Best way to get most out of B&W images on SD14?

Started Mar 3, 2010 | Discussions
charley5
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Best way to get most out of B&W images on SD14?
Mar 3, 2010

Hi Everyone:

I know that if I shoot raw with the SD14 I can easily convert my images to B&W, but the results seem somewhat limp. I was wondering what I can do to spice things up a bit? Use a red filter? Or is there some software that can help?

I remember using a B&W slide film that had very rich and deep tones. I can't remember the name right now. Any way to emulate this type of effect?

Thanks!

-Charles

Obscura
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Re: Best way to get most out of B&W images on SD14?
In reply to charley5, Mar 3, 2010

Explore the channel mixer in your favorite photo editing software.

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Obscura

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S_Peter
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Re: Best way to get most out of B&W images on SD14?
In reply to charley5, Mar 3, 2010

Charles,

Should you not have tried it yet - set Whitebalance to Monochrome, play with shadows and constrast in SPP (you probably did that already from what you wrote).

You can use channel mixers in other programs - or download a trial of Silver Efex Pro from Nikware. The trial is good for 15 days, plenty to find out if that is something for you. It sure is for me (Sigma + Silver Efex made me abandon film).

Peter

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little laker
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Re: Best way to get most out of B&W images on SD14?
In reply to charley5, Mar 3, 2010

Don't be afraid to use filters, I understand that Yellow offers a little enhancement although I've never tried it. Orange offers some more and if you really want the image to pop Red filters will often help. However I've noticed that it can be tough exposing with the Red filter.

When I'm planning on a B&W conversion I'll reach for a filter before I'll even take the shot. I've never been disappointed afterwords.
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sebatlh
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Re: Best way to get most out of B&W images on SD14?
In reply to charley5, Mar 3, 2010

My favorite "trick" is choose monochrome whitebalance in SPP, set highlights to -2 and contrast to +2. Then I adjust exposure. After that I adjust the contrast a little between 1.5 and 2.0 or thereabout. When I'm fairly happy with that I adjust the shadows. Usually positive values.

Then I readjust everything again over and over. Changes in contrast usually requires readjustments of exposure for example. The highlights usually stays at -2 though.

Here is an example. I also added a bit of colour here. Nothing but SPP.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sebatlh/4399737568/sizes/m/

I don't know if this is the "best" way but it seems to work for me.

Many times the end result is pretty close to neutral settings which is a bit ironic considering the extreme values on the sliders

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ArneMarco
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Re: Best way to get most out of B&W images on SD14?
In reply to charley5, Mar 3, 2010

I am using LightRoom ... It is very useful for B&W ... an example:

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Laurence Matson
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The best way to get most out of B&W images from a Foveon imager
In reply to charley5, Mar 3, 2010

Open image
Desaturate completely
Use the sliders to get the look you want (contrast is often necessary)

Pull the Color Wheel around to see how that changes things; this is effectively placing a filter in front of the lens
Save as an 8-bit tiff
Continue processing on channels in your image editing program

charley5 wrote:

Hi Everyone:

I know that if I shoot raw with the SD14 I can easily convert my images to B&W, but the results seem somewhat limp. I was wondering what I can do to spice things up a bit? Use a red filter? Or is there some software that can help?

I remember using a B&W slide film that had very rich and deep tones. I can't remember the name right now. Any way to emulate this type of effect?

Thanks!

-Charles

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Laurence

Never look down to test the ground before taking your
next step; only he who keeps his eye fixed on the far
horizon will find the right road.

Dag Hammarskjold

http://www.pbase.com/lmatson/root
http://www.pbase.com/sigmadslr/root
http://www.pbase.com/cameras/sigma/dp1
http://www.pbase.com/cameras/sigma/sd14
http://www.pbase.com/cameras/sigma/sd10
http://www.pbase.com/cameras/sigma/sd9

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SigmaChrome
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Re: The best way to get most out of B&W images from a Foveon imager
In reply to Laurence Matson, Mar 3, 2010

An example of Laurence's technique:

Laurence Matson wrote:

Open image
Desaturate completely
Use the sliders to get the look you want (contrast is often necessary)

Pull the Color Wheel around to see how that changes things; this is effectively placing a filter in front of the lens
Save as an 8-bit tiff
Continue processing on channels in your image editing program

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Regards,

Vitée

Capture all the light and colour!

http://www.pbase.com/vitee/galleries

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jrtrent
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Re: Best way to get most out of B&W images on SD14?
In reply to sebatlh, Mar 3, 2010

Thanks!. Combining yours and Laurence's suggestions, I got some nice black and white conversions out of SPP just playing around a bit this morning. I had been happy using Olympus Studio previously, but I think this will prove even more versatile.

