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 Post subject: First B&W
PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 7:23 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:13 pm
Posts: 138
Here's my first try at a B&W conversion, been inspired by dubiaphil's B&W works of art :wink: Cropped and converted in Pixelmator.

It was taken early last Saturday morning when the sun was trying to make an appearance on a dull day and the clouds looked more like smoke than clouds.

Anyway, some constructive critique would be lovely to aid the learning process, good or bad, I can take it.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix GX1
Lens: Lumix G Vario
Settings: 19mm, F/18, shutter 1/1000, -0.3EV, ISO160

Image
Coney Tower B&W

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Camera: Panasonic Lumix GX1
Lenses: Lumix G Vario 14-42mm f3.5-5.6, Lumix G Vario 100-300mm f4-5.6 and Samyang 7.5mm f3.5
with adapter: Nikon 50mm f1.8 and Tamron 24mm f2.5


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 Post subject: Re: First B&W
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 1:26 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 09, 2012 10:34 pm
Posts: 1417
Location: Mexico City, Mexico
Really nice B&W, I think the conversion was great, good job :)

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 Post subject: Re: First B&W
PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:52 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:56 am
Posts: 92
I really like everything about this photo. :mrgreen:

I'd like to ask you how you did it. I have a self-portrait assignment that I'd like to shoot in B&W (mostly because I believe it's the best technique to make my ugly mug appealing.)
You said you used a B&W conversion. Does that mean it was originally color and you converted it to B&W post-process in a computer with Pixelmator?
Did you use any lens filters (i.e. polarized)?
The Lumix GX1 has a monochrome style. Is there a reason you didn't use this?

The reason I ask is that I'm imagining how I would shoot it using my T4i. Its monochrome Picture Style allows for green, red, orange, and yellow filters to be applied, the last two might have helped you. Not that it would've improved your image, but it could have given you more options. I say that hypothetically, because the GX1 has no color filters for monochrome. :(

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My equipment are:
Canon Rebel T4i / EOS 650D
lens: EF-S 18-135mm 1:3.5-5.6 IS STM
lens: EF-S 55-250mm 1:4-5.6 IS II
lens: Tamron SP 60mm F/2 Di II 1:1 Macro
Canon Speedlite 380EX flash
Canon PowerShot G12
Canon AE-1 Programmable w/55mm, 200mm, & 24mm lenses
bag: Lowepro® SlingShot 202AW


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 Post subject: Re: First B&W
PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 7:30 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2009 11:24 am
Posts: 1819
It's generally better to shoot in colour and convert to B&W in software, rather than use monochrome in camera. Silver Efex has filters options so you can add coloured filters and vary their strength, which is a useful learning tool and I sometimes use to darken skies. Obviously there is not software version of a circular polariser (that I know of) so if you want the benefits of that in your image, then using a physical filter is the best way forward.

A simple B&W conversion in Lightroom or PS is OK as a starting point, and you can very easily set your white and black points, then adjust you curves to add contrast and change the feel of the image. Or you can go down the add on route. I'd recommend a free trial of Silver Efex - it's very intuitive and produces reliable results.


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 Post subject: Re: First B&W
PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 3:30 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:13 pm
Posts: 138
Thank you everyone for your comments, I really appreciate your time. :D

PalaDolphin wrote:
You said you used a B&W conversion. Does that mean it was originally color and you converted it to B&W post-process in a computer with Pixelmator?
Did you use any lens filters (i.e. polarized)?
The Lumix GX1 has a monochrome style. Is there a reason you didn't use this?

PalaDolphin, I did shoot the original in colour, converted it to B&W in Pixelmator and then made a few more changes using Curves and Levels and slightly adjusted sharpness. Everything I've read about producing B&W pictures recommend shooting in colour and converting it later, which is the reason I stick to colour on the camera. I'm finding that some pictures do end up looking better converted to B&W, even when I thought it looked great in colour on the camera.

This was my first B&W, so I've done a few more since and have been getting more used to the software, but am now thinking that Silver Efex would be a good investment.

Edit - I didn't use any lens filters.

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Camera: Panasonic Lumix GX1
Lenses: Lumix G Vario 14-42mm f3.5-5.6, Lumix G Vario 100-300mm f4-5.6 and Samyang 7.5mm f3.5
with adapter: Nikon 50mm f1.8 and Tamron 24mm f2.5


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 Post subject: Re: First B&W
PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 7:58 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2012 10:22 pm
Posts: 596
Location: Alexandra, Central Otago, NZ
Two of the best purchases I ever made were lightroom and silver efex.

I also agree, take photos in colour and then alter in pp.

:D

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 Post subject: Re: First B&W
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:47 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2010 12:33 pm
Posts: 443
Location: St. John's, NL, Canada
Two negatives (since you've said you can take it :D)

First, the photo seems grainy to me, and I'm tending to believe its an artifact of processing since ISO 160 shouldn't produce this noise.

The second thing, while I'm really fond of the lighthouse? silhouette, it's too centre for me. I'd stick it in one of the rule of thirds position, personally.

The second, of course, is personal taste. NIce shot nonetheless!

