I ave been thinking of staying with b&w film and scanning.
My reason is that the tonality seems better with film than a conversion. Any thoights on this?
I ave been thinking of staying with b&w film and scanning.
I am now preferring to shoot almost entirely digital in RGB, and converting to BW in an imaging program. When I do shoot film for B/W (120 only), I am using XP2 or one of the Kodak Portra BW or 400 speed films.
I am trying to attach a file of an image I took today and converted in HSL and than added a small touch of contrast.
It looks like the attachment works--yea. The image was taken with a Nikon 5400 @ ISO 50 and highest quality jpeg, <->1/3 stop exposure comp, and converted in PSP 9.
In my opinion, some images are meant to be in color and while some will also work in B/W, some will not look good in B/W, no matter whether you use film or digital.
The shot looked good, nice tones.
I most heartily agree about b&w not just being a "conversion". I was always taught that a b&w picture should be conceived as a blck and white picture. It is possible to have a higher % of solid black in a true b&w picture and one can light differently and accordingly, ala FILM NOIRE.
Since I know you shoot primarily digitl these days Ron, I assume when you say "conversion" you're talking about converting an image from a digital camera.
In general terms I'd say that yes, scanning a b&w film frame will give a better result than converting a digital camera image. Some would call that thinking heresy but here's where I'm coming from. Digital has a much more compressed brightness range than b&w film. As such, if the image you're capturing digitally fits within the photographic latitude of the digital sensor then you should get much the same result with a conversion as you would shooting b&w film. You can use Channels or Levels or HSB or other techniques to mimic the use of colour contrast filters and create a pretty realistic b&w result.
If the scene doesn't fit within the latitude of the sensor; however, then you're losing detail at one or both ends of the spectrum by converting a digital image. In these cases, shooting b&w film and scanning will likely provide a better result.
The scanning is the next variable. Scanning b&w film isn't always a simple thing and some scanners do a pretty poor job of it. You need to take care with your scanning technique and make sure you use a scanner that will work well to capture as much of the range of tones as possible from the film.
If you shoot with a digital camera in JPEG mode then you're limited to 8 bit images which will mean that your gradation won't be as smooth when you do your conversion either. Shooting in TIFF or RAW where you can shoot at a higher bit depth will definitely help but I don't know if any cameras shoot at a full 16 bit which is what many good scanners can capture at. There again, scanning film has an advantage. Potentially better gradation, more information to work with when doing your editing and less damage to the image file information as a result (no damage to the original file if you make all of your adjustments in layers and don't flatten).
Converting an image from a digital camera can generate very good results but I still think in many (most) cases, film will give a better result for b&w.
I was out today with the express purpose of capturing a b&w image. I will seriously play with it in PSE2, no channels Bob, and see what I can do with it. I have Kelby's book on PSE2 and his method of converting in levels.
i will post both pictures here in the next couple of days.
here's tyhe effort,not a great snap, but I would like feeback on the conversion.
now the b&w
Looks fine Ron.
I now much prefer shooting in digital and converting. Scanning B/W film is pretty much a pain as far as I am concerned. I scan @ 16 bit, RGB and then desaturate in HSL. I use a Minolta Dimage Scan Multi II, which has a flourescent tube (like cold light in enlarging) which I feel does a better job than the led's that Nion uses for scanning B/W.
The main problems I have found in scanning B/W are in the mid tones (about 18% grey) that have little or no texture.
If not scanned just right, will look really yuckky. Here is an example which came out fine--just as I had printed it in the darkroom.
This shot was taken at 5 AM, just as the mist/fog was rising from the pond. There were no "blacks" in the original scene, as shot. I also have found that in 120, TMY seems to scan nicely.
Here is one I took yesterday from roughly the same position as my "bench" photo. It was with a Nikon 5400, - 1/3 stop exposure comp. I converted in PSP 9's HSL, <100> saturation, with no other adjustments.
Here is the original in RGB.
