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Advanced Digital Black & White Photography (A Lark Photography Book) PDF download · download 1 file · SINGLE PAGE PROCESSED JP2. DOWNLOAD PDF This book brings black-and-white photography into the digital age. Digital cameras Title: Advanced digital black and white photography. (c) - page 1 of 7 - Get Instant Access to PDF File: a8b Advanced Digital Black & White Photography By John Beardsworth.
The section also objective, it will convince you line art-nothing too weird or addresses solutions for outputting there's a lot of life in black and offbeat, however. Drag the histogram. This isn't just due to technical concerns about absence of detail in image areas, it is a result of behavioral factors in the viewer. The canyon wall becomes very canyon wall and the trees become much dark and the trees look dead. In black-and-white film terms, these new techniques are like having an infinite range of colored lens filters, red-green grads, yellow-red spots, and whatever other"exotic" you might need for the subject. When it's a choice between retaining highlight detail and sacrificing the shadows, there's only one loser-you do what it takes to keep the highlights from burning out. For and-white JPEG.
If allows much more creative flexibility. For you are shooting JPEG-only, this occurs the final image, two channel filtrations as the camera processes the capture Above: Digital sensors consist of a grid data and creates the JPEG, but if you of photocells, each sensitive to one white, like using yellow and red lens filters are shooting in RAW format, the color channel.
Glass filters tend to be more expensive and screw directly onto the lens, meaning their thread or diameter has to match. Resin or plastic filters slot into standard-size holders which are then attached to the lens using adapters for each thread size, so this is much more flexible if you have a few lenses.
Some lenses, like ultra wide-angles, only take gelatin filters which slide into slots at the rear of the lens. There is a wide variety of filters to choose from.
As we've seen on pages , colored lens filters belong to the film era, so that's a whole lot fewer lens filters to weigh down your camera bag. They allow moving objects. Use a neutral density filter and graduated from gray to clear. The gray remains useful, there's a limit to a small aperture to blur water-this half darkens that part of the subject by the amount you can carry and the exposure lasted 2 seconds at It is perhaps worth having a neutral graduated filter just in case, but if you are using a tripod, it may be as easy to bracket a couple of shots and match them up later in Photoshop.
This is something to watch out for, digital, polarizers are by far the most its direction, being strongest when the especially with wide angle lenses. Also remember that because the useful filters and it's worth spending filter is at 90 degrees to the sun. Sometimes the color saturation effect is polarizing filter reduces the light overpowering, or the filter can cut out reaching the sensor, your exposure pair of filters that prevent unpolarized attractive reflections, so you need to needs to be longer.
While the camera's light from passing through the lens. It is effectively a neutral density filter too. As a white. Without them, colors may be result, these objects' colors are richer more saturated but that doesn't But these are disadvantages are and more saturated.
Sunlight also necessarily improve the picture's minor by comparison with the polarizing reflects off particles like mist and haze, appearance and isn't relevant for mono. Many photographers so the polarizing filter makes skies There's always a danger that a polarized gladly carry one polarizer for each lens bluer and makes clouds stand out. The strength of polarization changes as you rotate the filter's top layer. It is Polarization can make the sky look uneven and the make parts of it too TIP Always watch out for dark corners when you shoot with a filter.
This may indicate that the filter is vignetting the image and is unsuitable for the lens. The polarizing filter eliminates reflected light. Clouds stand out more in blue skies, and here different shades have been brought out in the sea.
The polarizing filter remains as useful in digital as it is in film photography. The polarizing filter captures richer colors and usually makes it easier to render more detail in the black-and-white image.
It should not be confused with night vision or thermal imaging, where heat emissions are captured. Instead, the infrared photographer usually works in daylight and uses a lens filter to eliminate the visible wavelengths of light, so the sensor only records light from the infrared part of the spectrum. One of the great things about it is that after the warm early morning light has disappeared, you can switch to shooting infrared and make the most of sun that is directly overhead.
This isn't a bad thing-it opens up fascinating effect in Photoshop. A simulation, meant loading and unloading the creative opportunities to blur like the one demonstrated on rolls in complete darkness, often moving objects like clouds and pages , starts with a with your hands inside a changing produce a distinctive digital infrared visible-light picture and makes it bag. By contrast, digital infrared is style very different from film-based look like it is infrared-turning the so easy you can shoot one frame infrared photography.
Whichever sky near-black, brightening foliage, conventionally and the next in approach you take, it's faster and and so on. Infrared photography, on infrared. There are essentially two much more satisfying to achieve the other hand, captures light that choices: For instance, infrared The first approach permits shutter light isn't reflected off water in the speeds high enough to hand-hold Here the infrared exposure was so long it atmosphere, so mist is simply not the camera, but it's costly and blurred the water and the boats.
