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DPChallenge Forums >> Individual Photograph Discussion >> whatcha think? B&W processing...
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04/23/2007 03:25:17 AM · #1
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trying to improve on my B&W processing. Did this in Bibble while converting from RAW. Are the nostrils too prominent? How about the tonality of it? What do you think overall?

Any suggestions for improvement would be greatly appreciated.
04/23/2007 03:50:51 AM · #2
I like the shot, The tones are good, but maybe a little harsh on the contrast. I'd love to see what you are working from. I don't know if you want to see how others might have approached a B/W conversion of the same shot, let me know.
04/23/2007 04:33:00 AM · #3
Agreed, the contrast is too high, otherwise nice shot. Why not post the original - or a JPG from an unedited RAW and let us give it a try?
04/23/2007 04:34:18 AM · #4
Not only do I like the composition but I also like the B&W post processing as well. The line through her neck muscles directs you into her face and so I think that the balance between the depth of dark tone in her eyes is well balanced by the nostrils.

Are you using the Bibble plug-in for the conversion?
04/23/2007 01:04:26 PM · #5
here is the unedited shot ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/37053/thumb/501662.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/37053/thumb/501662.jpg', '/') + 1) . '. I'm generally a bit hesitant to post pictures like this because it's a kid at the ballet studio I shoot at.

I used Bibble for my raw conversion because it is the fastest and highest quality converter for batch images I have found. As far as B&W goes Bibble has the Ansel plugin that allows my to change all the zones in a photo easily and the Andy plugin that allows me to convert to black and white emulating numerous film and paper types giving me more flexibility over the conversion than any other program I have found (including Photoshop).

I know the contrast is very high, back in my college days when I was taking fashion photography classes I became a big fan of the way Ellen Von Unwerth processed her photos. I'm realizing as time goes by though that style really isn't for everyone (or that I do a bad job of it)

here's one with different film/paper types selected (and a little Ansel tweaking):
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btw, this is the full image w/no crop.

edit, oops, I linked the wrong image at first for the unedited shot

Message edited by author 2007-04-23 13:49:35.
04/23/2007 01:51:50 PM · #6
oops, posted the wrong image for my unedited shot by mistake in my last post. I fixed it now though.
04/23/2007 02:51:05 PM · #7
Personally, I prefer the original B&W :-) but the second is good but not quite to my taste.
04/23/2007 02:56:31 PM · #8
I think the nostrils are too prominant, This is the perfect angle for looking deep into a person's nose, if you are so inclined.

I, however, am not. ;)
04/24/2007 03:35:17 AM · #9
Hope you don't mind, but i tried my own editing on your pic. I tried to keep contrast while also keeping some detail in the iris and the nostrils:
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/49109/thumb/502012.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/49109/thumb/502012.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

Here's what I did (in PS):
channel mixer: R +14 G +48 B +70
curves: shadows 86->66, lights 182->192
levels: 0 - 0.90 - 250
USM 120 % - 1.2 px - 3

Message edited by author 2007-04-24 05:02:01.
04/24/2007 05:59:51 AM · #10
Funny, until I saw the color version, I thought she was wearing a hat.
(Gringo may need to take some classes on human anatomy).

Megatherian (Dan), I played around with the different levels and options and I was not able to get to one I liked better than yours.

The problem I'm having with loving yours is the almost blown-out areas of the skin. It seems to take the feeling of the image into a hard light when everything about the image is soft. (I hope that made sense). If you could just tone it down (slightly) so the skin remains soft and doesn't blow-out.... it will be perfect.. to me (and still have that Ellen Von Unwerth feel you are shooting for).

I have these funny rules in my head when I'm fighting with the processing on an image. I try to pick the things I like most about the image and accentuate them. I also try to tone down the areas I like least. I think if you take a soft image and make it hard.... it needs to be extreme so it doesn't look like a mistake. (Yours doesn't look like a mistake by-the-way) I'm just rambling to give you my thoughts as I put this triptych together. The soft is there along side the extreme.
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/6804/thumb/502027.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/6804/thumb/502027.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
04/24/2007 07:57:11 AM · #11
And yet another direction:
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/19708/thumb/502055.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/19708/thumb/502055.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

After adjusting the levels, lightened up the left side of her face a bit and toned down the bright band on her neck, made some contrast adjustments, over-sharpened a bit to enhance the grain, brought out some detail in her eyes, used the liquify pinch tool to reduce her right nostril just a touch, darkened the background and her ear then and added a slight warming tone overall.

Message edited by author 2007-04-24 08:21:49.
04/24/2007 04:00:43 PM · #12
I really like what you did there Brad - especially with the eye and the nostrils.

Thanks everyone for your input, this defiantly gives me more to think about and try out.
04/24/2007 04:27:31 PM · #13
I like the shot. Nice job.
04/24/2007 04:30:49 PM · #14
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Here's my little edit, sharpened 3 or 4 times, erasing the sharpness everywhere but her eye. Went to black and white using a black and white gradient map, and a selective color adjustment layer underneath that and moving the sliders. Copied the image and applied a nice dose of gaussian blur, the erased those effects on the eye and half the effect on lips and hair, then faded that back to around 30%, some dodging of the skin around her mouth and burned her lips.
04/24/2007 05:02:21 PM · #15
Personally I like the first edit the best... Yes, it's high contrast, but I think it works well for the photo.
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