High Contrast Concours

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by derelict, Jun 17, 2016.

  1. derelict

    derelict Mu-43 Regular

    129
    May 5, 2015
    What do you think? I always shoot in B&W but never played with gradients and radial filters. I am really liking what I am able to get.







    27115003954_5a311d8b5d_c.





     
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  2. ionian

    ionian Mu-43 Veteran

    406
    May 20, 2016
    Kent, UK
    Simon
    I like the images and I love high contrast black and white pictures, especially when shot in hard light. However, I'd encourage you to check your black and white points in the images above using the histogram in post. You only have 256 shades when going mono, and you want to use them all. At the moment they are a bit muddy, often lacking highlights.

    Not a criticism - the images are shot well and have a good timeless feel - but this could help make them more interesting visually.
     
  3. derelict

    derelict Mu-43 Regular

    129
    May 5, 2015
    I have been using LR for a couple years now but never really used it to make serious edits. I am not too sure I understand the shades suggestion. What can I look at to learn more?
     
  4. ionian

    ionian Mu-43 Veteran

    406
    May 20, 2016
    Kent, UK
    Simon
    It's about learning how to manipulate the histogram to produce a full range of tones. A basic introduction is here:

    Understanding Digital Camera Histograms: Tones and Contrast

    And there are vids on YouTube, but I can't find a specific one for black and white (although searching for black and white processing may give you some options).

    In Lightroom, you can use the sliders and tone curves to alter the histogram, or drag the histogram itself. Take your first image - the majority of the image is dark, so we would expect a big clump on the left. Now we need to spread the highlights to fill the remaining space - put on the blinkies(the little triangle in the top right corner of the histogram) and drag the White/highlights/exposure sliders to the tight to increase the brightness in the light tones. You may find you then need to adjust the shadows/blacks back to give the low key look you were aiming for.

    Use contrast, clarity and tone curves to spread out or bunch up the histogram as required.

    A good histogram doesn't make a good image, but it should guide you to make sure you use as much tonal range as possible.

    Hope this helps!
     
  5. 50orsohours

    50orsohours Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 13, 2013
    Portland Oregon
    I really like the results.