It also recorded in the infrared capture, means dedicating the camera body which consequently reveals cloud to infrared. Infrared captures are fundamentally different from visible-light photographs. Infrared lR degrades the quality of the regular image, so camera makers have good reasons to add anti-IR filters to the digital sensor. Their effectiveness varies, not just between camera makes but between models.
For example, Nikon used to have less effective IR filters than Canon, and so were generally better for infrared photography, but more recent models have been ft Once you know your camera can capture infrared, you need an B The infrared filter usually gives photographs a weird red or purple trumpeted as having reduced IR infrared filter over the lens.
These are sensitivity. While your camera manual may color. You can eliminate this in specify your camera's infrared capability, Many brands are available, and they vary it's easy to work it out for yourself. Set in strength and the wavelength above your camera's exposure mode to which they begin to permit light. Then, in darkness, release the purer the infrared capture and the through the filter. Once you've set up the shutter and fire an infrared remote less visible light will be recorded.
Check the LCD and see if the holder while others are available which sensor has captured an image. The infrared image will often show a red or purple color cast before image processing.
Equally important is the fact that the infrared filter is so opaque that you can't see to compose the picture, even if your camera has an electronic viewfinder. So mount the camera on a tripod, frame the shot and focus, and then attach the lens filter. Some cameras have a switch to automatic setting to determine the will counteract this difference.
You won't have this problem carefully on the LCD-the histogram the aperture. This is because A second aspect is that there are good creative danger that visible light can reach if tricky but it's easy to follow a "plan-do-review" cycle. For your first can quickly tell you how much you need reasons for setting a slower shutter your camera doesn't have an optical speed and having greater depth of field.
You will probably At f16 or f22, digital infrared exposures may last 30 seconds or longer, so you compose the picture. Here the exposure was a minute, giving the clouds time to move across the sky. Notice too how well a Lith effect works with infrared. Most of the work is done by the Digital infrared is so easy you can time you press the shutter.
If you take one conventional image, adjust have set a custom white balance, you the exposure, add the filter, and may just need to desaturate the image shoot the next frame in infrared. You can then stack the two images color casts. Also hot pixels may be in Photoshop and apply the Color visible because of the long exposure, blending mode to the color image. Here, Adobe Camera Raw picked up my custom white balance but this Below: Classic infrared subjects include various infrared capture still has a slight color shades of foliage, and interesting skies with cast.
I can drag the Saturation slider to broken clouds. Layers of tutorials accumulate over time.
An outdated method might be recycled in a new-looking web site, or a convincing commentator in an online forum might not mention he uses an old version, or may even be so stuck in an earlier era that he sees no need for today's best practice. You can spend forever working out what belongs in which era of development, what's old and best forgotten, and what's the best way for you to work.
In the following pages we are terms of flexibility and creative channels, using adjustment layer going to try to make sense of expression. We will then examine and masks, so the final image is this accumulated knowledge how more modern methods exploit the best black-and-white treatment and examine some of the many the information in the image's color you can achieve.
The older ways still produce quality results and won't be ignored, but they also have disadvantages in Left: Italian protest rallies often seem motivated more bV fun than politics.
This changes all pixel values in the file to grayscale values. This ratio comes from an assessment of the average color responsiveness of the human eye, so the results are pretty average too.
It is quick, and the resulting file will take up less disk space since all the color information is discarded. On the other hand, once you save and close the file, the image's color values are gone forever, so you can never adjust the black-and-white conversion. In other words, this method isn't very flexible and gives you no creative control over the black-and-white conversion. Like the Grayscale method, it's a "one size fits all" approach, but it also ignores how the eye responds to colors.
Again, the absence of creative input means this is one to avoid. First reset Photoshop's colors 0 and then add a Gradient Map adjustment layer. Adjusting the Smoothness slider controls how the gradient relates to image luminosity, while other sliders change the gradient's brightness range.
In effect, the Gradient Map method lets the user adjust image contrast while also making the image black and white, and perhaps that is behind its cult status on the forums that is otherwise hard to explain. While you can get decent results, you're also ignoring the color channels and losing their creative potential. They are best avoided. That might sound idental to work from other source images. If, acrosss a number of images, it can desaturation, but instead of removing all for example, you've found an image be repurposed for an unusual the color a duotone-like effect is with color tones that you like, then destructive monchrome conversion.
The result is reduction of the Color Intensity setting. The but it can be quite pleasing. Match Color, at least for our purposes, Left: The original image, which has a high concentration of red. A dialog will appear with two distinct sections, Image Options at the top and Image Statistics at the bottom. To use the Left: The resulting image from the simple Color Intensity reduction method. Save Statistics An alternative treatment, using the color tones from the lake image. Alternatively, if you're interested in using the color from another image, then before you click OK choose it from the Source drop-down.
