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HI’m doing this tut in the spirit of cooperation and hopping that it will help some one with their B&W conversion. I’m not a teacher neither pretend to be one, but I know how a B&W image should look and do my own thing base of my many years of darkroom experience. I’m not a Photoshop guru and my computer knowledge is limited. That is way I turn to you guys so often for help. This digital thing is a new world for me but I love it.

I love to help people and that get me in to problems some times for I can be a hypocrite. Not every body is willing to hear constructive criticism of their work. I learned from a man that hurt my ego very often but his heart was in the right place. So I stud like a man and took my beating and like the Bible said “Every thing work together for good to those that love the Lord.” I end up been a pretty good printer. If I had just walked away then I would have missed the boat. So I try to give back in the same manner that it was given to me with love and the conviction that my heart is in the right place. You do not have to follow my way but I pray you will be able to find your own way and be successful at it. If in any way or form my way helps you it will make me feel extremely happy, that I was able to give something back in return for all what I have received.

The image that I choose to make my illustration was taken at sunset. The image lighting was mixed the rocks are been lit by tungsten lights from the light pole on their left and the rest was under natural light. Have I choose to make the image in color I will have to correct the lighting.

The must important part of B&W imaging is good exposure this image was properly exposed but I altered the exposure a bit for illustration purposes. This is the #1 Original image. In this image you will notice the following:
1- The sky has no color or density separation is just a patch of blue and the clouds are bluish instead of cotton white.
2- The trees are to dark and show no life.
3- The main house and the wharf have the same color density but we will fix that when we fix the water color density the wharf will tent to look whiter even do it has not been touch.
4- We know we have to work the water as stated on the previous step.
5- The shadows under the big rock and to the right of it need to open up.
6- This rock must keep its density and definition for it is eye catching and important to the composition even do it is almost in the middle is not a distraction but a compliment.
7- I now make my first print on typing paper using a laser printer I write the numbers on the areas that I just identify as needing adjustment. We now have our #2 Numbered guide print.

The B&W Conversion:

There are many ways to convert an image to B&W but I like to use Graffi’s B&W Lab conversions to do my thing. The reason for this is that I have a lot of diversity a click away. So if you don’t have them get them. Is this is a plug for Graffi’s Actions? YES, it is. I feel Graffi produce and excellent product at an incredible price and the best customer service in the industry. So he deserve all the credit I can give him. From now own we go step by step.

Step 1:
Ok, so now we go to Graffi’s Effects > B&W Labs > and try several conversions and see which one work best (in my opinion) for this image, I then delete the conversion that I don’t like. I end up selecting “Lab Convert to B&W II” for this image so I click Apply.
Step 2:
I now decide which area or zone of the picture I’m going to work first. Due to the fact that I’m a system freak I always start from the top of the picture for I’m a cloud lover. Now you all know that there must be a Selection, Feather and a Layer made for every area you are going to work on so I will not be repeating those steps to save time.
Step 3:
Go to >Tool Box > Rectangular Marquee and Select the sky just a bit above the trees and houses etc. Then go to Select > Feather (175). After that I go to Enhance > Brightness and Contrast and move the Brightness slider to (+45) and the Contrast slider to (+25) I like images with a punch so good contrast is essential. Now go Select > Deselect and the sky has been taking care off. Don’t forget the above goes in it own Layer and every step that follow.

Step 4:
Repeat step 3 but now select the top area of the trees only (the leafs) do not include the trunk of the tree. We want good separation there so we want to bring life in to the leafs by making them lighter. Now go to Brightness and Contrast and select Shadows and Highlights. I moved the Shadows slider to + 35. Now go Select and Deselect. All the above in its own Layer.

Step 5:
Make the water darker this will give you the specular lights on the reflections on the water.
I used the Lasso Tool for this step.

Step 6:
Using the Lasso Tool we now are going to make a multi selection on the shadow areas of the rocks. I selected the shadows below the big rock and the ones to the right of it. To show detail in the shadows.

You now have what I call a Semifinal Print. Why semifinal? Because at a later time you may see or feel that something in the image have room for improvement and may want to change it. But for now you may call it a Fine Print.

Recommendations:
· Good Exposure, Good Exposure and Good Exposure. Force yourself to get perfect ones and you will get them. Take the first picture in Auto to guide you and the rest on manual to learn. Remember that the light meter reads every thing gray (18% gray reflectance). To make a white wall white you have to over expose by one or two F-stops depending on the location of the wall, time of day and many other factors.
· Study the Fine Prints of People like Ansel Adams, Edward and Brett Weston, Paul Capponigro, Fritz Henle, Paul Strand and others. Buy their books. Go to museums to see in person how a black is black and a white is white and grays should look like. The color and density of texture in wood and the softness and delicate tones of a sky.
· Work hard day and night until you get it. It takes passion and hard work to get it. But the reward is incredible. Tricks wont do it hard work will. God bless.
Shalom,
Don
A well conseived image is a poem written with light.
PSE6 - Lightroom - CS3 - Win-Vista -Epson 7800
Nikon D80 - D-700 - Canon G9
http://www.condeimaging.com
I try to upload the images with the text but the program told me "Sorry, the board attachment quota has been reached."
So I will post them on a gallery.
Shalom,
Don
A well conseived image is a poem written with light.
PSE6 - Lightroom - CS3 - Win-Vista -Epson 7800
Nikon D80 - D-700 - Canon G9
http://www.condeimaging.com
Thank you very much, Don,
I look forward to trying this method soon.

I don't see the image you referred to. Where should I look?

Rusty
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness" - Dave Barry

If your pictures aren't good enough, you're not close enough. - Robert Capa

www.prestophoto.com/photos/gallery/19932
Thank you so much Don. Am printing this up now.
Don,
Thank you for sharing the great information on B &W.
John
Howdy:

I try to upload the pictures with the text but was unable to do it. The program told me that it was full and unable to upload :cry:

I need to place the pictures on a gallery but don't know how to make one here :cry:

If any of you may explain it I'll be more than greatfulllllll. That will put a :D in my face,LOL.
Shalom,
Don
A well conseived image is a poem written with light.
PSE6 - Lightroom - CS3 - Win-Vista -Epson 7800
Nikon D80 - D-700 - Canon G9
http://www.condeimaging.com
Don, I posted an answer in another thread..click on prestophoto link in the banner from there you can upload your images..set up a gallery and start loading those beautiful images of yours
Suzib and others:
I made a gallery and call it B&W Tutorial. the pictures are in the order of the text:
Original >show the picture without been touch
Numbered > show picture with the areas to be work numbered
B&W Convertion > show picture after been converted to B&W
Semifinal > show picture after it was finished
Hope this help.

If any one of you have the skills to put text and pictures together you have my authorization to do it.
Shalom,
Don
A well conseived image is a poem written with light.
PSE6 - Lightroom - CS3 - Win-Vista -Epson 7800
Nikon D80 - D-700 - Canon G9
http://www.condeimaging.com
Don, Thanks again the tutorial and images.
John
Got it, Don,
Perfect! -- what do you mean... computer knowledge is limited

Rusty :mrgreen:
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness" - Dave Barry

If your pictures aren't good enough, you're not close enough. - Robert Capa

www.prestophoto.com/photos/gallery/19932
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