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Thread: Digital Exposures for B&W

  1. #1

    Default Digital Exposures for B&W

    Been trying to convert my digital shots into B&W and they just can't seem to have the same impact that I was getting with my film, I suppose its hard to ask for that seeing as how the exp. latitude for Digital is so narrow compared to B&W film.

    I'm beginning to think that I should just underexpose my shots much more before I convert in photoshop. Any tips for a noob in terms of conversion or even getting the shot down?

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rurouni
    I'm beginning to think that I should just underexpose my shots much more before I convert in photoshop. Any tips for a noob in terms of conversion or even getting the shot down?
    if you underexposure your shot the detail will be lost. Get correct exposure for your shot and use the burn and dodge tool to achieve the result you want.

  3. #3
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    Hi,
    I do not think that exposure latitude is less for digital, infact it should be more. I am an avid reader of Practical Photography and if my memory serves me right, the editors are saying that exposure latitude is more on digital. Nevertheless, based on personal experience I can't comment as I have always been shooting digitally.
    There are many ways to play around with B&W in PS, I normally use the Channel Mixer method + Levels + Curves + Burn n Dodge. Good luck....


    Below is taken from another forum posted here fyi only.


    Just for info, the below is taken from PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY , April 2005, page26, Reasons to go Digital written by Guy Edwardes www.guyedwardes.com

    Advantages
    -Instant feedback from the cam histogram and LCD .
    -Lack of film grain enhances the apparent image quality,producing smoother more lifelike results.
    -Digital sensors can record detail throughout a greater contrast range than film
    -Fine control of colour and contrast maike it possible to match the original scene far more closely than would ever possible with film
    -selective adjustments in post-production offer more control than filters and can produce a more natural result.
    -no need to change film - a major benefit working in harsh conditions.


    Disadvantages
    - spend more time in front of the pc
    - need investment in powerful pc and properly calibrated monitor
    - authenticity of the image can be questioned
    - reliance on battery
    - digital noise at high ISO
    - steep learning curve for those not acquainted with Photoshop.

    His conclusion : I firmly believe that the many significant benefits outweigh the negative aspects

    The above is not a word-for-word reproduction, but just a summary of main points.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rurouni
    Been trying to convert my digital shots into B&W and they just can't seem to have the same impact that I was getting with my film
    Are you comparing apples to apples, or are you by chance comparing manual prints on B&W paper to automated grayscale prints on colour paper?

  5. #5

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    I think many electrons were dissipated in the creation of any message to every LCD monitor hee hee

    hence "no electrons were harm" is logically incorrect

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rurouni
    Been trying to convert my digital shots into B&W and they just can't seem to have the same impact that I was getting with my film, I suppose its hard to ask for that seeing as how the exp. latitude for Digital is so narrow compared to B&W film.

    I'm beginning to think that I should just underexpose my shots much more before I convert in photoshop. Any tips for a noob in terms of conversion or even getting the shot down?
    try using the Channel mixer (remember to tick the monochrome box in the Channel Mixer dialog) to adjust the RGB settings individually. Automated desaturate or grayscale just gives you a linear conversion. not very punchy.

  7. #7

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    Are you comparing what you see on your monitor to prints? Unless you own a Sony Artisan CRT monitor, otherwise you are doing it all wrong. The tonal range on your monitor cannot be compared to the actual print.

    This is how I do it digitally:

    I make a test print on an Epson 2200 using quadtone inks and piezography profile.

    I just tweak according to want I see on the test print. By the way, my Samsung monitor is not perfect, but close enough to make judgements.

    I normally use either Channel Mixer or Lab Color mode to convert my images to grayscale. I prefer to use Curves because it deplicts exactly what I have learned in the Zone System; film curve.

  8. #8
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    Do not underexpose your shots.

    You will lose the details.Use the burn tool in PS instead to darken parts of your photo which you think is overexposed.

    You might want to try this: http://www.optikvervelabs.com/download.asp, as an alternative to using the channel mixer function.

    After conversion, burn and dodge your photos in PS to get what you want.

    If you are printing them out, make sure your monitor is calibrated to the printer. Else, no matter how nice you had it in soft-copy, the print will be different. Although it might not be as accurate, at least it could be close to your "converted" pic.

    Have fun.

  9. #9

    Default

    Thanks for the tips, I tried the optik vervelabs convert and I don't really like it I think I've been missing out the burn/dodge function in PS.. maybe should touch it more. Previously when I develop my own prints (really basic darkroom skills) I'm quite happy with the results I get with basic safe exposures on Ilford middle grade paper.

    Will give things a try.

    I have to admit that my pics look quite different on a CRT even though I'm using a decent Dell 1905FP lcd.. guess my basic visual calibration tools aren't good enough, trying to get hold of a spyder, but they are so expensive!

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