-

Jump to content



Photo
- - - - -

Tips for converting pix to black & white?


This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
8 replies to this topic

#1 of 9 Brian Perry

Brian Perry

    Screenwriter

  • 2,815 posts
  • Join Date: May 06 1999

Posted September 16 2004 - 02:02 AM

I have a Nikon D70 and Photoshop 7, and have been spending a lot of time trying to tweak into b&w some pictures I've taken of the kids. A few questions for you guys:

1. Should I capture the photos in RAW or JPEG, or does it make a difference if I'm doing post-processing?
2. To convert to b&w, I've been going into PS, converting to greyscale, and then playing around with the curves function. Are there any tips to finding a good tonal curve or is it just a matter of seeing what I like?
3. I read there are some plug-ins for PS that are exclusively for converting to b&w -- are these just custom curves or do they do other things?
4. Is it okay to give a JPEG greyscale image to the print shop or should I be saving it in another format?

Thanks!

#2 of 9 ScottHH

ScottHH

    Stunt Coordinator

  • 174 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 24 2002

Posted September 16 2004 - 03:06 AM

Most of my answer is going to consist of sending you to another forum that specifically deals with imaging (I hope you don't mind).

1.& 4. I think this is dependent upon how big a final print you're looking for. For 4x6 or 5x7 prints, I don't think it will make a difference. For 11x14s, I think you want to preserve as much information as possible along the way--this would imply avoiding jpeg.

1. www.photo.net/equipment/nikon/D70/ "It can be seen that the RAW path does preserve some image sharpness, over the JPEG image."

2. At the end of the day, the only important thing is that you like what you see.

3. Not really an answer to the question, but some interesting things:

Filter effects:
But by shooting in color and processing digitally you can effectively add filters to your image, which you could not have done if you had taken the pictures in B&W to begin with. http://www.photo.net/photo/sepia/indexwww.photo.net/equipment/filters.html#Black This effect can be added by adding, for example, a red layer in Photoshop before converting to grayscale.

Sepia effect:
www.photo.net/photo/sepia/index

I hope this helps.

#3 of 9 Cameron Yee

Cameron Yee

    Executive Producer

  • 10,413 posts
  • Join Date: May 09 2002
  • Real Name:Cameron Yee
  • LocationSince 2006

Posted September 16 2004 - 05:26 AM

Another popular technique to convert to B/W is to apply a Channel Mixer adjustment layer and select monochrome on that control panel. Then you can adjust the red, green and blue channels to your liking. Converting to grayscale can make the image flat or lacking in contrast, where Channel Mixer will allow you to tweak that to your liking.
One thing leads to another at cameronyee.com

#4 of 9 Cameron Yee

Cameron Yee

    Executive Producer

  • 10,413 posts
  • Join Date: May 09 2002
  • Real Name:Cameron Yee
  • LocationSince 2006

Posted September 16 2004 - 05:30 AM

Here's a tutorial of what to do:

http://luminous-land....w_better.shtml
One thing leads to another at cameronyee.com

#5 of 9 ManW_TheUncool

ManW_TheUncool

    Producer

  • 5,836 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 18 2001
  • Real Name:ManW

Posted September 16 2004 - 11:01 AM

Besides the Luminous Landscape tutorial, you might want to check out the one over here, which teaches the same thing, but maybe more thoroughly:

http://www.epaperpre...hoto/index.html

There are quite a few Photoshop tutorials there, and you can also find a nice set of tone curves for various popular tones, instead of just B&W.

Do check out the Luminous Landscape site for all sorts of good stuff as well.

Since you have the D70, you could also try Nikon View for something simpler. I haven't compared to see if Nikon View does a better B&W conversion for the D70 than PS's one-click grayscale conversion -- it probably does, especially if you start w/ an NEF file. It's also more tweakable than PS's one-click grayscale conversion since you can still adjust the various color channels sorta like the PS channel mixer though probably not to the same extent. Nikon View also has a nice sepia conversion.

If you don't have Nikon View already -- it used to be included w/ their cameras, instead of Picture Project -- you can just download it for free from Nikon's website after registering your camera. It's a pretty nice app to use although rather resource hungry -- need lots of memory much like Nikon Capture. Download the latest version 6.2.2(?) I think.

I only recently decided to give NV's B&W/sepia conversion a try. If interested, you can see some of the results in my San Diego galleries starting here:

http://www.pbase.com.../san_diego_2004

Before that, I was using my crippled old PS 5.0 LE, which didn't really have channel mixer, but something more or less like what Nikon View allows via desaturation function.

And oh yeah, use curves to tweak contrast to your liking although you do start to lose detail as you push the contrast. I try a mix of local contrast enhancement (as described in Luminous Landscape) plus curves to that end.

_Man_

Just another amateur learning to paint w/ "the light of the world".

"Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things..." (St. Paul)

#6 of 9 Cameron Yee

Cameron Yee

    Executive Producer

  • 10,413 posts
  • Join Date: May 09 2002
  • Real Name:Cameron Yee
  • LocationSince 2006

Posted September 16 2004 - 11:19 AM

That's a very cool site Man-Fai. It's nice to see the channel combinations for the types of filters. Posted Image
One thing leads to another at cameronyee.com

#7 of 9 Cees Alons

Cees Alons

    Executive Producer

  • 18,608 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 31 1997
  • Real Name:Cees Alons

Posted September 16 2004 - 07:26 PM

Brian,

I have a Nikon CP4500, and I don't know about the D70, but it has a B&W setting that takes and stores B&W pictures in a higher resolution. I haven't really checked the following, but I'd swear it also has a better gamma resolution in that mode.

Doesn't the D70 have the same option? If it does, you should certainly try it out.


Cees

#8 of 9 Brian Perry

Brian Perry

    Screenwriter

  • 2,815 posts
  • Join Date: May 06 1999

Posted September 17 2004 - 12:20 AM

Cees,

I don't believe the D70 has that option, unfortunately. I will check though.

Thanks to everyone for the suggestions!

#9 of 9 ManW_TheUncool

ManW_TheUncool

    Producer

  • 5,836 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 18 2001
  • Real Name:ManW

Posted September 17 2004 - 01:23 PM

D70 does not have built-in B&W mode. Must be done in post.

Offhand, I think Fuji's the only one w/ a DSLR that does B&W in-camera.

_Man_

Just another amateur learning to paint w/ "the light of the world".

"Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things..." (St. Paul)