It's also possible to save your favorite statistics Left: The color information is and white. Like the other basic delete either the a or the b select the Lightness channel and then choose a then thrown away, leaving just black Activate the Channels palette, channel, and you're done. The color information Right: But of the remains in the History palette, but is basic methods, lost when you close the file. If you want Lightness is to fine-tune the conversion, you have probably the best.
Select don't rule out the Lightness method. Then change the layer's blending mode to Color. This means its only effect is to render the image black and white. It doesn't have any real virtue and I include it only for completeness.
I Color [ ]Opacity: Its main role is in retouching and compositing, where it is used to make sophisticated selection masks, so Calculations is not something most photographers would ever need to use.
Nonetheless Calculations can merge the values from up to two color channels and output a new, black-and-white Photoshop document. Because you can control the mixing layer-based techniques. The new So why is it covered here? The tones are rendered in black and about the color-to-mono rendition second reason is more important, white. Historically, it also made the means starting all over again.
Photoshop layers. Calculations Such limitations are now behind can produce great results, but its us, and Calculations is neither as awkwardness can limit your convenient nor versatile as modern creative experimentation. Although it can be awkward to use, Calculations does offer a degree creative control. Using the blue channel darkens the skin tones on this man's face, so the photographer can convey that he is a heavily tanned man.
It also tones down the background and changes the emphasis of the composition. Sour e 2: For instance, in the working image, it can only make pick Red in one drop-down box, and selections of channels there. Also, the Calculations' output will show lighter Layer drop-down boxes should in general skin tones, because the red channel be set to Merged, so any retouching values of skin are quite high.
Choose layers are included in the process. Use Blue, and for the same reason the Background Layer if there are no Calculations' mono output will render other layers. To bring out more tones in green, such as in the striped flag here, you'd pick Green in one or both Channel drop-down boxes. Source 1: When the preview shows a mono image that you like, click OK, and Photoshop sends the combined mono image to a brand new document.
Once you start using the channel values, mono conversion starts to become a creative process. Calculations lets you control how Photoshop blends the color channel values into a new black-and-white document. Here, Red channel values lighten and soften the subject's face, but they also make the mostly red background so blown out that it distracts from the subject. These techniques can do the job, and often well, but they all date from earlier eras in the history of Photoshop black and white, and limit your creative choices while being difficult to control.
Today's best conversion techniques let you creatively exploit the image's color channel information and fine-tune the mono conversion.
You can make the conversion separate the colors, so greens and reds might be distinguished by differing shades of gray. But whichever method cycling quickly through the channels. At a basic level, it tells you the characteristics of the three channels to the picture's subject. Modern methods give you an enormous degree of control over the tonal balance and scope for choosing how the composition should work in black and white.
And they all use adjustment layers, so you can revisit, improve, or completely reverse the conversion any time you want. Each My initial diagnosis of this picture see three alternative interpretations of image is different. Looking at the is that the Green channel produces the the photograph. In and-white image. I don't pretend looping background and his vest are very bright. During this process you are adjust, and whether you might need to looking at specific details within the make some selective mono conversions photograph.
Green makes the vest look dark, making The second reason for this cycle is the lettering stand out, and tones down far less tangible. Since the technique uses adjustment layers, you can always return to the file and change the settings, and layer masks let you apply local conversions too. One disadvantage is that. If that includes you, it can be a big plus. Below Left: Similar to the Red channel, though the sky is slightly less dark. The fortress is much less bright.
It's early one winter morning, the sky is a rich blue, and the fortress, Castel SantAngelo in Rome, is resplendent in warm colors. A black-and-white film enthusiast would probably have used an orange or red filter for this scene. Think in terms of details or subjects, and compositional regions like the top or the edges. In this image, the key areas are the fortress, which is the main subject, and the cloud pattern. Adjustment layers are them as pixel layers. Go to the Channels more convenient, and in principle there are palette, and select Split Channels from no differences in final output quality.
This produces three grayscale documents. Shift and drag each of the new images back into one document, and use masks or vary the layer opacities. Also include a layer I [vI Output Channel: In general. Photos hop Total: Here the Red is high, darkening the sky. Increasing it further would burn out detail in the fortress, so the Green value was increased instead, and Blue reduced to keep the overall brightness in balance.
For versatility, always use adjustment layers-notice from the Layers palette how the color information is preserved, so you can always revise the mono conversion. The Channel Mixer is a technique that comes naturally to black-and-white film photographers. To darken the sky, use more Red filtration. Master image that is lower in contrast, Hue so it is more likely that you will Saturation: The example on these pages shows how that happens in practice.
Like the film user's colored lens filters, this layer's purpose is to control the colors that the Film layer will capture. Name the new layer" Filter" and change its blending mode to Color. You can also alter the Saturation and Lightness sliders if you wish. The final mono print needs to be realistic but that's not necessarily the same as being faithful to the original.