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sebatlh
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Re: Best way to get most out of B&W images on SD14?
In reply to jrtrent, Mar 3, 2010

Cool!

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Mark Turney
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Re: The best way to get most out of B&W images from a Foveon imager
In reply to SigmaChrome, Mar 3, 2010

Nice work Vitee. Great technique Laurence - I use it frequently with good results.

BTW - To continue from another thread, would either of you please share your basic sharpening technique - any difference with mono? I'm still fighting that battle ....

Thanks.

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me_wwwing1
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Re: Best way to get most out of B&W images on SD14?
In reply to charley5, Mar 3, 2010

Charles - if you have PS - you can make an Adjustment Layer of Selective Colors. another Layer of Contrast, Another Layer of Exposure, Another Layer of Channel Mixer.
Channel Mixer must be the top layer.

Start with Channel Mixer check the box Monochrome. - there are some setting on the web as to moving the 3 channel sliders.

then you can play with each of the other layers until you drop.

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Michael

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carlos roncatti
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Re: Best way to get most out of B&W images on SD14?
In reply to charley5, Mar 3, 2010

The method i was told by a professor (one of them actually):

On photoshop:

1.New adjustment layer(hue/saturation-mode color), this will be the filter

2.New adjustment layer(hue/saturation-saturation at -100%)this will be the "film"

3. Double click middle layer- make the adjustments on the slider hue saturation, if you want you can do it with all colors to see any difference...red green, blue......

charley5 wrote:

Hi Everyone:

I know that if I shoot raw with the SD14 I can easily convert my images to B&W, but the results seem somewhat limp. I was wondering what I can do to spice things up a bit? Use a red filter? Or is there some software that can help?

I remember using a B&W slide film that had very rich and deep tones. I can't remember the name right now. Any way to emulate this type of effect?

Thanks!

-Charles

-- hide signature --

self portrait:

I love taking pictures and sonner or later i will learn how to take good ones.......
Slide geral:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/25417226@N06/sets/72157622934247861/
BRASIL ALBUM:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/25417226@N06/sets/72157622653898091/show/
Carlos Roncatti Bomfim

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JohnLindroth
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Re: Best way to get most out of B&W images on SD14?
In reply to carlos roncatti, Mar 3, 2010

I've used this technique on some images. You can also add a levels layer, and the set the range of values to output 0 on green and blue to isolate the red channel (= red filter). Put back blue to get a yellow filter. You don't need to put the output on those layers completely to 0, which gives you different amounts of filtering. You need to add a saturation layer above this to go to greyscale, then another levels layer above to increase the levels back to normal range.

If possible, I like to do most of the work in SPP with sat=-2, since I like to get as much of the results straight from raw, when possible.

-John

carlos roncatti wrote:
The method i was told by a professor (one of them actually):

On photoshop:

1.New adjustment layer(hue/saturation-mode color), this will be the filter

2.New adjustment layer(hue/saturation-saturation at -100%)this will be the "film"

3. Double click middle layer- make the adjustments on the slider hue saturation, if you want you can do it with all colors to see any difference...red green, blue......

charley5 wrote:

Hi Everyone:

I know that if I shoot raw with the SD14 I can easily convert my images to B&W, but the results seem somewhat limp. I was wondering what I can do to spice things up a bit? Use a red filter? Or is there some software that can help?

I remember using a B&W slide film that had very rich and deep tones. I can't remember the name right now. Any way to emulate this type of effect?

Thanks!

-Charles

-- hide signature --

self portrait:

I love taking pictures and sonner or later i will learn how to take good ones.......
Slide geral:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/25417226@N06/sets/72157622934247861/
BRASIL ALBUM:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/25417226@N06/sets/72157622653898091/show/
Carlos Roncatti Bomfim

-- hide signature --

http://www.johnlindroth.com/gallery/
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Every day I find something creative to do with my life.
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Laurence Matson
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Sharpening
In reply to Mark Turney, Mar 3, 2010

1. Read the late Bruce Fraser's book on sharpening. Essentially, sharpening should be done but not seen.

2. Raw process in SPP only. This makes it possible for you to use negative sharpening. And any sharpening you might do there is done better than in any other tool. Punkt.

