make it bigger. I do not know the trick to make it post larger. I am certain Jim Thias has told me this repeatedly.

Click image for larger version

Name:	UP951600_zpsd064ca6c.jpg~original (1 of 8).jpg
Views:	94
Size:	146.9 KB
ID:	8832
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Old 01-04-2015, 02:40 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SFO777 View Post
Ok, the above instructions worked for me but like I said, I'm no expert. But now you have to provide a link or instructions for "do it right" B/W conversion.

The grayscale conversion thing turns out to be a box you check in camera raw.
Fair enough. But I don't have a link, having accumulated the knowledge over some years. And despite that, I am not expert at it, but I know the basics. Look up "channel mixer" or "channel mixing" or some such.

The problem with grayscale is it chooses one of an infinite variety of conversions, in particular going with the existing tonality/brightness of each color. Channel mixing allows one to alter that, have some colors be brighter than their grayscale conversion brightness, others darker, in a way that best works for each shot. And there is no one "best" for any shot.

Here's a modest example:

Image © Janusz Mrozek
PhotoID: 435165
Photograph © Janusz Mrozek


Note first the dark sky. I get that by mixing the blue channel darker than it naturally it, so in B/W it comes out nearer to black and one gets a nice contrast with the white clouds. (For the same reason, the mostly blue CSX Dark Future scheme, YN3, comes out pretty dark also.)

Next, note the bright "CSX" on the lead engine. I wanted it to come out that way, so I mixed so as that color would come out on the very bright side when converted to B/W.

That may be more attention than you want to give to one shot, and that is fine, and I didn't do that when first messing with B/W conversion. My version of PS Elements has six default settings, so one can easily click on those and see a set of alternatives. And go to grayscale if that turns out to be the best after all.
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Old 01-04-2015, 05:07 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis A. Livesey View Post
(Click on the image to make it bigger. I do not know the trick to make it post larger. I am certain Jim Thias has told me this repeatedly.

Attachment 8832
Dennis, once upon a time here, attachments showed up as larger images in posts. For some reason, a year ago or so, they changed to thumbnail sized pics and I have no idea why.
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Old 01-04-2015, 12:19 PM   #16
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Thank you Jim.I was afraid I had forgotten some step.
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