Weekly Assignment #110: Extreme BW

NikolaiNikolai Darth SLRLa LA landRegistered Users Posts: 19,035 Major grins
edited March 12, 2009 in Assignments
This time around our goal is to produce extreme BW image: no color, not even a shade of gray. Each pixel must be either black or white.

Something like this:
#1: color original:

453405497_EGJvL-L.jpg

#2: XBW conversion:

480979467_X6tYx-L.jpg

Each entry must consist of two images: color original and your XBW treatment. There are many ways to skin a cat in PS, please share your own description of how you did yours. E.g. my kwik recipe for the above conversion: background, levels, BW, posterize.

Original can be old (rare chance to dig through the archives), yet the treatment must be fresh from the oven.
Multiple entries are OK, provided the treatments are different.

Let's get extreme!
"May the f/stop be with you!"
«1

Comments

  • Candid ArtsCandid Arts Ear2Ear Grinner Portland, ORRegistered Users Posts: 1,685 Major grins
    edited February 26, 2009
    I see some grays in yours...

    This is interesting though, I've just been playing with it and getting some interesting results...
  • Candid ArtsCandid Arts Ear2Ear Grinner Portland, ORRegistered Users Posts: 1,685 Major grins
    edited February 26, 2009
    Original:

    480994000_uBBiG-L.jpg

    XBW Version:

    480993900_RQhuG-L.jpg

    Basically I used LR2, converted to grayscale, ran exposure to +4.00, ran blacks to +100. Then I used the grayscale saturation sliders to bring all the gray tones down, which consisted of reds, oranges, blues...uhhh...yeah. I also cropped the guys arm out on the left.
  • NikolaiNikolai Darth SLR La LA landRegistered Users Posts: 19,035 Major grins
    edited February 26, 2009
    Original:
    XBW Version:
    Basically I used LR2, converted to grayscale, ran exposure to +4.00, ran blacks to +100. Then I used the grayscale saturation sliders to bring all the gray tones down, which consisted of reds, oranges, blues...uhhh...yeah. I also cropped the guys arm out on the left.
    Thank you for your entry! thumb.gif
    "May the f/stop be with you!"
  • NikolaiNikolai Darth SLR La LA landRegistered Users Posts: 19,035 Major grins
    edited February 26, 2009
    I see some grays in yours...
    What you see is a fine mix of black and white pixels possibly blended together during the scale down process... The nature of 2 level posterization doesn't allow anything gray to exist...deal.gif
    "May the f/stop be with you!"
  • eL eSs VeeeL eSs Vee Beside himself. Outer Los Angeles.Registered Users Posts: 1,243 Major grins
    edited February 26, 2009
    Shot last Sunday, this Ferrari Challenge Stradale was a joy for a car nut like me to photograph.

    Here is the original:
    ChallengeStradaleAssignmentfrontDSC.jpg

    And here is my Extreme Black and White:
    ChallengeStradaleAssignmentDSC_3193.jpg

    Sharpen, Stamp, Curves, Levels.
    Lee
    __________________

    My SmugMug Gallery
    My Facebook

    "If you've found a magic that does something for you, honey, stick to it. Never change it." - Mae West, to Edith Head.
    "Every guy has to have one weakness - and it might as well be a good one." - Shell Scott: Dance With the Dead by Richard S. Prather
  • NikolaiNikolai Darth SLR La LA landRegistered Users Posts: 19,035 Major grins
    edited February 27, 2009
    eL eSs Vee wrote:
    Shot last Sunday, this Ferrari Challenge Stradale was a joy for a car nut like me to photograph.
    Here is the original:
    And here is my Extreme Black and White:
    Sharpen, Stamp, Curves, Levels.
    Thank you Lee! thumb.gif
    FWIW, you broke a few major rules of "Car Photography 101" with this shot, but hey, it was not the target of *this* class...mwink.gif
    "May the f/stop be with you!"
  • dlscott56dlscott56 Major grins Troy, MichiganRegistered Users Posts: 1,323 Major grins
    edited February 27, 2009
    Original :
    481946397_7kVfe-L.jpg

    XBW:
    481946645_JLdVn-L.jpg

    Tried to use the method described by Nikolia.
  • NikolaiNikolai Darth SLR La LA landRegistered Users Posts: 19,035 Major grins
    edited February 27, 2009
    dlscott56 wrote:
    Original :
    XBW:
    Tried to use the method described by Nikolia.
    Thanks, Dave! thumb.gif
    Now if only the original picture were a bit less bland:-) mwink.gif
    "May the f/stop be with you!"
  • dlscott56dlscott56 Major grins Troy, MichiganRegistered Users Posts: 1,323 Major grins
    edited February 27, 2009
    Nikolai wrote:
    Thanks, Dave! thumb.gif
    Now if only the original picture were a bit less bland:-) mwink.gif

    Sorry, been working too much :(:. Too bad I couldn't make it to your workshop, then I'd have more to work with -).

