Wednesday, July 9, 2008

More B&W techniques

I've been playing around with converting another photo to black and white. This time, I chose a photo of Skipper, my maternal grandparents' Eskie.

Note: You can click on any photo to see it bigger. They all look better that way, I think.

For curiosity's sake, here's the original photo:

I gave the complicated technique I wrote about in my last post one more try:

I was disappointed with how things went in the last step or two of that technique, so I went back and dodged (lightened) his eyes a bit and softened the graininess. I think the results are more pleasing this way:

I also put poor Skipper through yet another technique for transforming color digital photos into B&W. This one uses some functions I haven't tried before, such as the Lab Color mode and the Highpass filter. The author suggests using this method for cityscapes, dramatic scenes, and street photography / photojournalism. Skipper doesn't really fit into any of those categories, but I don't really "do" cityscapes, etc., so I didn't have much to choose from. (g) Anyway, here's the finished photo:

For one final b&w comparison, I put the photo through a simple technique. Convert mode to Grayscale, then apply curves (make whites whiter, blacks blacker-- basically the same kind of curve you see in the tutorial linked above).

And just for fun, I took the image above and changed the mode to Duotone to achieve a sepia effect. I also used the dodge tool to lighten the eyes, which tended to get too dark, in my opinion.

I'm still not sure which black-and-white technique I prefer. . . I'll have to look at them all at the same time to decide. And even then, it probably depends a lot on the particular photo in question.

Who would've thought that "simple" black and white could be be so complicated? ;o)