Merrill B & W, Part 2

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Veijo Vilva
Veijo Vilva Regular Member • Posts: 389
Merrill B & W, Part 2

"The Merrill look" is largely based on the micro-contrast of Merrill photos. Inspecting  B & W SPP converted Merrill photos, I noticed that this micro-contrast was mostly absent.

Here is, again, the crop from the original color photo, converted from X3F, note the unevenness of the right-hand white wall:

then a SPP B & W version, this time the default 1:1:1 mix:

In this B & W version, the wall looks much more even, all the versions in Part 1 are similar.

Let's have a look on the same crop from the SOOC JPEG:

and the same converted to B & W in GIMP:

The difference compared with the SPP B & W version is more or less negligible.

However, if we convert the SPP color version to B & W, we get almost as much micro-contrast as the original has:

Now, at this point, I asked myself what's the purpose of the SPP B & W conversion if it gets rid of the Merrill look. After some pondering, I remembered portraits, which can look quite hideous in color. I've got a shot of my daughter and her daughter, which is a good example. I don't show the SPP color version,  it's too awful, but I'll show a GIMP conversion thereof, it's bad enough (3 MB file):

then the SPP B & W version (2.6 MB):

This is much "friendlier". Another possibility would be to use OOC JPEG as the difference is quite minor or even invisible at all sensible print sizes.

For architecture and landscapes in B & W, an external B & W conversion of the SPP color version (with GIMP etc.) would give the Merrill look at large enough print sizes,  NB. it may be necessary to print at 40" x 60" or something like that in order to make, e.g., the slight undulations of the left-hand clock face in my steeple shot visible – I've tested it using 4" x 6" crops .

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