Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Black and White Wednesday - "a study"

PhSho WE2#1 433 8x10 close-up -B-2

I've had quite a few emails asking different questions about my black and whites. If I use actions or presets or do them myself. I love actions and presets but can't really find a black and white that I love so I do them myself and they usually turn out according to my mood.

I lean heavily toward high contrast. (No, really?)

So, here's what I do. In Lightroom, I select my white balance (I shoot in raw so I have lots of choices). This picture was from a shoot in my studio where I have overhead natural light from a large skylight and I placed a large reflector on her lap. So, I chose daylight. I'm in color now don't forget. Then I adjust exposure - usually uping it a bit and add blacks and fill light in equal amounts - usually from 7-15 each. I choose medium contrast and then play with clarity, maybe add some highlights and shadows - sharpen and send it into Photoshop.

In PS I add an unsharp mask at about 110% and then mess with all sorts of stuff, depending on what's needed. Adding highlights to the eyes, enhancing the color, whiten teeth, clone to hide undereye bags etc. Too long to get into because I want to get to black and white.

Ok, so I'm happy with it. Save it and go back to Lightroom and import it again. (Seems complicated but it's really not.) There I convert to greyscale and start messing.

I ususally add more exposure and blacks and maybe contrast, some highlights and shadows. That's what I did for the picture at the very top.

PhSho WE2#1 433 8x10 close-up -B-2-2

So then, for some changes the above picture (#2) here's how I changed it. Exposure -2.19, fill +39, contrast -50m, clarity -24, highlights -29

Huge difference from #1 to #2.

PhSho WE2#1 433 8x10 close-up -B-2-3

So for #3 (above) I added more highlights, more darks and more shadows. (To me this is more artsy and I love it.)

PhSho WE2#1 433 8x10 close-up -B-2-4

For #4 I lessened the exposure -1.62%, fill light +52, clarity -16. Probably the most natural looking of them all.

PhSho WE2#1 433 8x10 close-up -B-2-5

And finally, for #5 I again lessened the exposure -1.62%, fiol light +30, contrast +100, clarity -60, highlights -36. This one is just so purdy, I think.

Man, what gorgeous cheekbones this girl has. To work on 5 different images like this - in Lightroom you right click on an image and select make virtual copy. You can do that multiple times.

the long road

Visit Lisa's site and take in all the wonderful photography from all over.

Hope eveyone is enjoying these hot summer days!


Life with Kaishon said...

She is so pretty.
I don't have lightroom.
Someday I would like it : ) I think. It takes me like eleventy eleventy million years how to learn a program though, so maybe I should pass.

Hope for Elisyn said...

Very pretty! I definitely love the options of lightroom. Some day I hope to own that as well!

Mom2Isabel said...

Thank you! First for a beautiful image and second for the details of how you got to that beautifl image. Of course, I mean... in addition to the gorgeous model and the phenomenal photographer of course!)

Great work, as always, Wanda.

Buckeroomama said...

Beautiful, Wanda.

Thanks for sharing your tips. I keep hearing about Lightroom... makes me want to learn that! :)

Maddy said...

Wow!! I don't know how you have the patience to do it manually, but I think it's awesome! I am actions girl when it comes to B&W and if it still looks a bit too dull, I boost the contrast manually, but that's about it.

This looks great!! She is a beauty!

Love Letters To China said...

Great job Wanda. Now I know why you're up so late at night processing. I don't know if I have the stamina to do that all the time. Did you take a class or learned it on your own? Thanks for sharing.


Ashley Sisk said...

I can spot your work anywhere - it really has such personality.

CandicePantin said...

Thx for sharing this. I take many pics for my blog, but by no means deem myself a photographer. A post like this helps tremendously!

Marla said...

Awesome Wanda!! I love seeing how everyone does their conversions. I love your contrasty style, it totally works!!

Chic Homeschool Mama said...

I love that last one- GORGEOUS. Also- being a newbie- I love all the info. Really helps me think about editing & the actual processes when capturing too.

lila Check said...

Beautiful, Wanda....and thanks for sharing your tips.Your work is really fabulous,will be coming back for more tips.
will try your tips to see how it comes up...tks.

likeschocolate said...

The photo is beautiful. Thanks for the tutorial. I recently just took a photo and wanted it to be in black and white. I guess I need to play with it some more to get it to look the way I want it too.