Notice how his skin tones are darker than the sky. It's realistic and believable. DColorfze E]Preview Left: In this version, simply by changing the Hue, the eye is drawn to the man because his skin is much lighter and is set against a darkened sky. It shares all the main characteristics of other modern techniques, with creative channel-based control via six color-specific sliders and availability as an adjustment layer, and it also integrates toning or tint in the same dialog box.
But what really marks CS3 Black and White apart-and the reason it is used throughout this book-is its "targeted adj ustment tool.
Even better if your use a tablet and pen, it's as though you are painting your black-and-white rendition. Just after nightfall, there is not enough color in the sky. The final version has a lot more punch; the sky is near black and there is plenty of highlight detail. A simple gravscale a conversion is too bland. They are adjustment layer, and Photoshop controlling the conversion process interactively, so I'm not so fond of the right.
Dragging it left has the opposite equivalent to colored lens filters and effect. So, in this example, moving the even if you've got no black-and-white Yellow and Red sliders to the right film experience, Presets is often a great would brighten up the arches.
II The true glory of Black and White Photoshop detects the colors in that is the targeted adjustment tool. So, instead of dragging sliders, To darken an image area, like the sky here, drag the cursor across that area in a leftward motion. Use a number move the cursor over a part of the of short strokes to build up the effect picture that you would like to brighten, gradually, or use a single longer action.
It'll soon start to feel like a very natural, Hold down the mouse button and drag creative process.
Stroke image areas and Photoshop will adjust the grayscale brightness of the corresponding colors. In other words there's no need to know which sliders produce the right black-and-white treatment. The default Black and White adjustment makes the red oil similar in gravscale tone to the workbench's green edge. But vou can exploit such color differences to produce much more interesting treatments of the subject. The final image. The best wav to use Photoshop CS3's Black and White adjustment is to stroke image areas with the cursor.
Here, the oil can has been made brighter and the background darker. Stroke image areas with the cursor. A leftward motion darkens how the Hu. D' Saturation D"'O EJ It's vital to understand that this isn't dodging or burning, or EJ Because the stroking action is really targeting and adjusting area's color appears in black and white, changing the brightness of a selected colors, you also need to keep a close while dragging to the right brightens the area of the image.
Photoshop samples eye on the rest of the picture. It's very color's grayscale output. So you are adjusting the grayscale over the bench's edge, Photoshop had leftward direction. Use a series of short brightness of the colors that were found reduced the grayscale brightness of strokes, or single longer ones, in a in that area, not the brightness of the greens and yellows, but this made the painting or sketching-like action.
Where area itself. Just watch the sliders in the Shell logo unacceptably dark. To try to you want an area to be brighter, the dialog before you release the mouse resolve this, I experimented and stroking motion should be to the right. I felt this picture needed the oil can dragged left over the can and to the right elsewhere. The logo's appearance to be brighter and more obvious, and was much improved and this also the bench and the background to be produced an interesting alternative darker.
So I stroked the can to the right. But while I quite liked the the right. Likewise the image's can, and certainly preferred the logo greens were darkened by dragging to detail, I still preferred my initial treatment the left over the workbench's green for the picture as a whole. Another edge, and the background was treated photographer might decide differently, in the same way. So to restrict the alternative conversion to the logo, I simply added a mask to that adjustment layer.
While the cursor technique is quick and easy, you can also set the Black and White sliders using one of the built-in Filter Presets.
There's nothing wrong with that, and it's a very natural approach for photographers familiar with colored lens filters and black-and-white film.
Presets can be a great timesaver and a good starting point providing you then focus on the image and on what the grayscale rendition says about the subject. The original image is quite soft and the woman's lined face isn't unusual for her age. The Red, Orange, and Yellow Filter presets are usually kindest to faces and produce softer-looking skin tones.
You can resolve these later. Here, for example, a Curves adjustment layer has brightened the midtones and highlights. The default Black and White adjustment is very neutral or natural. High Contrast Red Filter white photographers' commonly used interpretation of the picture. While the overall brightness and contrast are now acceptable, the preset isn't the best choice for portraits; end result is a little" chalk and charcoal" certainly not of women or children. If the skin aging.
It's one interpretation, but not tones become too light, just add a a flattering one. Curves adjustment layer for a more natural appearance.
It does mean applying a single tonal balance to the entire image area, and Photoshop supports bit imaging. Camera Raw or another conversion The method lacked versatility and plugin, and you could set Saturation remained a rather obscure trick.
All to 0 and produce a crude mono that changed with Photoshop CS3 rendition. Capture One, or Bibble included channel-based sliders to output more considered black-and-whites.
Like the newer Lightroom and Aperture, you could then "send to" or "edit with" Photoshop. These methods deliver a file to Photoshop with no RGB values. So you're out of luck if you later want to fine-tune the black-and-white rendition-for instance, to see how a red filter would affect the tonal balance and separate similar tones, or to try a blue filter on a portrait of a man.
