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Looking for improvement This is the e-group critique board. If you post a picture here it will be assumed that you are looking for comprehensive technical feedback - both good and bad, but always respectful. Only post pictures here if you can deal with potentially negative constructive criticism. Anyone is qualified to comment and post feedback, and everyone is encouraged to do so. NB: "Looking for Improvement" is the place to post any pictures you would like advice on improving, no matter how bad you might think they are.

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  #1  
Old 20th March 2013
Floribunda
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Help with Mono please

I have been struggling with fulfilling my promise to myself to try and do something in Black/White this year.
I have had difficulty finding a subject, as most of my photos I prefer in colour.
Anyway - in for a penny, in for a pound, as they say. Time to put something up and see if I am remotely on the right track.

This is a photo of a Riverboat Captain I took some time ago, and have always liked. I think I would prefer his face a little lighter - OR - do I keep the weather-beaten look? That is Lyn-talk for "dark". It doesn't seem to "pop".

My attempt.


The original - nothing done but resizing.
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Old 20th March 2013
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Re: Help with Mono please

Hi Lyn - Personally, I love mono - and often do conversions, especially of portraits. With this shot though I'd certainly go for far more of a contrast look as currently it appears a little 'flat' with loads of white, and a mass of mid-greys.

I think his face is a little underexposed and could do with some lightening. Do I have your permission to have a bash?
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Old 20th March 2013
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Re: Help with Mono please

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Originally Posted by theMusicMan View Post
Hi Lyn - Personally, I love mono - and often do conversions, especially of portraits. With this shot though I'd certainly go for far more of a contrast look as currently it appears a little 'flat' with loads of white, and a mass of mid-greys.

I think his face is a little underexposed and could do with some lightening. Do I have your permission to have a bash?
Absolutely John. I should have put "have a go" in my post.
I would appreciate knowing what you do (if it isn't giving secrets away) as that would help me next time. I think it is flat too, but didn't know where to go with it.
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Old 20th March 2013
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Re: Help with Mono please

OK, I have just had a quick bash... I'll post it now...
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Old 20th March 2013
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Re: Help with Mono please

Here you go...




I used Lightroom to edit this image.

I used a brush to brighten the face, and to add contrast, and a further brush to draw the viewers eye to his face by adding clarity around the eyes and creases/folds in his face - which really has great features. I increased the exposure of the entire image, and used a vignette (post crop) to once again draw attention to the face.

I cropped the image with him to the right of frame so as to allow the user to see him looking at something.

How's that?
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Old 20th March 2013
Floribunda
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Re: Help with Mono please

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Originally Posted by theMusicMan View Post
Here you go...




I used Lightroom to edit this image.

I used a brush to brighten the face, and to add contrast, and a further brush to draw the viewers eye to his face by adding clarity around the eyes and creases/folds in his face - which really has great features. I increased the exposure of the entire image, and used a vignette (post crop) to once again draw attention to the face.

I cropped the image with him to the right of frame so as to allow the user to see him looking at something.

How's that?
I think it is beaut John. Just how I wanted the face lightened, and I should have given him that space to look into. I do it with birds so why I didn't think of it with him, I don't know!
I don't have Lightroom. But Photoshop will have a brush - so I will practice.
Thank you very much for taking the trouble to do it - appreciated.
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Old 20th March 2013
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Re: Help with Mono please

It's no problem Lyn. You will be able to do a much better job with the original RAW file, or a larger jpg.

In Photoshop, you can use layers to obtain pretty much the same effect as I have applied here using Lightroom. Not sure what 'Clarity' in Lightroom transposes from when using Photoshop though. You will probably also have Adobe Camera Raw as part of Photoshop - which will allow you to do the edits in almost the same way as they are done in Lightroom.
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Old 20th March 2013
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Re: Help with Mono please

Lyn, what a superb chap in this image of yours beautifully captured and such a great choice for a mono conversion

and I LURVE what Joihn has done he has bought the face out from the screen, more 3d / less flat simply the best you two should work together ... oops travel will be a problem
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Old 20th March 2013
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Re: Help with Mono please

Hi Lyn, John has done superb job and he has done pretty much what I would have done that I nearly felt not to add to it.

But here goes any way and just slightly different from John's.

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Re: Help with Mono please

Lyn, wow ! you got both these artists on it

Paul, I like the black border - it sets his face off well
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Old 20th March 2013
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Re: Help with Mono please

Well the lightness of the face is controlled by the proportion of the red channel information in the final picture (more red = lighter face). Mono is largely about shape and contrast, here with a background that is largely light so a fairer complexion will tend to have less contrast. The approaches taken so far have emphasised the contrast in the face which tends to age it.

In this treatment I've taken a gentler approach - using in part the lhs space to create the emphasis.



Decomposed to colour layers, green layer discarded, 50% red over blue, slight S to curves.

Of course it's based on my odd ideas of composition and doesn't meet Floribundas desire to lighten the face.

Nick
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Old 20th March 2013
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Re: Help with Mono please

Can't compete with the traditional interpretation so put a twist on it.
Roy
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Old 20th March 2013
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Re: Help with Mono please

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Originally Posted by OlyPaul View Post
Hi Lyn, John has done superb job and he has done pretty much what I would have done that I nearly felt not to add to it.

But here goes any way and just slightly different from John's.

Thanks Paul, I'm glad you did join in - I don't usually like borders, but this one looks good! It all helps with my learning curve.
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Old 20th March 2013
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Re: Help with Mono please

I like the variations so far by everyone, so here is my version processed in Photoshop.


All the best.

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  #15  
Old 20th March 2013
Floribunda
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Re: Help with Mono please

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Temple-Fry View Post
Well the lightness of the face is controlled by the proportion of the red channel information in the final picture (more red = lighter face). Mono is largely about shape and contrast, here with a background that is largely light so a fairer complexion will tend to have less contrast. The approaches taken so far have emphasised the contrast in the face which tends to age it.

In this treatment I've taken a gentler approach - using in part the lhs space to create the emphasis.



Decomposed to colour layers, green layer discarded, 50% red over blue, slight S to curves.

Of course it's based on my odd ideas of composition and doesn't meet Floribundas desire to lighten the face.
P
Nick
Thanks Nick, you have given me lots to think about too.
Whilst I did say I thought I would like the face lighter, I also liked the weather-beaten slightly darker look too - as you have portrayed.
I agonised over leaving the lhs there or going for a tighter portrait, which in the end I did, and even cloned out the mast by his cap. All the time thinking that the background added something to the riverboat feel of the shot, and I was on the wrong track.
I like what you have done very much, thank you.
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