From: Alex Lippisch, INTERNET:alippisch@psiphoto.com
Date: Sat, Apr 7, 2001, 12:45 AM
RE: [colortheory] Black & White and color photography of the same subject

I am a commercial photographer who is about to shoot a job with a child
model on location, that requires final digital images in both B&W and
color. I plan to shoot 2 1/4 color transparencies, scan them and do PS
work to them, and then output the final prints on a Fuji Chromira
machine at a local lab.
I am trying to decide if I would be better off shooting both B&W and
color film at the outset and doing the whole post production job twice,
or shooting just the color and convert to grayscale in PS for the B&W
version. Obviously that requires less work, and I would prefer to just
shoot one kind of film. However, the final print quality has to be top
notch for both images.
Does anyone have experience in this area or any test results to share?
Any help is appreciated,
Alex Lippisch
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From: Terence, INTERNET:terence@intekom.co.za
Date: Sat, Apr 7, 2001, 5:03 PM
RE: Re: [colortheory] Black & White and color photography of the same subject

Saw this on DPRreview.com forums (pro digital talk)which ou might find helpful.
http://www.digidaan.nl/bw/
Terence Hogben
http://www.virtualworx.co.za
http://home.intekom.com/terenceh (stills + first older pans)
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From: INTERNET:rproulx@r2p2.com, INTERNET:rproulx@r2p2.com
Date: Sat, Apr 7, 2001, 11:14 AM
RE: Re: [colortheory] Black & White and color photography of the same subject

On 6 Apr 2001, at 23:45, Alex Lippisch wrote:
> I am trying to decide if I would be better off shooting both B&W and
> color film at the outset and doing the whole post production job
> twice, or shooting just the color and convert to grayscale in PS for
> the B&W version.
The joy of scanning colour film and then converting it to grayscale is that,
as photographers, we're then offered the chance to add colour filters that
we might not have added at the time of shooting with b/w film.
Consider a blue sky with clouds shot on b/w film. If we don't add a yellow,
orange or red filter at the time of shooting we'll lose seperation between
the white clouds and the blue sky. If the image is made on colour film then
we're offered the wonderful chance to do all this filtering within Photoshop.
I use the "Apply" command to mix RGB channels to do my colour to
grayscale conversions .. each to their own. If skin tones are overly dark
(too many days on the beach in Florida) then I just mix some of the red
channel into the green channel.
I would never shoot b/w and colour film on the same job if I know I'm
going digital with it. I cringe at the thought of getting the "best expression"
on the b/w film and then wishing I had it in colour. I see no use for b/w
film in a digital workflow. You can always make great grayscale images
from colour, the opposite is not true.
My only warning is that colour negative film requires a very good scanner
due to the "orange mask / yellow emulsion layer" issue. Pulling the mask
off the yellow channel and then streching out the very low contrast result )
to a full scale (0-255) image can easily result in a very noisy blue chanel
with cheaper scanners.
If you're confident about your lighting, exposure, and processing then
shoot transparency film. Shoot neg film if your scanner is up to it. A
negative can record a much wider subject luminance (brightness) range
and thus is safer in the event of "under or over" exposure. It's also
valuable in situations where the brightness range of the subject exceeds
what conventional transparency film can hold. Industrial shoots are almost
always done on negative film.
Bottom line : shoot colour transparency (or neg if you've got a good
scanner).
Russell Proulx
Photographer
Montreal, CANADA-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: "Ron Bean", INTERNET:rbean@execpc.com
Date: Sat, Apr 7, 2001, 10:37 AM
RE: Re: [colortheory] Black & White and color photography of the same subject

Alex Lippisch <alippisch@psiphoto.com> writes:
>I am trying to decide if I would be better off shooting both B&W and
>color film at the outset and doing the whole post production job twice,
>or shooting just the color and convert to grayscale in PS for the B&W
>version. Obviously that requires less work, and I would prefer to just
>shoot one kind of film. However, the final print quality has to be top
>notch for both images.
For top notch quality, it may depend on what you have more
experience with-- if you shoot a lot of B&W and haven't done many
conversions in Photoshop, that might be your best bet. But if you
don't shoot much B&W, then Photoshop gives you an opportunity to
use the color information to enhance the image before you reduce
it to one channel. Since you need the color scans anyway, you
could do both and report back to us :-).
Dan has a chapter on B&W conversions in his book; the only thing
I'd add is that I think it's easier to split the channels so
you're looking at three grayscale images (or four if you include
the L from LAB) rather than looking at a color image and
imagining what it will look like after the conversion.
Different parts of the image will look better in different
channels, but it really doesn't matter which channel is which.
Pick one channel as a "base" to work with, then apply curves to
all of them, but with an eye toward enhancing whatever needs to
be fixed in the "base" version. Then you can blend them together
by hand ("lighten" and "darken" mode come in handy here), and
forget Photoshop's built-in formula.
I think this is actually easier than correcting an image for
color, but that's because I learned how to do B&W conversions
before I learned much about color.
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From: INTERNET:starnaud@camosun.bc.ca
Date: Sun, Apr 8, 2001, 5:39 PM
RE: [colortheory]Black & White and color photography of the same subject