    Looks like a great two day event thumb.gif
  • JackieHollowJackieHollow Big grins ArkansasRegistered Users Posts: 30 Big grins
    edited February 27, 2009
    Hope it's ok if I play. :)

    3315456036_dca623bf79_o.jpg

    XBW
    3315692176_129eab5ea3_o.jpg

    Edited to add a posterized version of the XBW
  • NikolaiNikolai Darth SLR La LA landRegistered Users Posts: 19,035 Major grins
    edited February 27, 2009
    Hope it's ok if I play. :)
    XBW
    Nice conversion! thumb.gif
    What method did you use?
    "May the f/stop be with you!"
  • JackieHollowJackieHollow Big grins ArkansasRegistered Users Posts: 30 Big grins
    edited February 27, 2009
    Nikolai wrote:
    Nice conversion! thumb.gif
    What method did you use?

    Thanks!!! :) I opened in PS, converted to grayscale. I made a radical levels adjustment. When going back through and checking the pixels on teh water and tree, there was still a bit of gray. Then I did a pretty severe brightness & contrast layer that got rid of all the gray.

    Oh and I cropped because the bridge just did not add to the pic with this conversion. Laughing.gif
  • Mike JMike J Having Fun! Oregon, USARegistered Users Posts: 1,029 Major grins
    edited February 27, 2009
    This is very interesting.

    The snow makes this one easier...

    482009940_7p97u-M.jpg

    482009976_Rivg8-M.jpg

    Done in LR2. Here's the recipe
    Convert to grayscale
    Bump exposure up 2.5
    Run Blacks up to 100
    Run Contrast and Brightness all the way up
    In the Grayscale mixer run everything up to 100
    In camera calibration I played with the sliders. The red hue/saturation I ran up to 100. The green and blue hue/sat I ran down to -100

    The hardest part was getting rid of the red without making it too black or too white.
    Mike J

    Comments and constructive criticism always welcome.
    www.mikejulianaphotography.com
    Facebook
  • NikolaiNikolai Darth SLR La LA landRegistered Users Posts: 19,035 Major grins
    edited February 27, 2009
    Thanks!!! :) I opened in PS, converted to grayscale. I made a radical levels adjustment. When going back through and checking the pixels on teh water and tree, there was still a bit of gray. Then I did a pretty severe brightness & contrast layer that got rid of all the gray.

    Oh and I cropped because the bridge just did not add to the pic with this conversion. Laughing.gif
    Just FYI, while this is nice, it's not a guarantee for the true Black or White conversion (Stamp and Posterization are:-)
    "May the f/stop be with you!"
  • NikolaiNikolai Darth SLR La LA landRegistered Users Posts: 19,035 Major grins
    edited February 27, 2009
    Mike J wrote:
    This is very interesting.

    The snow makes this one easier...

    Done in LR2. Here's the recipe
    Convert to grayscale
    Bump exposure up 2.5
    Run Blacks up to 100
    Run Contrast and Brightness all the way up
    In the Grayscale mixer run everything up to 100
    In camera calibration I played with the sliders. The red hue/saturation I ran up to 100. The green and blue hue/sat I ran down to -100

    The hardest part was getting rid of the red without making it too black or too white.

    Thanks Mike! thumb.gif
    Please see my previous comment about getting 100% black or white deal.gif
    "May the f/stop be with you!"
  • JackieHollowJackieHollow Big grins ArkansasRegistered Users Posts: 30 Big grins
    edited February 27, 2009
    Nikolai wrote:
    Just FYI, while this is nice, it's not a guarantee for the true Black or White conversion (Stamp and Posterization are:-)

    Ok. I'm in Posterize in PS. When it says "Levels" Do I leave the default "4" there? I guess Stamp and Posterize are a couple things I've never messed with... eek7.gif

    .. I keep editing my own posts. Laughing.gif Anyway in PS I went to posterize and changed the levels to 15. :) I reuploaded the picture (tho I really didn't see much change) but wanted make sure I did it right. :) Hope I fixed it right. Laughing.gif
  • Mike JMike J Having Fun! Oregon, USARegistered Users Posts: 1,029 Major grins
    edited February 28, 2009
    Nikolai wrote:
    Thanks Mike! thumb.gif
    Please see my previous comment about getting 100% black or white deal.gif

    So I understand that the tweak the slider method is not a guarentee to get 100% black or white. I don't know much about the posterize filter so I need to learn more...

    You mention that posterize and stamp guarantee 100% B/W. Here's one using a threshold adjustment level that I think would also guarantee this?

