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Heptonstall Church ruin

By yorki50
Trying out black and white conversion in photoshop cc . Darkened the blue channel to get the contrast in the sky

Tags: Architecture Black and white


banehawi Plus
15 2.1k 4012 Canada
20 May 2015 4:24PM

There are quite a number of variations you can get when using the colour balance tool for conversion. The blue channel does, and did do a nice job on the sky, but for me, its left the old building too dark.

A good mono ideally has a good tonal range, with white through a range of mid-tones to black. The building has no brighter tones, and is all dark mid-tones and black. This has something to do with the conversion, and also to do with the original shot being underexposed quite a bit. Using -2/3 is exposing for the sky only, and will be added to the underexposure the camera most likely also decided upon. You would generally want a positive exposure comp. for the building.

This covers up a lot of detail and subtlety in the old building. You could, when doing the conversion, do one with the blue for the sky; save it as a new file; then start again and do a conversion to make the building looks as good as it can, save as again, and combine the two.

Ive uploaded a mod that shows what I mean. THis is done by treating the building separately to the sky, lifting shadows, lightening whites, etc.

IF you have the original colour shot, can you upload it here please? You can click modifications, upload a modification, and select the colour shot.



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yorki50 4 5 Eritrea
20 May 2015 5:27PM
Thanks Willie am slowly finding my way around photoshop . how did you combine the two images please
yorki50 4 5 Eritrea
20 May 2015 5:29PM
have uploaded the original photo
paulbroad Plus
11 127 1282 United Kingdom
21 May 2015 12:51PM
Willie corrects things. Mono conversion is a skill in itself. By balancing the three primary channels, you can get a whole range of different images. You must remember that a mono image has just 256 tones. A colour image has millions, so you are going to loose a lot of the subtle bits.

Not always, but often a touch more contrast than the colour versions will help boost a mono.

mrswoolybill Plus
12 1.5k 2060 United Kingdom
21 May 2015 2:32PM
Willie has given good advice above. Always think about the light - you had a bright sunny day, the dark shadows show that there was light falling on the walls but the mono doesn't convey that. In a way when converting to b&w you need to go back to square one and treat it as a new image as regards processing for light.

More than is the case with colour images, b&w almost always needs elements of true white and true black. Black to give depth and substance, white to give life and vitality. Think about how the Old Masters added apparently random flicks of white paint as highlights - that's what brings an image to life. And that's what is lacking here - Willie's mod creates that effect.

It may be an optical illusion but I am seeing a hint of red in your blacks, and that really doesn't work for sky. It creates a muddy look.

One other point - there's a nasty dust blob in the sky between the cloud far left and the higher arch. Your sensor may need cleaning.

I shall have a go at a conversion of your colour original.
TanyaH Plus
16 1.3k 395 United Kingdom
21 May 2015 3:23PM
As shown by the other mods, there's loads of different ways you can treat your mono conversion.

My own mod is simply your colour original, converted to mono in Photoshop using a Black & White adjustment layer, with the preset High Contrast Red Filter applied - that's it. Nothing else. No cropping, no sharpening, no tweaking of individual 'colours' within the black and white adjustment layer, no nothing. I didn't even remove your dust bunny Grin

Yes, it then needs further work in order to bring out and balance the tonal range, as mentioned by others above. But I was perhaps looking more at the sky than anything else here, based on your choice of using and adjusting the blue channel for your sky tones.

A very plain and simple mod, perhaps, but it's another route to the same destination. How you choose to explore the destination once you get there, is entirely a personal choice.

dudler Plus
15 873 1494 England
21 May 2015 9:11PM
The composition is a bit too tight for my taste, but this is really about the mono conversion.

Nothing to add - except that I've been there, and the walls really are that dark - your colour original confirmed that!

I'm tempted to try a little light dodging to bring more detail into the walls...
banehawi Plus
15 2.1k 4012 Canada
21 May 2015 9:50PM
To combine two images, you need to use a layer and a mask. If you look on the web, or here on EPX in the techniques section, you will see how to do it.

Thanks for the original

banehawi Plus
15 2.1k 4012 Canada
21 May 2015 10:08PM
Ive uploaded a modified version of your colour original. You can see that the wall is brighter in the mod; the original is a little underexposed, and normal due to the bright sky above.

I used this for the mono conversion in the next mod.

The blue channel affects the sky; however that walls are affected by the red channel only, - blue has no effect on them, - so you need to adjust the red channel for the walls. You should be able to get a fairly balanced effect in one channels adjustment I think?



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