Yet another way to convert color to B&W
I found the Channel Mixer to counter intuitive. The method I use is as
follows. Create a minimum to two adjustment layers. The top one is a Hue &
Saturation layer in which the saturation slider is dragged all the way to
the left.
Below that is a Curves Adjustment LAyer. Here I adjust the seprate RGB
curves to change the contrast of the B&W image. Sometimes I will create 3
Curve Layers and label them as Red, Green and Blue and only manipulate the
one channel in each layer.
Recently I had to convert an image in which the subject wore a tomato red
jacket. It tended to lose all sense of shape and dimension in grayscale.
Altering the curves would adverselly affect other parts of the image, eg
skin tones.
The red was an easy magic wand selection. I then created a new layer from
the selection Layer>New Layer>Via Copy. I moved this layer up the stack so
it was just below the Hue Saturation layer and created a New Curves
Adjustment layer. Here I was able to manipulate the red channel at liberty,
without distorting other aspects of the image.
I remember posing the question of why would we need transparency film and
B&W white film with the advent of low grain color negative films, scanners
and Photoshop in 1992 at Kodak's Center for Creative Imaging. Seemed to
raise howls of protest amongst the staff. I still think its a good question.
Works for me.
Regards
Ray
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Raymond St. Arnaud, Victoria, B.C., Canada
Photography and Digital Illustration
http://www.islandillustrators.org/membpage/s-arnaud/ray-a.htm
Email: starnaud@home.com Email: starnaud@camosun.bc.ca
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From: Dan Margulis, INTERNET:76270.1033@compuserve.com
Date: Sat, Apr 7, 2001, 11:44 PM
RE: Re: [colortheory] Black & White and color photography of the same subject
Paul writes (and Alex similarly)
>Along the same lines of this question. Could a person
>scan color negs as B&W and bring them into PS as
>grayscale or is it better to let PS convert color
>images to grayscale???
As others have indicated, it is better not to let anybody convert the color
into grayscale by some rigid formula, but rather to do intelligent
manipulation of the color channels in advance. In this way, one can
compensate for the loss in apparent contrast during the conversion, by
changing over some of the variations in hue and saturation in the original
image to the variations in luminosity that are the only thing that makes a
difference in B/W. In this way, vastly superior results can be gotten to
shooting in B/W or to converting color to B/W blindly.
Dan Margulis-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: Jeff Schewe, INTERNET:schewe@schewephoto.com
Date: Sun, Apr 8, 2001, 3:49 PM
RE: Re: [colortheory]Black & White and color photography of the same subject
On 4/8/01 5:27 AM, Dan Margulis wrote:
> As others have indicated, it is better not to let anybody convert the color
> into grayscale by some rigid formula, but rather to do intelligent
> manipulation of the color channels in advance. In this way, one can
> compensate for the loss in apparent contrast during the conversion, by
> changing over some of the variations in hue and saturation in the original
> image to the variations in luminosity that are the only thing that makes a
> difference in B/W. In this way, vastly superior results can be gotten to
> shooting in B/W or to converting color to B/W blindly.
I agree, but would go even further. Shooting in color and THEN converting to
B&W in Photoshop can give superior results to shooting & scanning in B&W.
Of course, you always have the option of using Channel Mixer to adjust
various tones in the image before converting into B&W. But, there's an even
MORE powerful method that I've developed.
Start with your color image and then duplicate it. On the duplicate, go
ahead and convert to grayscale. Then, go back to your color image and select
the various channels (red and green tend to be the most useful) and copy
those channels and paste them in the duplicate grayscale image as layers.
There you can vary the opacity or even use layer masks to control what areas
receive which channel's information. Additionally, you can go back to the
color image and mode change to Lab and select then copy the luminance and
paste as a layer in the grayscale. This ability is far more powerful than
any photographer could EVER do while actually shooting B&W though contrast
filters over the lens.
Photoshop's vanilla grayscale conversion is approx. 60% green channel, 30%
red and about 10% blue channel. That was Thomas Knoll's approximation of
Plus-X film's spectral response to standard daylight. (Kodak still made
Plus-X when Thomas designed Photoshop <BG>). I don't know too many
photographers who shot Plus-X without SOME kind of filter. . .a medium
yellow was a standard.
By copying the color channel information and using them as layers with
layers masks, you can have unprecedented control over the color contrast
conversion into grayscale. . .far better than the limited control of placing
a filter over the lens. I haven't shot B&W film for anything in over 5
years. . .it would be too much of a step back, IMHO.
Regards,
Jeff Schewe
____________________________
Jeff Schewe
Schewe Photography
624 W. Willow St.
Chicago, IL 60614
312-951-6334 ph
312-787-6814 fx
<http://www.schewephoto.com>-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: Paul Snow, INTERNET:pdssl@yahoo.com
Date: Sat, Apr 7, 2001, 10:23 PM
RE: Re: [colortheory] Black & White and color photography of the same subject
Along the same lines of this question. Could a person
scan color negs as B&W and bring them into PS as
grayscale or is it better to let PS convert color
images to grayscale???
Paul Snow

