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Author Topic : Cleanest possible Mono conversion. 
Allinthemind

Thread Starter / Photographer
City: Gloucester
Country: United Kingdom
Member Since: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 2501
Views : 2173  Oct 27, 2010 11:38am

I want the cleanest possible monochrome picture, I can then play with the cleanest source. I'm interested in how others do it, in fairness, this is my current method.

At shoot time:
Understand the native white balance of the sensor I'm using.
Gel the lights to achieve uniform channel responses at the native white balance.
Shoot to the histogram to retain important highlights and reflections (filled as needed to minimize pure blacks and very dark greys).

"develop" the file in RPP (if lens distortions are unimportant) else ACR.
Create a high bit tif file, still in colour.
Into PS Lab mode,
Adjust colours to give me what a filtered mono film shot would have been.
Convert RGB
Channel mixer in mono mode, hopefully I shouldn't have to move the sliders much as I've coloured the shot to give me the effects I want already.
Then adjust contrast, high and low frequency details etc
Sharpen
Print

How do you do it?

Si

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Allinthemind

Thread Starter / Photographer
City: Gloucester
Country: United Kingdom
Member Since: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 2501

I don't know how the fovean sensor responds at the different colour depths. It could well be that the response is fairly equal meaning no need for amplification of any one channel.

I started with film too. . If I want a bit of grain or the response of a specific film/developer or of a colour filter, I can still do this in digital.
If I had money to burn, I'd like a Bayer sensor with a fixed response and no color filter array.

Si

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paulcoxphotography

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City: Manchester
Country: United Kingdom
Member Since: Sep 18, 2004
Posts: 11498

A little too scientific even for me there Si

I tend to use ETTR principles to get a reasonable exposure and then convert it in C1 to a B&W tiff. C1's treatment of B&W is interesting in that, as I understand it, black tones are treated as vectors so you can often enlarge the image more effectively in C1 than you can in PS.

That said I'm rarely after a 'clean' image and will want to get as close to a finished image in the RAW converter as I can. Firstly because I'm lazy, secondly because converting from raw direct to a finished output file will usually offer the least image degradation.

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Circles_of_Confusion

Photographer
City: Llanelli
Country: United Kingdom
Member Since: Nov 5, 2009
Posts: 7910

well it all seems a bit technical for me. All I do is open in PS select the black and white adjustment layer and adjust to taste.
Then mess around with curves or levels or even brightness and contrast sometimes.

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Top  IP: Logged | Edited by Circles_of_Confusion at 10-27-2010 12:58 PM Report Post Reply Reply w/Quote
Rupie

Photographer
City: Evesham
Country: United Kingdom
Member Since: Mar 4, 2009
Posts: 20

Firstly I can only say " the best black and white prints are shot, developed and printed Black and white" We can discuss lots of tecnical PS stuff, Nikon and Canon conversions bit it isn't the same yet.

Digitally Shoot in Raw. The PS conversions are infinate. Personally if you digitally converting an image then it should be the first adjust ment made.

Just remember, when you goto Focus 2011 and you walk in and look at a number of images that look amazing, on the Ilford stand, they will be from film.

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mannybash

Photographer
City: London
Country: United Kingdom
Member Since: Oct 18, 2009
Posts: 1051

All i do is use desaturation/gradient map then brightness/contrast and maybe a few other tools. I've tried the black and white sliders but apart from the red and yellow nothing seems to happen or am i missing something?

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paulcoxphotography

Photographer
City: Manchester
Country: United Kingdom
Member Since: Sep 18, 2004
Posts: 11498

quoting post from paulcoxphotography:

A little too scientific even for me there Si

I tend to use ETTR principles to get a reasonable exposure and then convert it in C1 to a B&W tiff. C1's treatment of B&W is interesting in that, as I understand it, black tones are treated as vectors so you can often enlarge the image more effectively in C1 than you can in PS.

That said I'm rarely after a 'clean' image and will want to get as close to a finished image in the RAW converter as I can. Firstly because I'm lazy, secondly because converting from raw direct to a finished output file will usually offer the least image degradation.


Just by way of an update the B&W workflow in C1 v6 is a massive leap forward such that (other than for really OTT filter effects) I'll be able to do all the work in C1 even if it's a duo tone or need dodge and burn.

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RedChecker

Photographer
City: Stoke Mandeville
Country: United Kingdom
Member Since: Mar 9, 2008
Posts: 3034

quoting post from mannybash:

I've tried the black and white sliders but apart from the red and yellow nothing seems to happen or am i missing something?

You need to shoot more blue/green skinned models

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mannybash

Photographer
City: London
Country: United Kingdom
Member Since: Oct 18, 2009
Posts: 1051

quoting post from RedChecker:

You need to shoot more blue/green skinned models

I'll remember that the next time i visit Mars!!!

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RedChecker

Photographer
City: Stoke Mandeville
Country: United Kingdom
Member Since: Mar 9, 2008
Posts: 3034

When shooting fashion shows I've found that black models tend to look better when images are processed with 'imaginary' green filters during B&W conversion in Photoshop - I've not looked at this for a while so may be wrong. There are websites which give preset values for simulating coloured filters for B&W.

Basically to enhance any colour (ie. make it brighter) you use a filter of said colour, to darken it you use a colour that is opposite on the colour wheel.

I just use DXO Film Pack most of the time and randomly click on all of the settings until I'm happy (but more often than not I use the orange filter).

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Top  IP: Logged | Edited by RedChecker at 12-24-2010 3:06 AM Report Post Reply Reply w/Quote
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