Trevor

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 Post subject: Re: First B&W
PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:19 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:13 pm
Posts: 138
Trevor, thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts. :) The graininess was done in processing. Being my first B&W I was trying to replicate an older style photograph. I'm hoping to invest in some better software and intend to have another go with this image at a later date.

The tower was initially further to the right, but I didn't like the crop - lost quite a bit of the sea and the end of the land. I figured sometimes rules are meant to be broken :wink:

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Camera: Panasonic Lumix GX1
Lenses: Lumix G Vario 14-42mm f3.5-5.6, Lumix G Vario 100-300mm f4-5.6 and Samyang 7.5mm f3.5
with adapter: Nikon 50mm f1.8 and Tamron 24mm f2.5


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 Post subject: Re: First B&W
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 5:10 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:56 am
Posts: 92
Makes me think I should shoot RAW + JPG with monochrome picture style, then use post-processing to convert the RAW color version to B&W and compare the two.

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http://www.PalaDolphin.com
My equipment are:
Canon Rebel T4i / EOS 650D
lens: EF-S 18-135mm 1:3.5-5.6 IS STM
lens: EF-S 55-250mm 1:4-5.6 IS II
lens: Tamron SP 60mm F/2 Di II 1:1 Macro
Canon Speedlite 380EX flash
Canon PowerShot G12
Canon AE-1 Programmable w/55mm, 200mm, & 24mm lenses
bag: Lowepro® SlingShot 202AW


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 Post subject: Re: First B&W
PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 9:36 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2010 6:33 pm
Posts: 167
Location: UK, Zummerzet
Nice one savlet.

Like most others have said here, I shoot in colour (RAW+jpg - because I'm lazy :oops: ) then post process, either in camera (mainly - see previous comment.) or LR/PSE.

Looking at the picture on Flickr, I agree with Trevor Harris about the grain, I quite often get grain in post processing - I really must learn this to use this stuff correctly! (one reason why I have put off getting the Nik software collection (which includes Silver Efex Pro as mentioned by Phil).

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Pentax k-30 and k-x with DAL 18-55mm and DAL 55-300mm, Tamron 18-50mm and Camera Labs Straps.....hang on, where's my towel?


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 Post subject: Re: First B&W
PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 11:19 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:13 pm
Posts: 138
Thank you Arthur and everyone else for your responses :)

I've had another go at the same photo, but given it a different treatment with the B&W conversion - different crop and the image has been softened up.

Image
Coney Sunrise

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Camera: Panasonic Lumix GX1
Lenses: Lumix G Vario 14-42mm f3.5-5.6, Lumix G Vario 100-300mm f4-5.6 and Samyang 7.5mm f3.5
with adapter: Nikon 50mm f1.8 and Tamron 24mm f2.5


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 Post subject: Re: First B&W
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 2:48 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 8:27 am
Posts: 528
Location: Hanoi, Vietnam
I find the first image a little muddy and underexposed, and the second is lacking contrast. I like the compo though.

Since the compo works (for me), both the above can be fixed easily in post (if that's what you want).

Using software to convert to B&W almost always yields better results than in-camera B&W. When done in-camera, the saturation is merely simply stripped out of the image. There is more to B&W photography than just the absence of colour.

I always shoot RAW + (small) jpeg. I often covert to B&W and I'll typically push the shadows, pull the highlights, and add contrast as a starting point - all done to taste.

If you'd like to practice converting to B&W, one suggestion would be to shoot in RAW + B&W jpeg in camera. Post the SOOC jpeg, and upload the RAW file to a new post. Then invite people to convert the RAW into a pleasing B&W. The one(s) which look most pleasing to you will be the one to emulate. The poster can then tell you what they did to convert to B&W.

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 Post subject: Re: First B&W
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:15 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2009 11:24 am
Posts: 1819
PalaDolphin wrote:
Makes me think I should shoot RAW + JPG with monochrome picture style, then use post-processing to convert the RAW color version to B&W and compare the two.


That's useful to help you envision what a B&W image would look like if you have trouble in that area. It takes time to learn what may look good in B&W and that helps cut down the learning time. It adds to your files and storage though, if you were previously just shooting RAW.

For me, I'm looking for texture, shadow and light, and shapes/forms in a composition. Even something completely mundane which you would never think of shooting in colour can look good in B&W. But then again, most of my B&W images are processed that way to give them more of a timeless feel I hope.


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 Post subject: Re: First B&W
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 11:01 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:56 am
Posts: 92
When I used to shoot B&W film, I found it superior to color negatives when reproducing B&W prints. Color negatives when used to produce B&W prints seem to loose so much contrast.

I wonder if it's the same thing with digital.

_________________
-=- PalaDolphin
http://www.PalaDolphin.com
My equipment are:
Canon Rebel T4i / EOS 650D
lens: EF-S 18-135mm 1:3.5-5.6 IS STM
lens: EF-S 55-250mm 1:4-5.6 IS II
lens: Tamron SP 60mm F/2 Di II 1:1 Macro
Canon Speedlite 380EX flash
Canon PowerShot G12
Canon AE-1 Programmable w/55mm, 200mm, & 24mm lenses
bag: Lowepro® SlingShot 202AW


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 Post subject: Re: First B&W
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 2:44 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2013 6:35 pm
Posts: 4
I use LR4 and PS6, does Silver efax work with these or is it separate?
Thanks
V


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