And there's no chance at all of making a color version from the same working file. You have to redo the RAW conversion and lose any retouching time. Photoshop CS2 introduced the idea of "placing" the raw data in a new document, and you could double-click the "smart object" layer and update its RAW conversion settings.
Because the output is a Smart Object, the raw conversion remains editable. The onginal color image presents a a great deal of raw data which it is wise to preserve during conversion. Start by moving the two Saturation sliders to the right, and then drag one or both of the Hue sliders. To be sure about This switches the image preview to sliders icon.
This is where you can tune the exact color, a good trick is to hold black and white using a default setting. From the small menu on the , slider settings for reuse on other right-hand side of the Adobe Camera Raw dialog box, choose Save Settings. Pick the settings carefully-after all, you wouldn't want your saved preset to apply exposure adjustments as well as the black-and-white conversion and split toning settings.
Click Save. The pure monochrome result visible as you adjust the sliders under the HSUGravscale tab. They are also available in Bridge's grid view, so you could apply them to large numbers of RAW files by right-clicking and choosing the setting. II Why would you do this? The obvious benefits are versatility and a non-destructive workflow. Regardless of RAW conversion and available, but there is a new option that specific black-and-white issues, smart keeps the raw conversion editable: Hold down the Shift key and the can be big timesavers.
When they were first introduced, you could add Open Image button changes temporarily adjustment layers as normal, but you to Open Object. Just Options hyperlink below the image verticals and reverse or fine-tune double-click the smart object's thumbnail and tick Open in Photoshop as Smart those transformations when needed.
This launches Adobe Camera Raw and afterwards Objects. Click this Open Object button Photoshop CS3 went further and and the RAW file is sent to Photoshop's introduced Smart Filters, which mean Photoshop applies any filters and layer editing environment as a "smart you can also apply filters like Unsharp styles.
Since the smart object contains object", a special kind of layer that Mask or Gaussian Blur to the smart the RAW data, you can save your work contains the raw data. Adjustment layers have another big advantage, however, and that is in enabling you to make different mono conversions in different parts of the picture, using the channel values that are right for those areas.
This is important because when you browse through the channels, one part of the picture may look at its best in the Red channel and other areas be better in the Green. At worst, features may be unacceptable in one or other channel. The newer adjustment layer techniques allow you to have the best of both worlds, while older "one-size-fits-all" methods like Grayscale, Lightness, and Calculations forced you into uncomfortable workarounds.
In black-and-white film terms, these new techniques are like having an infinite range of colored lens filters, red-green grads, yellow-red spots, and whatever other"exotic" you might need for the subject. To apply more than one mono conversion, you simply need additional adjustment layers with different conversion settings, and you use their layer masks to target particular image areas. We'll look at an example of how you do this, and note a few other Photoshop techniques that make the work quicker and easier.
In the original image, a polarizing Left: You can have the filter turned the sky a rich blue and made best of both worlds bV using two-or the grass and trees look particularlv more-masked Black and White verdant. One mono conversion laver adjustment lavers. One renders the sky, might not be enough. Here I chose the Black and White technique and dragged the cursor a long way left in the blue area of sky.
This renders blue as near-black in grayscale, but rendering the sky in this way has left the tree and foreground Above: Paint on the adjustment layer's Above: The Black and White adjustment looking very dull. You can use any of the it will not affect any image areas which painting tools, such as the Brush B or have already been made monochrome. I then move the corresponding sliders to the painted black onto the mask so the tree right, lightening their grayscale rendition.
For example, my Red.. The Gradient tool can also be tree very differently and a join would be used to paint the mask. Its default obvious, evidence of a Brush edge that done with more than one and Green adjustment layers render the behavior is to replace any existing mask, but you may want to add to a carefully In this sort of work, you often painted mask.
Switch its blending mode need to compare the output was too hard. You can adjust the mask's contrast with regular image adjustments like to Lighten or Darken-here I chose Levels or smooth transition areas by with and without your adjustments.
Darken-and then drag the Gradient applying filters like Gaussian Blur. Make You can click the eye icon next to the diagonally from the bottom right. You should see the mask's simple of the layers is masked. Another way is black and white in the filter's preview. This a temporarily disables the mask so the layer. To see the based conversion techniques. PEOPLE In the previous pages we have looked at today's best ways of converting color digital images to black and white.
It's all very well knowing most of the techniques, and it's essential to distinguish the good ones from those that are now largely obsolete. But the art of black and white is not a mechanical process where "best" can be determined objectively. There is no scientifically perfect contrast range or histogram shape. You have choices and creative decisions to make.
There is a lot more to black and white than turning down your TV's color saturation, or pressing an auto button in Photoshop. The mono conversion step is where you make key compositional choices and determine how you want to interpret the digital negative.
