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B&W question

Discussion in 'Portrait' started by TonyTurley, Jun 30, 2013.

  1. TonyTurley

    TonyTurley TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Apr 24, 2013
    West Virginia, USA
    I decided to snap a few pics at a family get-together. I tried to be discrete so the photos wouldn't look "posed", and I don't think people were paying attention. I shot a few in B&W. Camera was a Nex-5R with a Vivitar 24/2.8. I tweaked this photo for brightness and contrast, and although I like the composition and the focus is crisp, it lacks "pop", for lack of a better word. Some of the B&W stuff done by Colin, Freddy, and a few others have been dazzling. Maybe it was because I didn't use a flash, and relied on the overhead light (which explains the shadowed hallway area). Comments?

    Tony
     

    Attached Files:

  2. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    Even though you are randomly shooting images, you still need to pay attention to framing/lighting etc.

    A bit of PP would also help. For example, crop out the cereal box.
     
  3. ecaggiani

    ecaggiani TalkEmount Regular

    155
    Jun 19, 2013
    San Jose, CA
    Ed Caggiani
    Definitely needs some post processing. I would increase the contrast even further and maybe lighten it up a bit. The whites need to be whiter, and the blacks blacker (at least in my opinion).

    Of course, if you shot this as JPG, your PP options are a bit more limited, though I think you could still improve the "pop" with some contrast tweaks. When I do B/W, I shoot in RAW then convert it to B/W in Lightroom. You get much more control that way.
     
  4. jai

    jai TalkEmount Top Veteran

    589
    Feb 4, 2013
    Vintage lenses like this do tend to have lower micro-contrast, that is why it looks flat I think.

    I would try using the "curves" section in your post process software to selectively bring out the highlights you want, and drop the shadows to be more dramatic. You could also sharpen, and or increase "clarity".

    If you are interested I got some of this advice here:
    https://www.talkemount.com/f12/how-post-process-when-using-legacy-lenses-3723/
     
  5. TonyTurley

    TonyTurley TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Apr 24, 2013
    West Virginia, USA
    Thanks guys. I'll give that a try.

    Tony
     
  6. Jaf-Photo

    Jaf-Photo TalkEmount Veteran

    484
    Mar 25, 2013
    The photo has everything you need to make it pop in pp. The easiest way is to use Silver Efex to simulate that high contrast look of B&W film.

    You could also use a B&W preset which mimics HDR, like these ones from Matt K: http://lightroomkillertips.com/?p=4711

    It's also possible to achieve it by twiddling the sliders in Lightroom etc, but I find it takes a long time to achieve the desired look, compared to using a preset and tweaking it.

    I always shoot raw and convert it afterwards. Then you have the option of a colour version and pp is more flexible.

    Here are two super-quick edits done on my laptop with a poor screen. I have increased exposure on the right side using a gradiated filter. The first version is done in Silver Efex with an arty preset. The second one is done in Lightroom by applying Matt's Tonal Contrast (medium).



     
  7. ChangshaNotes

    ChangshaNotes Super Moderator

    Aug 15, 2012
    China
    Colin
    Tony, I shoot everything in Raw and convert to black and white later but I used to set the camera to black and white to get used to 'seeing'. So now, even though my camera display may show colour, I usually know that I will be converting that particular image to black and white. What I'm looking for can be quite different.

    I use Lightroom. I like your photo here. It shows an intimate moment with friends and so I would crop it tighter emphasizing the intimacy.

    Heres the widest I would go, I'd be tempted to crop it tighter actually.

    i-CqmXhHh-1200x1200.

    i-284w8hC-1200x1200.
     
  8. TonyTurley

    TonyTurley TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Apr 24, 2013
    West Virginia, USA
    Those are nice guys, and I particularly like your idea about the close crop, Colin. I don't have LR (Linux, remember?), but I was able to get some similar results using Fotoxx. I appreciate all of the tips.

    Tony
     
  9. Jaf-Photo

    Jaf-Photo TalkEmount Veteran

    484
    Mar 25, 2013
    I don't know if it's a principled choice to use Linux, but it could be well worth to get a Windows partition to be able to use a good image processer. I would probably give up digital photography if I couldn't use Lightroom with plugins. I haven't used Photoxx but the reviews seem rather discouraging...
     
  10. clydestuh

    clydestuh TalkEmount Regular

    46
    Jul 3, 2013
    I understand constructive criticism but actually taking someone else's image and PP it their own way in my opinion is just, for the lack of better term, awkward.
     
  11. Jaf-Photo

    Jaf-Photo TalkEmount Veteran

    484
    Mar 25, 2013
    I certainly didn't do it to offend Tony. It was just an example to see if we could get closervto what he was looking for.

    We've done similar things in a few threads and as it's a friendly forum, nobody has been offended afaik.

    But of course I would delete my efits and refrain from processing Tony's photos if he asked me to.

    It's just that photos say more than a thousand words ;)
     
  12. Jaf-Photo

    Jaf-Photo TalkEmount Veteran

    484
    Mar 25, 2013
    I certainly didn't do it to offend Tony. It was just an example to see if we could get closer to what he was looking for.

    We've done similar things in a few threads here and as it's a friendly forum, nobody has been offended - afaik.

    But of course I would delete my edits and refrain from processing Tony's photos if he asked me to.

    It's just that photos say more than a thousand words ;)
     
  13. TonyTurley

    TonyTurley TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Apr 24, 2013
    West Virginia, USA
    I was not offended in any way, Jaf. I asked for feedback. You guys provided examples. I am grateful.

    Tony
     
  14. Jaf-Photo

    Jaf-Photo TalkEmount Veteran

    484
    Mar 25, 2013
    And I also enjoyed Colin's edits, which were ecxeedingly good. That's the thing with processing. There are so many options that everone has different methods. You learn a lot by seeing other people's edits and reading how they did them.
     
  15. ChangshaNotes

    ChangshaNotes Super Moderator

    Aug 15, 2012
    China
    Colin
    Nothing awkward about it from my point of view (at least not until your post :p)

    I wouldn't do it to just anyone's photos but Tony asked for some insight and being a regular poster that I've interacted before with, I felt it was fine and he would understand that the only reason I spent the time and effort to do the PP was to try and help. It's of course a visual medium and so it's much easier to show what you mean rather than through text.

    Actually I find your post a little awkward coming after Tony had thanked us for doing it.
     
  16. TonyTurley

    TonyTurley TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Apr 24, 2013
    West Virginia, USA
    You were correct in your thinking, Colin. I appreciated the feedback.

    I do wish I had seen this earlier. I was not offended by their actions, clyde. I've only been doing digital image processing a few years, and even that was at a fairly basic level. Jaf and Colin were responding to my request for help. No harm done.

    Tony