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.
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.
So for #3 (above) I added more highlights, more darks and more shadows. (To me this is more artsy and I love it.)
For #4 I lessened the exposure -1.62%, fill light +52, clarity -16. Probably the most natural looking of them all.
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.
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Hope eveyone is enjoying these hot summer days!