To see what this means in practice, let's examine one image, focusing a lot less on the technique and a lot more on interpreting the picture's subject. This is a process I call creative mono conversion. Both methods are quick, and Grayscale produces smaller output files and is the only way to prepare a picture for a true Duotone. But more often than not-and it's certainly the case with this portrait-the results are rather flat and lifeless. Do you really want to surrender your creative opportunities?
What remains is the image's brightness values alone, and the black-and-white output is unaffected by the colors present in the original; any color information is discarded forever. The Lightness version is usually the most faithful to the original color picture. Is accurate recording of brightness what you really want to achieve?
These methods share a huge shortfall. They're destructive. While you are still working on the file, you can only fine-tune or reverse them by undoing subsequent work, up to the number of History steps available. Once you save and close the file, the conversion is fixed forever. These methods were fine for an earlier era of computing and in earlier versions of Photos hop. Stick with them if you never change your mind later, but why rule out that possibility forever?
Below sits a dark-skinned man wearing a very light shirt. In the next shot, the man remains heavily tanned, though his shirt is darker, while in the third his face is lighter and less rugged and the shirt darker still. Without the color original, you have no way of knowing which IS "true.
The principle is to choose There's just a single adjustment picture's channel information. It's which one to emphasize, and the layer, no masking or different not the technique that matters so extra three color groups in CS3 are conversions applied to selected much, it's how you use it to really just a bonus. Photoshop CS3 Levels. So if you want to make skin look dark, you might use only the Blue channel values. Alternatively, add a Black and White , , adjustrnent layer and use the cursor to drag left frorn the face.
In each case, the Blue treatrnent darkens skin tone and also reveals rnore details and blemishes too, so it usually works better for subjects where you're aiming to express age and experience. Also consider how the irnage is composed and where the grayscale tones are positioned in the picture.
Here the shirt is a pale blue, so its pixels have high Blue Preset: ItBI c: With black and white, the highlights. Here, attention is drawn to the eyes, which is good, and then straight down to the shirt; less good. A selective adjustment is one possible solution. Here, to my eye, it unbalances viewer is drawn from dark areas to the I; With portraits, Green tends to be somewhat average and in this case it is the least interesting or attractive version.
RED Red channel values are higher in skin tones, so to make them brighter grayscale tones, pick the Red Filter presets in Channel Mixer or Black and White dialog boxes. The Red Filter style produces softer, more attractive skin tones.
Some men may well appear insufficiently butch, too gentle, but it can suit women and children better than a blue-bias conversion. As well as subject appearance, also consider compositional impact.
Here, the blue shirt is now darkened and is hardly noticeable. Again, contrast that to the Blue Filter treatment. On the other hand, if the shirt had in fact been bright red, it would have continued to distract from the face. Nor should it. Adams himself, who died in , wrote about how much he looked forward to electronic imaging, and his pictures and writing continue to inspire and influence many of today's photographers. Equally, such a digital recipe should not be overblown.
Instead, it should be more a starting point for expressing your own style of black-and-white landscape photography. If there is a typical Ansel Adams scene, it often contains strong skies with cloud detail, as in this shot from one of his old stamping grounds, Zion National Park. The final image has strong sky details and a landscape full of tonal information. It's the result of using the black-and-white conversion as a key step in the creative process.
Like the black-and-white film user's red image but the result is lackluster. The red shows it as very bright grayscale tones, in lens filter, this makes the sky very dark and rock canyon wall and the trees become fact so pale that cloud detail is greatly makes the clouds stand out. Both the similar grayscale tones. The canyon wall becomes very canyon wall and the trees become much dark and the trees look dead. So if you brighter and are separate tones.
Pick wanted to brighten the sky and darken the Channel Mixer or Black and White's Red The hard work isn't applying a landscape, you could add a Channel Mixer Filter preset. It's evaluating the picture and deciding how you want to interpret it in your black-and-white composition. Film photographers often tried out different colored filters, attaching them to the lens or sometimes holding them up to the eyes.
H "'- I!!. Then drag the cursor over areas whose tone B Adams was an enthusiastic and highly skilled darkroom printer and was a master of dodging and burning, you want to modify. Here I clicked in the brightening and darkening selected areas sky and dragged left, making Photoshop of the print. We'll see how to do this in darken that area in the black-and-white Photoshop later-for now, notice how rendition. The rock wall was then the work has been done with Curves lightened by dragging the cursor to the adjustment layers and grouped together.
In those cases we focused on interpretation, on why you control the conversion, and how its grayscale output might tell the viewer something about the subject. Each treatment also affected the basic composition-the brightness of the man's shirt unbalancing the image, or the darkened sky drawing attention to the canyon wall and the tree. So, for a third example, let's look at how you might add some compositional creativity, and tonal separation, to the black-and-white conversion process.
