Results tagged “darkroom”

Colour to Black & White?

In camera, or post-production?

Recently in a flickr discussion forum, the issues of in-camera processing came up. LotF, the photographer in question, was disappointed at the results his new camera was producing, with in-camera b & w conversions, compared to an older camera. Some argued that it was the camera, or maybe the camera's software. Others also wondered out loud about the pro and cons of in camera conversion and post production conversion.

I am a fan of being aware of and able to control outcomes to meet my expectations, this is something any software that is fully automatic will lock the user out of entirely. Therefore I tend to avoid in-camera processing, besides it's almost impossible to make good judgments on a screen that small.

So, for me the only way to convert is in post-production. I did however conduct a small simple test, one shot as usual and then the same shot with the camera set to b&w*

I used Photoshop's black and white conversion on the default settings. image>mode>black & whiteThe results indicated to me that post was indeed better. Subtle but better. [The in-camera shot for comparison.] The highlights were over-exposed, the shadows and mid-tones were ok though, I guess if you had the software to run a jpeg through a raw conversion tool, you could fix up some of the problem areas and blend them together.

original file converted post exposure

This in camera processed shot, has blown highlights and poor mid tone separation, the contrast seems to high too for my liking.


in camera conversion

Post processed has more values to work with, the shadows reading #3, are little empty for my liking though, easy fixed with some tweaking in Photoshop.


*This has all been done using phone cameras for speed and convenience.

Photoshop Layers 4

Layer Masks, one of my favourite tricks is to duplicate a layer, make some changes to it, whether it be colour contrast b&w, or some other effect I want to, apply to the image then add a layer mask and brush in any differences I want to see applied to the image.

Using a black and white image on top of the other is one of the most common, but intensifying colour using curves or levels is one of my favourites. Again this approach in non-destructive, and infinitely un-doable, while the layers are unflattened.

Lastly the Text Layer, which is relatively self explanatory, I hope? Handy for adding a copyright watermark to your image I guess?

Photoshop Layers 3

Today, I'm going to look breifly at how I use adjustment layers.

From Photoshop's help files:-

An adjustment layer applies color and tonal adjustments to your image without permanently changing pixel values. For example, rather than making a Levels or Curves adjustment directly to your image, you can create a Levels or Curves adjustment layer. The color and tone adjustments are stored in the adjustment layer and apply to all the layers below it. You can discard your changes and restore the original image at any time.

As a small aside you can now access an extensive set of help files on the web directly from the help applicaiton in photoshop.

The key issue here for me is the ability to make and adjustment to say colour balance density or saturation of an image and then brush through the mask to locally adjust the image to best suit my ideas and intentions in photograph.

This approach offers a degree of control unheard of in the history of colour photography. Combined with a desktop inkjet printer like the Epson R2400, I now have a complete home colour darkroom. And of course, again, no pixels are destroyed in the process.

adjustment layers
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