    482030585_VE6XR-M.jpg
    Mike J

    Comments and constructive criticism always welcome.
    www.mikejulianaphotography.com
    Facebook
  • NikolaiNikolai Darth SLR La LA landRegistered Users Posts: 19,035 Major grins
    edited February 28, 2009
    Mike J wrote:
    So I understand that the tweak the slider method is not a guarentee to get 100% black or white. I don't know much about the posterize filter so I need to learn more...
    You mention that posterize and stamp guarantee 100% B/W. Here's one using a threshold adjustment level that I think would also guarantee this?
    Threshold is OK:-) thumb.gif
    "May the f/stop be with you!"
  • sfdavissfdavis Beginner grinner Raleigh, NCRegistered Users Posts: 7 Beginner grinner
    edited February 28, 2009
    I want to play
    Here is my original
    3316711875_826eacf898.jpg?v=0

    and here is the extreme BW version
    3316711675_d1cd5fc88c.jpg?v=0

    I applied the red channel to the original, used unsharp mask to bring out the details, curved it for more contrast and used threshold to get the final image.

    Steve
  • NikolaiNikolai Darth SLR La LA landRegistered Users Posts: 19,035 Major grins
    edited February 28, 2009
    sfdavis wrote:
    Here is my original
    and here is the extreme BW version
    I applied the red channel to the original, used unsharp mask to bring out the details, curved it for more contrast and used threshold to get the final image.
    Steve
    Thanks Steve, great entry! thumb.gif
    The reason I personally prefer to throw a B&W or Channel Mixer adj layer into the mix is that I can play with those channels and see which one (or what mix) gives the best results.
    "May the f/stop be with you!"
  • ic4uic4u Major grins Registered Users Posts: 1,455 Major grins
    edited March 1, 2009
    Hi Nik
    Thought I'd give this one a try. I have no formal training in post work, so I have just been trying ideas that I've read...so I could be way off on this

    483377034_f89G9-M.jpg

    483377061_bz2Ro-M.jpg

    Gradient, levels, posterize

    Thanks,
    Karin
    Karin


    "Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one is listening. Love like you've never been hurt and live like it's heaven on Earth." — Mark Twain
  • NikolaiNikolai Darth SLR La LA landRegistered Users Posts: 19,035 Major grins
    edited March 2, 2009
    ic4u wrote:
    Hi Nik
    Thought I'd give this one a try. I have no formal training in post work, so I have just been trying ideas that I've read...so I could be way off on this
    Gradient, levels, posterize
    Thanks,
    Karin
    Karin,
    thank you! thumb.gif
    While going for extreme I think it's important to keep the spirit of original picture. The lack of nose in XBW version makes it look skull-like and generally non-pleasant for a western human eye. ne_nau.gif
    "May the f/stop be with you!"
  • JAGJAG Photomaniac Wasilla, AKSuper Moderators Posts: 9,027 moderator
    edited March 2, 2009
    Ok I have tried this in 3 different programs. 2 of them are totally new to me...first the original...
    483442369_weyhE-L.jpg

    This first one I did in PSPx2...which is a program I am very well rehearsed with. I converted to bw then ran a dynamic contrast filter and blew the image to the extreme. This is a filter I use frequently...although usually I will leave a little more grey for defining areas. But since you wanted more black and white...this is what I got...
    483442607_4G5EH-L.jpg

    This one I did in PSE6...which I am totally new too. It came free in a bundled package with my Wacom Intuos3 tablet. This is basicly the first time I have ever played with it...so to tell you exactly what I did I am not sure I might miss something. I converted to bw by clicking on a bw icon then played with contrast sliders that I found from a drop down menu. Although this program seems to have eliminated the greys better...it took twice as long and at least 4x the amount of clicks than psp..
    483442625_QQwBk-L.jpg

    This last one is from a LR2 that I downloaded a free trial for today. I converted to bw and went down the basic tool list and just slide the sliders all the way down to get this result....I have not made up my mind by any means on LR2 yet, the results are for you to see.
    483442643_kmXcG-L.jpg
  • NikolaiNikolai Darth SLR La LA landRegistered Users Posts: 19,035 Major grins
    edited March 2, 2009
    JAG wrote:
    Ok I have tried this in 3 different programs. 2 of them are totally new to me...first the original...


    This first one I did in PSPx2...which is a program I am very well rehearsed with. I converted to bw then ran a dynamic contrast filter and blew the image to the extreme. This is a filter I use frequently...although usually I will leave a little more grey for defining areas. But since you wanted more black and white...this is what I got...


    This one I did in PSE6...which I am totally new too. It came free in a bundled package with my Wacom Intuos3 tablet. This is basicly the first time I have ever played with it...so to tell you exactly what I did I am not sure I might miss something. I converted to bw by clicking on a bw icon then played with contrast sliders that I found from a drop down menu. Although this program seems to have eliminated the greys better...it took twice as long and at least 4x the amount of clicks than psp..