The original image. The leaves differ in brightness, but an important part of the color composition is the line between the wet bark and the green moss. Rig ht: Any of the channel-based adjustment layers can produce excellent results and let you choose how to compose your black and white. In this final image it seemed important to separate the leaves' tones and darken their background. In this picture, the Green Filter Channel Mixer or Black and White Filter presets produce the most tonal separation adjustment layer make the leaves look shows the viewer that the leaves differ in between the key elements of composition.
Blue values are low in red color. There's a lack of tonal as in the Green Filter output right , and it is lower in the frame, this seems to separation that seems to make the notice how the lower red leaf is also much anchor the picture. Again, whatever your composition less interesting. Is that desirable? Theres no preferred conversion technique, this is simple answer; its for you-the creative where judgement rightly takes over.
I Custom Reds: Looping through the channels makes it easy to discover alternative black-and-white renditions, It's also quicker and more versatile to use the color channels for selective mono rendition than to build EjPreview masks which target specific areas, and it doesn't leave traces.
You can still Greens: While the experimentation simple. Start with a U preset-I picked the Green Filter-and for the leaves, I wanted to darken the Green Filter preset worked well click and drag the cursor on the image, bark and moss, so moving to the right to brighten the area adjustment layer and carefully masked in the conversion, or left, as I am here, out the leaves.
I added another to darken the red leaf. Without pushing the analogy too far, the black-and-white film photographer chooses a colored filter to control where tones are distributed around the negative, and sets the final print's contrast by picking the right grade of paper. In the digital darkroom, you don't have just one shot at setting the most pleasing tonal composition and contrast, and there's a very good case for not trying to do so. Contrast may not be irrelevant when you look at the preview and adjust the Channel Mixer or Black and White sliders, but it is secondary to using the creative mono conversion step to compose in grayscale blocks, and secondary to fully interpreting your subject.
You can sort out the contrast later. Not every photograph needs to contain the full range of tones from pure black to pure white, but it certainly helps.
So first set the black and white points. As well as setting the black and white points with Levels or Curves, a black border helps anchor the tones in the final image. Above and Left: Using the Blue Filter preset exaggerated Bryce Canvon: Although the overall contrast range was lower, this separation Background was very important to the picture. Pure blacks and whites can be restored as a distinct step. In the way. As with the Levels dialog box, drag triangles. This works in either Levels Levels dialog there is a histogram, and the white and black triangles below the or Curves and makes Photoshop beneath it are three triangles.
Drag the histogram. Because Curves give you so display the image in clipping mode. This makes the to work from now on. Similarly, those areas are "clipped" and contain drag the black triangle to the right until it no visible detail.
Especially with the reaches the histogram's far-left limit. Brightness and contrast say a lot about the picture. We talk positively of high-key images and might apply such a bright palette to weddings, fashion, or children. A darker, grittier realism seems more appropriate to photojournalism or reportage images, while a more even spread of tones can suit landscape shots with realistic or natural aspirations. The final image has a slightly greater contrast and remains high key, but Curves is a very versatile tool, offering very precise contrast and brightness control.
So here a mid gray value its effect on the image. An inverted of will be output as You U-shaped curve brightens all tones.
The principle the gray midpoint slider in Levels. After setting the black and white behind the Curves dialog is that the Curves are much more flexible, as points, you need to assess and set the bottom of the chart or X axis shows the we are about to discover, but for now overall image contrast. The curve maps these input U-shaped curve like this darkens all values to the values at which they will be tones from shadows to highlights.
If the chart doesn't make sense at first, keep an eye on the Input and Output values in the surrounding dialog box. Here a dark gray value of 60 will be output as The darker, reducing overall contrast.
Here it midtones and highlights to be lifted is exaggerated, but its characteristic a little. So here the curve's dip below shape means the contrast-increasing the diagonal "neutral" line is very curve is commonly called an S curve. Some pictures benefit from adjustments that change the character of just the very darkest tones, lifting their brightness so the viewer notices detail in the deepest shadows.
The highlights might need to be pulled back a touch so they don' t appear featureless; or part of the picture may contain midtones that look too similar, or would look better if they were brighter or darker. The finished image. The shadows are more interesting than their previous near-black state, while the brighter highlights make the vallev seem sunnier Notice how the sky is much brighter.
While the Green Filter preset rendered this landscape as a flat and uninteresting black and white image, the creative mono worker ne eds to utilize the full range of tones that the image contains.
The arches' shadows are too deep, but elsewhere the conversion contains plenty of usable detail. As well as lifting the shadows, Curves can control more than one beyond Sand U shapes, and add extra image and add more points to the curve. This its brief upward movement. Although this may seem like a new development, it isn't: This valley landscape is a good shadows, but every photographer example of where contrast needs has a style to express, and for me to be added in one area of the this picture was always more about picture.