Definitely like the b&w version of the ocean scene Dave.
On my monitor Ron it looks like you've lost some detail in the bucket. Overall the bucket looks darker in b&w than it does in colour and there seems to be a bit of a loss of texture. I haven't read Kelby's book so am not familiar with his technique.
Depending on what time I get home tonight, maybe I'll download your original colour version and have a go, or may be on the weekend.
I entered a brave new world when I gave up my enlarger 2 months ago. I have really been afraid that I made a bad move. Or maybe I just wanted a use for my film cameras. I honestly do not know which.
i wqs satisfied with the b&w image I posted as a test image made with the C5050 and the Kelby conversion. I trie dthe direct to gray scale which was rather blah.
Hi again Ron,
I captured your pic and found that my neither my Elements 1 0r 3 seem to have HSL, so I opened the RGB original up into PSP 9 as a jpeg, adjusted the contrast, and then converted to BW using the HSL feature. I then adjusted the contrast a bit and here are my results:
BTW, I really like your grey scale.
Dave, the beach snap is better in b&w, the color version seems "gaudy"(?).
Bob & Dave, I will have to get my eye in practice for viewing b&w on a monitor rather than an actual print to see the contrast levels properly. Thanks for the help and suggestions.
Thanks. I agree the color shot is a little too intense, but I enhanced it that way for making a print on Costco's "Kirkland" glossy photo paper, which is very "cool" (very white) as compared to Epson's papers. I had been experimenting with program alterations to PSP 9's "One Stop Photo Fix"
BTW, I am pretty sure that the Costco paper is actually Ilford's Galerie Smooth Gloss. It appears to come from the same factory in the Swiss Alps (Ciba) and is boxed in the same manner. I was a beta tester for Ilford some time ago and the color corrections are identical.
When editing, it helps to have your room darkened. I only have a small lamp with a 60 watt bulb off to my far left so I can see the keyboard.
OK Ron, here's my go at this. This was done using PS CS. Everything but the last step can be done in PSE 2 and I think the last step can be done in PSE 3.
First, I created a new Hue/Saturation adjustment layer. In this layer, I adjusted the colours individually to give the general tonal look I wanted. Basically I lightened reds/yellows and darkened greens/blues.
Next, I created a Levels adjustment layer and adjusted the black slider on the left, bringing it about half way from the left edge to the end of the data. Then I moved the white output slider to the right to tone down the bright background area.
The third thing I did was to go back and click on the main image layer and then create a duplicate of that. Doing this puts the duplicate above the main image but below the two adjustment layers. Then I used the Shadow/Highlight tool (this is why I used PS CS because I love this tool) to tone down the background highlights further and also to try to bump up the midtone contrast a bit which all has the effect of (in my opinion) concentrating the viewer's attention on the bucket and making the bright background less distracting. I think this last step can be done in PSE 3 because I think the Shadow/Highlight tool was added to the new version (not positive on that).
Last step I flattened before saving in JPEG and reposting. Obviously there's a fair bit of artifacting due to working with such a small original but I think it gives a general idea.
CAVEAT: This was done on a laptop LCD screen which tends to show things a little lighter/brighter than they actually are so it may look too dark on a properly calibrated CRT monitor which is easily fixed.
Here's what it looks like using the simple Greyscale command which just removes the colour information with no other adjustments. Pretty blah.
The direct conversion to grayscale is pretty lame, which is why I went the same basic route as you by desaturating colors separately and then adjusting levels. This is where I left it for the post. after reading Dave's suggestion I further boosted the contrast and brightness a bit. I thin kI got closer to what I wanted and was able to get from film.
I have attached the reworked file.
The bucket still looks pretty dark on my screen Ron with detail loss on the right side.
Looks better. The loss of detail on the right doesn't bother me. It just brings more attention to the bucket itself. Why don't you try making a glossy print as see you it looks.
Her's a stab at another image, a grab shot, or otherwise I would have scrimmed the light thru the window to cut the intensity.