3. When you are done in SPP, make sure you export the image sharpened in a way that you do not take along any artifacts, if possible. All of them will come back to bite you later. Typical sharpening ranges from -0.8 to 0.4 depending on how much uprezing you will do later. The larger the uprezed size and the greater the danger of jaggies, the more you move towards negative sharpening, as a rule of thumb.

4. Continue any processing in your image editing program, and begin with uprezing.

5. The final step is sharpening. This means, if you have to redo curves, for example, then you go back to that previous step and then redo everything after that all over again, ending with sharpening.

6. There are many ways to skin this cat. Deal with artifacts first. If you are very nice to me, Dominic Gross might help you with a brilliant action for jaggies, for example. But the primary rule now applies absolutely: Set your image to Print Size and make sure there is nothing that you can see in the way of artifacts from your work or imager.

A typical workflow with an SD14-DP size image at this stage looks like this. Use a fresh adjustment layer.

a. Hi-pass first: Use USM settings of 15% - 40 pixels - 0 for starters. Move the percentage slider carefully and check/uncheck the Preview box frequently. Make sure you do not see any large-scale changes around hi-contrast edges. You are looking for a general "lifting" effect and not pressure cooking. For example, if you want more saturation, return to that step - do it again carefully - and return through each step to sharpening.

b. Normal second: Use USM settings of 70% - 0.7 pixels - 0 for starters. A sharp raw file really does not need much more than this. Play with the percentage and pixel sliders a bit, and check/uncheck the Preview box frequently. Make sure halos and over-cooked specular highlights do not appear. Again, if you want greater contrast, go back to SPP, do it there, and retrace your steps to sharpening.

The retracing routine will hopefully get old really fast, which helps you quickly learn to work more efficiently.

The gold standard is no visible artifacts beyond one inch. This means, you should be able to put your nose on the image and not see any halos, jaggies, or other messes. Despite having been informed that this is nonsense and impossible by a gang of experts over the last 8 years, I continue to persist with my stupid ways, and often succeed.

Try this now; all of this will be outdated anyway in a few months.

Mark Turney wrote:

Nice work Vitee. Great technique Laurence - I use it frequently with good results.

BTW - To continue from another thread, would either of you please share your basic sharpening technique - any difference with mono? I'm still fighting that battle ....

Thanks.

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Laurence

Never look down to test the ground before taking your
next step; only he who keeps his eye fixed on the far
horizon will find the right road.

Dag Hammarskjold

http://www.pbase.com/lmatson/root
http://www.pbase.com/sigmadslr/root
http://www.pbase.com/cameras/sigma/dp1
http://www.pbase.com/cameras/sigma/sd14
http://www.pbase.com/cameras/sigma/sd10
http://www.pbase.com/cameras/sigma/sd9

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Mark Turney
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Re: Sharpening
In reply to Laurence Matson, Mar 3, 2010

A taste of things to come .... ??

Thanks for the information Laurence.

Laurence Matson wrote:
Try this now; all of this will be outdated anyway in a few months.

Mark Turney wrote:

Nice work Vitee. Great technique Laurence - I use it frequently with good results.

BTW - To continue from another thread, would either of you please share your basic sharpening technique - any difference with mono? I'm still fighting that battle ....

Thanks.

-- hide signature --
-- hide signature --

Laurence

Never look down to test the ground before taking your
next step; only he who keeps his eye fixed on the far
horizon will find the right road.

Dag Hammarskjold

http://www.pbase.com/lmatson/root
http://www.pbase.com/sigmadslr/root
http://www.pbase.com/cameras/sigma/dp1
http://www.pbase.com/cameras/sigma/sd14
http://www.pbase.com/cameras/sigma/sd10
http://www.pbase.com/cameras/sigma/sd9

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alex_virt
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Re: Best way to get most out of B&W images on SD14?
In reply to charley5, Mar 3, 2010

SilverEfex works very good and gives endless possibilities. I usually export files from SPP at double size for BW conversions. Here is one of my "antique" photos:

Some more here: http://alex-virt.blogspot.com/2010/02/retro.html

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charley5
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Re: Best way to get most out of B&W images on SD14?
In reply to S_Peter, Mar 3, 2010

Wow! thanks for the info Peter. I will sure look into it!

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charley5
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Re: Best way to get most out of B&W images on SD14?
In reply to little laker, Mar 3, 2010

Thanks! I will definitely consider the filter option!

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charley5
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Re: Best way to get most out of B&W images on SD14?
In reply to sebatlh, Mar 3, 2010

Very helpful! I will experiment with the setting you suggest. Thank you!

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