Even before opening up the stormy clouds than it was the arches' shadows, the sky about the viaduct. Such creative looked relatively light and the interpretation of the scene often image seemed unbalanced.
The means you need to apply more initial black-and-white rendition was than one adjustment to its improved by adjusting the brightness and contrast. The sky's contrast is very different in the final version, but this was possible because the mono conversion stage focused on providing a full tonal range rather than on getting overall image contrast right.
There was plenty of detail in the sky and this could be exploited to fully interpret the scene. Compared to the rest of the initial mono version, the sky here was relativelv weak, but what was more important was that it contained valuable detail and a complete tonal range.
D Add extra Curves adjustment layers to control contrast, targeting each one on specific parts of the frame by painting onto the layer mask.
The Gradient tool is useful for this, especially on landscapes with obvious horizons. Click and activate the mask, then draw the Gradient across the image in a long Lock stroke to smooth the transition between adjusted and unadjusted areas. Double-click the ft U Ifil Use as many masked Curves adjustment layers as you want, using different gradients.
This samples the image A good little trick is to switch the Curves adjustment layer blending mode and adds points to the curve, which you to Multiply. This is like adding two can then drag apart to increase the adjustment layers at once and saves contrast between those tones.
But a more surprising application is local contrast adjustment using a method borrowed from sharpening techniques, and which is sometimes known as wide area sharpening. The idea is that you apply the Unsharp Mask filter but with settings very different from those needed for sharpening. This provides a contrast boost that is sensitive to the image's contents, and the local contrast increase is subtle enough not to completely distort the picture's overall appearance.
Right and Below: Wide area sharpening gives the image a contrast boost without unbalancing the picture's overall contrast. Blending Options Select the merged layer and to an image pixel layer. Convert for Smart Filters command.
This copies all your work into a single This changes the layer into a Smart layer. You can always reduce the layer's Object so you can apply the Unsharp opacity to moderate the effect.
Mask or other filters and remove or adjust them later. Wide area sharpening should produce a subtle effect, so it can be a good idea to zoom in or to work in full screen mode F and remove distractions such as the palettes Tab. Completely clipped or burnt-out highlights might convey an overwhelming sense of luminosity, while solid shadows can invoke emotions of gloom or make the subject look threatening.
You can also use clipping to hide distractions and imperfections. For instance, high ISO images contain digital noise and the shadow areas may be darkened without unduly affecting the subject. This image was shot with such strong natural sidelight that a little fill flash was added to balance the flowers' shadows.
But the on-camera flash produced shadows of the stems on the background. With the Curves dialog open, move the cursor over pixels in your image and the palette shows their Input and Output values in the RGB section. Here a tone with a brightness value of 15 will be output as 3. Clipping the shadows realized this To clip shadows aggressively, drag the curve's bottom left point picture's original intention-complete highlight detail in the flowers and a pure to the right.
Here the point has been black background. Here there's a gap at the shadow end of the chart, indicating that there are no real blacks in the image. Sometimes you simply have to choose which is the more important; at other times the most important thing on your mind is to capture the fast-changing action. Bright backgrounds may cause the camera to set the exposure correctly for the background, underexposing the main subject and leaving it dark and unpromising.
But when there is detail in the shadows, all is not lost. There are now a few post processing techniques to deal with underexposed subjects. While you can always use masks and Curves adjustment layers, a group of more automated alternatives simulate the shadow-brightening effect of using fill flash at the time of shooting.
As a Smart Object,. Highlights is an "adaptive" adjustment and examines the image for ranges or areas of similar brightness. That's very different from Curves, for instance, which examines and changes each individual pixel separately. So here it will examine the image, find the larger areas of shadow and lift their values.
Shadows Amount: Tonal Width: Black Clip: White Clip: When the scene is fast-developing, you don't always get the time to get the exposure spot on. Here the camera exposed for the bright sky and left the subject underexposed. You cover the photographic paper with a card and switch on the enlarger light for a second; move the card, then switch on the light again, and so on. Eventually you have a picture with a series of graduated strips, each a little darker than the previous one.
By comparing the results, you can pick the " right" exposure for the final print. You also gain a good idea of how the picture will respond to alternative exposures, which makes any dodging and burning a much more conscious and creative process. In the digital darkroom you can gain similar insights by varying an adjustment layer's opacity, by duplicating it, or by switching the layer's blending mode to Multiply or Screen. While these are all valuable, there are times when judging results side by side works better than changing slider values.
And in any case you may just prefer to assess the image from contact strips on a test print and get better final results than examining the image on screen. This is a quick method that works not just with contrast and brightness, but with any adjustment layer technique. Top Right: Portraits of men often look best with relatively high contrast, but it's easy to go too far. Fun Number Activities pdf - Lesley Higgin. An Army Ranger Medic's Story [pdf] by leo jenkins.
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