View Full Version : How many images do you turn Black and White?
13th of July 2007 (Fri), 17:57
Was wondering what others have done and learned from their clients about B&W.
1. What percentage of the images do you turn B&W to show as proofs?
2. If you make the image into B&W do you show the colored one too?
3. Do you have a thought process or "rules" to what images you offer in
13th of July 2007 (Fri), 18:06
Well...I'm sure you'll get a variety of responses on a good question.
For me, It's just kind of a hit and miss. When I'm going through my pics, it seems that about every 5-6 pics I do, that I end up converting one to B&W. Oftentimes, if I come across a shot that seems to be ...'missing something'...I'll do the conversion and be quite pleased with it. Case and point, I was doing a friend a favor this past week. They had a disk of their wedding shots (long story) and there were several shots of the bride by a window. None of them were particularly pleasing and they were not happy with them.
I took the one shot that I thought had some potential...did the conversion and a slight crop. They were amazed by the transformation.
Another thing that I've started doing more of lately which really makes a difference...is I'll desaturate the picture first, then use that midnight sepia action that is quite popular. That really makes the shot/conversion in my opinion.
Unless I have a really great shot that looks good in both color and B&W, I usually just give them one or the other. I do tell them that any picture can be done in B&W but have yet to ever have someone ask me to convert a proof I gave them in color, to B&W.
13th of July 2007 (Fri), 18:30
I am going to have to try your midnight sepia conversion. I am usually not pleased with mine.
13th of July 2007 (Fri), 18:31
For proofs I tend to make all the pre-ceremony pictures sepia (takes me 10 seconds in ACR 4.1), then maybe 2% of the rest of them. For albums anything goes.
13th of July 2007 (Fri), 18:43
Interesting idea with the B&W midnight sepia. With midnight sepia I often flatted the layers of the new image, copy and paste back onto the original, then reduce the opacity of the layer. I play with a few other actions and merge them sometimes, or blend modes occasionally. There's no pattern or reason to what I do I just play, using layers, so no changes are destructive and can easily be undone.
13th of July 2007 (Fri), 18:48
I offer both color and black and white proofs for engagement and bridal pictures but for weddings I do mostly color with about 20% black and white mixed in. The rules for including black and white for me are any photo where color is not a key factor and it looks great with the conversion.
13th of July 2007 (Fri), 20:17
I thought I'd offer an example of that B&W conversion using the midnight sepia.
When I first tried this, I just took the color shot and used the mode to change to grayscale. Then I'd activate the MS action. The results were ok...not what I was hoping for. Then I tried a 'desaturate'...then used the MS action and was quite pleased.
There must be a trick to posting more than two pics at a time in a post so I'll just post the original shot first. Then follow up with the two examples of conversions. I did not take this shot...just did the PP.
13th of July 2007 (Fri), 20:22
here are the other two. ONe is the regular MS conversion and the other one is the MS conversion After I desaturated it. fyi
14th of July 2007 (Sat), 00:30
answer to question 3:
I was trained on BW film 17 years ago. There were certain things I found that really worked with B&W (or duotone like sepia or something) during that training phase. (I always smelled like darkroom back then :) )
I used to run around with one colour film cam and one BW film camera so really, you had to pick what kinds of stuff you chose to shoot for which type of film.
Fast forward many years to digital and the result is...before I pull the trigger, I already know if it's going to be BW or not. It's generally not something I decide in PP. In fact, I usually already know what kind of effects and processing I'm gonna apply to each photo before I take the shot. Something from the old school that followed me to the new school.
Honestly, I have found film trained people and digital trained people to approach certain things very differently. One isn't better than the other I'd say, I'm just intrigued by how different it can be in some regards.
I still always have rolls of BW Ilford Delta film ready to go.
As for a percentage... it all depends on the people and the environment. Young and vibrant? I use lots of colour. Classy and calm? Lots of BW. Modern and edgy venues? More colour. Classic brick and stone? More BW. Some weddings are like 80% BW. Some have around 5% BW.
Generally no. But the odd time, even though I've already decided a file is gonna be BW, the colour version looks equally amazing. In this case I deliver both in the final set. It usually only happens about once every 5 weddings.
I used to like the midnight sepia action too, but I stopped using it when I found some colour/tone bleeding which I did not like. (Reminded me of my failed darkroom experiments) Look at the dark leaf at the bottom of the picture above... there is yellow that looks like it's bleeding into the whites. That's the part I wasn't too crazy about. Otherwise it can create a really neat effect.
14th of July 2007 (Sat), 00:45
Now I give my clients all the images in both color and B&W. I don't necessarily think they all look good in both, but it's just easier because I fix them in color, then run an action to change them into B&W. But, for the images I show them online, I mix it up.
14th of July 2007 (Sat), 09:59
where can I get tthe midnight sepia actions you are talking about?
also do you have to desaturate the layer first,then apply the MS action?
can you not just apply the MS action by itself?
14th of July 2007 (Sat), 10:29
It is hard to say...I do a few...but there is so much more out there then just B&W, I love Sepia, and the midnight conversion...also...
when I do change an image I generally give them the color version also..UNLESS...the picture is "saved" by the conversion and gives it a dramatic pic over a lifeless one.
14th of July 2007 (Sat), 11:03
I answered a thread in this wedding forum yesterday about doing Midnight sepia effect. I put instructions in it and if I knew how to link this post to it I would(but I don't know how:oops: ). The title of the post was"Where can I get a Midnight sepia plugin for CS?" As I stated in it, I don't know that this is the perfect way to do the effect, but it's easy and works. Here are a couple of shots, they can easily be changed according to individual taste. And I know there are things blown out in these but I liked them anyway:)
14th of July 2007 (Sat), 11:07
Heres one leaving out the Hue/Sat step.
14th of July 2007 (Sat), 11:58
I believe you can get it from http://www.atncentral.com/
thanks Lloyd, I have not used this action much so I never really noticed the bleeding. Thanks for sharing.
Great feedback everyone. Keep sharing.
14th of July 2007 (Sat), 18:23
someone posted the link to get the ms action.
regarding the desaturate...I posted two examples above of that bride by the window. The one with the yellow/color tint is applying the action to the original color photo after a tweeking of levels and the sharpen tool.
The other one, I did the same 'tweek's...then desaturated it before applying the action.
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