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Black & White From Digital - Questions.  
User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Posted (9 years 10 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 3133 times:

I've done search (no hits) because I thought I recalled it being discussed here a few months ago.

I'd like to know what anyone's experience has been converting digital RGB photos to grayscale. I've done it to my satisfaction but would like to know if there are better techniques.

Appreciate any comments.


[Edited 2004-09-27 01:30:49]


Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
12 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineJorge1812 From Germany, joined Apr 2004, 3149 posts, RR: 8
Reply 1, posted (9 years 10 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 3040 times:

Hello.
I've done it one time only and it worked quite well. Here's the result.


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Photo © Georg Noack



Accepted on Anet say more than thousend words I think.

Bye, Georg.

P.S.: I did it with photoshop CS.


User currently offlineJoakimE From Sweden, joined Nov 2001, 408 posts, RR: 7
Reply 2, posted (9 years 10 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 3034 times:

I've done it twice so far, in my opinion back-lit shots look a bit better when B&W. The method I use is that I convert the image to Lab Color, then remove both "a" and then "Alpha 2" channels, convert it to Grayscale and finally back to RGB Color before doing the rest of the work and saving it.


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Photo © Joakim Ewenson
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Photo © Joakim Ewenson



User currently offlineWork4bmi From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (9 years 10 months 6 days ago) and read 3014 times:

Just a side note, the 20D allows the user to shoot in B&W... Having only just got my 20D last week, I have had little use, but the B&W does look good.

User currently offlineChris78cpr From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 2819 posts, RR: 51
Reply 4, posted (9 years 10 months 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 2969 times:

You should not shoot in the B&W mode on the 20D if you want the best quality!

Always shoot in color and then convert!

Chris



5D2/7D/1D2(soon to be a 1Dx) 17-40L/24-105L/70-200F2.8L/100-400L/24F1.4LII/50F1.2L/85F1.2LII
User currently offlineWork4bmi From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (9 years 10 months 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 2958 times:

Chris,

Thanks for that... I was not aware, but then - since getting my 20D I have not had much chance to use it?

Whats the advantage of colour --> B&W?


User currently offlineCkw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 730 posts, RR: 16
Reply 6, posted (9 years 10 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 2941 times:

The problem with colour - B&W conversions is that different colours can end up as similar shades of grey resulting in an image with less contrast than you would like - also, traditionally, colour film is less contrasty than B&W, so conversion can look flatter than a "real" B&W picture.

The easiest way to get complete control over your conversions in PS is to use Image -> Adjust ->channel mixer which allows you to manage the precentage each colour channel contributes to the final image. By adjusting these values, you can more closely replicate the look of traditional B&W film, as well as imitate the effects of colour filters on B&W film. Usually its best to make sure the total values selected add up to 100 (eg. red 60%, blue 20%, green 20%) but its fun to experiment.

Its also worth keeping in mind that with most DSLR's the blue channel usually contains the most noise, whilst the red channel has the least resolution (there are less red sensitive pixel sites on the sensor than for other colours - Foveon being an exception here).

Sometimes you might want to ADD some noise (filter -> noise) to get a gritty Tri-X effect.

As an example, here are some pub shots for which I did both colour & B&W versions - all shot using available light at 1600 ISO. Personally I think the B&W versions are more "atmospheric".

http://www.ckwphoto.com/libby/

Cheers,

Colin



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
User currently offlineFutterman From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 1301 posts, RR: 44
Reply 7, posted (9 years 10 months 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 2929 times:

http://www.airliners.net/addphotos/big/ready/2282_AA772bw_N775AN_JFK31Rarr1_BF.jpg

Just uploaded this. 20D's black 'n white is nothing super cool--you can do the same in Photoshop any day of the week. But, I do agree with Colin on one thing: you can't do B&W without noise.

I slapped ISO1600 on the above photo.


Brian



What the FUTT?
User currently offlineWork4bmi From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (9 years 10 months 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 2926 times:

Colin,

As ever, a detailed reply with some good points. When reading it back, it makes sense in what your saying! As a former screener, how do consider the uplaod of a BW photo, and for that matter, what are the best shots to upload in this format?

Also, thoug still under development, the ckw site looks nice. The advertised photo examples look spot on!

Thanks,

Aaron


User currently offlineVzlet From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 833 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (9 years 10 months 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 2925 times:

If this shot by Steven Williamson is converted from color, then it's an impressive accomplishment indeed. Actually it's impressive no matter what its origins, and certainly a powerful example of the classic "B&W feel":
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Photo © Steven Williamson




"That's so stupid! If they're so secret, why are they out where everyone can see them?" - my kid
User currently offlineCkw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 730 posts, RR: 16
Reply 10, posted (9 years 10 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 2910 times:

how do consider the uplaod of a BW photo, and for that matter, what are the best shots to upload in this format?

I was always wary of shots that had been simply converted to B&W for no apparent reason than perhaps to slip one by the screeners  Smile

However, there are cases where B&W does look better, and whether it was taken in colour and converted or shot on B&W shouldn't matter in my opinion. First, and most importantly, the subject should suit B&W - and I don't necessarily mean a vintage aircraft! Without colour, line, shape and contrast become more important. B&W photography has generally been considered more challenging than colour because the photographer has to look beyond the pretty colours and visuallise a more abstract final image.

The example of Steve's Connie posted above is a great example - the strength of the pic is in the clouds, and the use of filtration to heighten the sky/cloud contrast - this is as much landscape photography as aviation photography.

Cheers,

Colin



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
User currently offlineVzlet From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 833 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (9 years 10 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 2874 times:

Have any of you D20 users tried shooting in B&W mode with colored filters? If so, were the results equivalent to what you'd expect on film?

Thanks,
Mark



"That's so stupid! If they're so secret, why are they out where everyone can see them?" - my kid
User currently offlineCkw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 730 posts, RR: 16
Reply 12, posted (9 years 10 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 2852 times:

Not tried it, but I don't think it would be a great idea - firstly, sensitivity to colors is different on B&W film, so I would expect the results to be identical. Wouldn't mind experimenting, but my old filter collection won't fit my current lenses!

Secondly I suspect that this would affect the sharpness of the image. The bayer filter used by most cameras effectively turns the sensor into a matrix of pixels sensitive to red, blue or green light. Using a red filter would mean that the whole image would end up being recorded primarily by only the red sensitive pixel sites - drastically lowering effective resolution.

Finally, such filters mean a hit of between 1 and 2.5 stops which can be avoided through digital coversion in-camera or using Photoshop.

Cheers,

Colin



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
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