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Old 24th of June 2011 (Fri)   #1
hoblos
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Default help with B&W portraits

hi guys, i am a newbie and adore portaits.
i've been trying to take a shot in B&W where the details of the face or hands are really distinguished. i am using 50 1.8 prime on a 600 D.
any recommendations?
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Old 24th of June 2011 (Fri)   #2
Frugal
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Default Re: help with B&W portraits

Shoot it normally and then use a software program to convert it to black and white and to apply the effect you are describing. There are many ways to convert to B&W which will give your images different appearances. You can find free programs on the web and some are quite good, but one that is very popular and under 100USD is Adobe Photoshop Elements.
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Old 1st of July 2011 (Fri)   #3
fraiseap
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Default Re: help with B&W portraits

If you want to shoot good B&W portraits it is worth learning to see in B&W. Sounds strange, I know, but if you concentrate on light and shadow rather than color, with a bit of practice you can get an idea of how a shot will look in B&W. Remember that, unlike color, B&W relies on deep blacks and pure whites to get the best impact.

When I shoot for B&W I set up the lighting specifically for that purpose. Then you can tweak it in PP to get your vision translated into the picture.

One word of warning, avoid B&W conversions that use desaturation. Also the PS "convert to B&W" is not very flexible. There are tons of other methods available if you search.
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Old 9th of August 2011 (Tue)   #4
JAPE
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Default Re: help with B&W portraits

I like and many agree that Nik's software silver efex pro is a good one.
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Old 10th of August 2011 (Wed)   #5
D Thompson
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Default Re: help with B&W portraits

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Originally Posted by fraiseap View Post
Also the PS "convert to B&W" is not very flexible.
That was true of CS2 and older versions, but beginning with CS3 the B&W adjustment layer is very flexible. Throw a Curve adjustment with it and you have many possible conversions.
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Old 12th of August 2011 (Fri)   #6
Aressem
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Default Re: help with B&W portraits

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Originally Posted by JAPE View Post
I like and many agree that Nik's software silver efex pro is a good one.
Love this plug-in! +1
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Old 12th of August 2011 (Fri)   #7
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Default Re: help with B&W portraits

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Originally Posted by D Thompson View Post
That was true of CS2 and older versions, but beginning with CS3 the B&W adjustment layer is very flexible. Throw a Curve adjustment with it and you have many possible conversions.
Agree. In CS3 its great.
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Old 15th of August 2011 (Mon)   #8
theextremist04
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Default Re: help with B&W portraits

In GIMP there's a plugin called National Geographic effect (off the GIMP plugin registry) that I love for that:

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Old 26th of August 2011 (Fri)   #9
ashiundar
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Default Re: help with B&W portraits

If you own Photoshop, the Black and White adjustment layer is your key to unlocking amazing black and white images. It's true that it used to suck, but I believe starting in CS3 they really improved it and made it much more powerful. I recommend watching a tutorial on how to effectively use this tool to make effective conversions. If you have access to lynda.com (it's a paid subscription, but universities sometimes pay for the subscription for their students), there is an excellent tutorial by Ben Long on everything there is to black and white, from seeing to shooting to processing and outputting. I strongly recommend the video.
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Old 27th of August 2011 (Sat)   #10
kjonnnn
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Default Re: help with B&W portraits

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i33SnI2RwP4
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Old 29th of August 2011 (Mon)   #11
king grant
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Default Re: help with B&W portraits

Two suggestions...

Look through your menu settings...while shooting in raw most slr(S) have an option to review in b&w. Capturing in raw gathers the color information but the review on the back of your camera will show you the monochrome image. This will help you see what your going to eventually end up with in post process and you will see first hand what the image your eye sees will look like if your color blind.

Also expose to the right. By this I mean looking at the histogram and getting the majority of the information to the right of the histogram. this gives you more freedom when adjusting exposure because it's less damaging to remove light then add it. (there is someone on here that wrote a great post on this method including setting a clever way of good exposure using your hand.) oh wait...there it is, http://photography-on-the.net/forum/...ad.php?t=89123
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Old 2nd of September 2011 (Fri)   #12
hoblos
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Default Re: help with B&W portraits

wow thanks guys, it's really helpfull.
i am not a photoshop expert, but i am learning now and i am getting the result i am looking for.
also as king grant said, exposing tpo the right is a great technique i am following now.
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Old 3rd of September 2011 (Sat)   #13
RDKirk
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Default Re: help with B&W portraits

Quote:
If you want to shoot good B&W portraits it is worth learning to see in B&W. Sounds strange, I know, but if you concentrate on light and shadow rather than color, with a bit of practice you can get an idea of how a shot will look in B&W. Remember that, unlike color, B&W relies on deep blacks and pure whites to get the best impact.

When I shoot for B&W I set up the lighting specifically for that purpose. Then you can tweak it in PP to get your vision translated into the picture.
This is gospel. BW depends totally on light and shadow, and if you don't create the image with smart attention to how the light creates the image, it doesn't matter much what plugin you use.
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Old 7th of September 2011 (Wed)   #14
ThatTeenPhotographer
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Default Re: help with B&W portraits

Any recommendations on use of channel mixing (RGB) in Black and White portraits, should I keep more of certain ones, get rid of others, what relationships ect?
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