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From: "LANARD STRADFORD", INTERNET:lstradfo@plaind.com
Date: Fri, Apr 13, 2001, 9:34 AM
RE: Re: [colortheory] Black & White and color photography of the same subject
Working at a newspaper for almost 10 years, I have seen the transformation from Black and white to color on newsprint. In agreement, I strongly suggest that photographers shoot with color film and convert to black and white after. Color negatives tend to lend more tonal range when converting to b&w from color.
800 speed film seems to the most difficult to work with. High amounts of grain is hard to work around, but not impossible. 400 speed film seems to work best because of the versatility in light and shaded or dark areas.
LaNard Stradford
Imaging Prepress Manager
The Plain Dealer
Cleveland, Ohio
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From: "Dave King", INTERNET:kingphoto@mindspring.com
Date: Sat, Apr 14, 2001, 12:34 AM
Re: [colortheory] Black & White and color photography
I'm using the lowly LS-30, but I have my eye on the soon to be shipped
new 4000 dpi 35mm to 6x9cm Nikon scanner. I've been very impressed
with the LS-30, the initial color neg corrections are excellent, and
it's color management is very good. Good enough to get around the low
bit problem - I use the curves dialogue in NikonScan 2.5 to do the
bulk of the initial correction, then use adjustment layers in PS6 to
do final tweaks. Nikon claims the LED light source is consistent from
unit to unit, and as a result the "canned" profile very good. This
appears to be true based on my experience.
Dave
----- Original Message -----
From: Peter Lindman <plindman@qwest.net>
To: Dave King <kingphoto@mindspring.com>
Sent: Friday, April 13, 2001 11:52 PM
Subject: Re: [colortheory] Black & White and color photography> Dave,
> If you don't mind my asking, what model Nikon scanner used.I'm
looking
> for something to do both 35mm and 120 film.
> Thanks
> Peter Lindman
>
> Dave King wrote:
> >
> > > Working at a newspaper for almost 10 years, I have seen the
> > transformation from Black and white to color on newsprint. In
> > agreement, I strongly suggest that photographers shoot with color
film
> > and convert to black and white after. Color negatives tend to
lend
> > more tonal range when converting to b&w from color.
> > >
> > > 800 speed film seems to the most difficult to work with. High
> > amounts of grain is hard to work around, but not impossible. 400
> > speed film seems to work best because of the versatility in light
and
> > shaded or dark areas.
> > >
> > > LaNard Stradford
> > > Imaging Prepress Manager
> > > The Plain Dealer
> > > Cleveland, Ohio
> >
> > I get great scans from Fuji's 800 speed NPH II color neg film
using a
> > Nikon scanner. Grain is very small for 800, and the pattern
smooth.
> > Have you tried it?
> >
> > Dave King
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From: "Dave King", INTERNET:kingphoto@mindspring.com
Date: Fri, Apr 13, 2001, 8:55 PM
RE: Re: [colortheory] Black & White and color photography of the same subject

> Working at a newspaper for almost 10 years, I have seen the
transformation from Black and white to color on newsprint. In
agreement, I strongly suggest that photographers shoot with color film
and convert to black and white after. Color negatives tend to lend
more tonal range when converting to b&w from color.
>
> 800 speed film seems to the most difficult to work with. High
amounts of grain is hard to work around, but not impossible. 400
speed film seems to work best because of the versatility in light and
shaded or dark areas.
>
> LaNard Stradford
> Imaging Prepress Manager
> The Plain Dealer
> Cleveland, Ohio
I get great scans from Fuji's 800 speed NPH II color neg film using a
Nikon scanner. Grain is very small for 800, and the pattern smooth.
Have you tried it?
Dave King

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From: "Dave King", INTERNET:kingphoto@mindspring.com
Date: Fri, Apr 13, 2001, 8:48 PM
RE: Re: [colortheory] Black & White and color photography of the same subjectA good and easy solution is to shoot Fuji NPS at 100. Just get a
Polacolor 100 proof looking good and shoot one frame at the same
F-stop, and make one bracket 1 stop higher. If shooting portraits
forget the bracket. Done.
NPS is especially forgiving in mixed light situations.
If you scanner software does a lousy job with color neg film (most
do), export hi-bit files and do a Photoshop black point eyedropper
correction on the clear film edge first. That will correct the
fundamental color problems, then use your favorite methods of color
correction to finish the job.
Dave King

Adobe Photoshop training classes are taught in the US by Sterling Ledet & Associates, Inc.