    This last one is from a LR2 that I downloaded a free trial for today. I converted to bw and went down the basic tool list and just slide the sliders all the way down to get this result....I have not made up my mind by any means on LR2 yet, the results are for you to see.

    Joyce, thank you for experimenting!
    One of the goals was to find a menthod wich would GUARANTEE you black-and-white-only conversion. in PS terms AFAIK there are only few ways to do that: posterize(2), threshold and a few artiscic filters from the Sketch section.
    Anoth point of exercise was to isolate BW conversion from the content, thus gaining a complete control fo what's going black and what stays white.
    I honestly don't think you have mastered that separation and control yet, even though the results are nice:-)
    "May the f/stop be with you!"
  • JAGJAG Photomaniac Wasilla, AKSuper Moderators Posts: 9,027 moderator
    edited March 2, 2009
    Nikolai wrote:
    Joyce, thank you for experimenting!
    One of the goals was to find a menthod wich would GUARANTEE you black-and-white-only conversion. in PS terms AFAIK there are only few ways to do that: posterize(2), threshold and a few artiscic filters from the Sketch section.
    Anoth point of exercise was to isolate BW conversion from the content, thus gaining a complete control fo what's going black and what stays white.
    I honestly don't think you have mastered that separation and control yet, even though the results are nice:-)

    You are absolutely right that I have not mastered this separation/control yet. To be honest Nikoli I am use to using filters that are preset in PSP...and that limit my time spent on an image (at times). I feel like a total dweeb when it comes to looking through the PSE program...I have not figured all the menus and it took me forever to figure out how to get to the basic menu controls! It looks like I can do anything PSE does in PSP. LR2 seems to be easier to figure although I havent had enough play with it. I am wondering if I should upgrade to a CS4 for half price (which I have an opportunity to do through the Wacom site for my purchase of the tablet). Do you have CS4? If so do you feel its worth the expensive pricetag in comparison to PS or LR2?
  • dchrisdchris Beginner grinner San Jose, CARegistered Users Posts: 4 Beginner grinner
    edited March 2, 2009
    Extreme BW - Golden Gate
    This was a fun assignment and the conversion was more challenging than I expected. Here is the original -I liked the viewpoint but never the color / lighting in this shot:
    483469968_ViZ9C-S.jpg

    Here is the final result:
    483473307_ZqFtC-M.jpg
    I used PS CS3. I started with a B+W filter then used the curves tool to get to only black and white. But I couldn't retain any detail in the bridge or water with an overall adjustment so I did 3 curve layers with masks for the bushes, water/hills, and sky/bridge to retain some detail in these areas.

    -Chris
  • NikolaiNikolai Darth SLR La LA landRegistered Users Posts: 19,035 Major grins
    edited March 2, 2009
    dchris wrote:
    This was a fun assignment and the conversion was more challenging than I expected. Here is the original -I liked the viewpoint but never the color / lighting in this shot:
    Here is the final result:
    I used PS CS3. I started with a B+W filter then used the curves tool to get to only black and white. But I couldn't retain any detail in the bridge or water with an overall adjustment so I did 3 curve layers with masks for the bushes, water/hills, and sky/bridge to retain some detail in these areas.

    -Chris
    Chris,
    thank you for playing! thumb.gif
    As I explained above, curves alone do not guarantee 100% separation. You have to use one of the Extreme tools... ne_nau.gif
    "May the f/stop be with you!"
  • dchrisdchris Beginner grinner San Jose, CARegistered Users Posts: 4 Beginner grinner
    edited March 2, 2009
    You're right, I missed that.mwink.gif There was a tiny bit of gray left but it is gone after a posterize adjustment.

    483541521_zZKzF-M.jpg
    Nikolai wrote:
    Chris,
    thank you for playing! thumb.gif
    As I explained above, curves alone do not guarantee 100% separation. You have to use one of the Extreme tools... ne_nau.gif
  • Candid ArtsCandid Arts Ear2Ear Grinner Portland, ORRegistered Users Posts: 1,685 Major grins
    edited March 2, 2009
    Re did mine with the new instructions...posterize.

    Original: (again)
    480994000_uBBiG-L.jpg

    XBY: (Cropped, Adjustments>Black & White, Posterize, adjust slider to 2, save, upload)
    483806079_hXqLc-L-1.jpg
  • NikolaiNikolai Darth SLR La LA landRegistered Users Posts: 19,035 Major grins
    edited March 2, 2009
    Re did mine with the new instructions...posterize.
    Original: (again)
    XBY: (Cropped, Adjustments>Black & White, Posterize, adjust slider to 2, save, upload)
    Come on, do you have another other picture? mwink.gif
    "May the f/stop be with you!"
Sign In or Register to comment.