Film & Filter Technique


Black and White Photography: Learning Grayscale Conversion


Lesson Info

Film & Filter Technique

Now, let's, get fancy the problem with the way in which you are taught traditional conversions, it has to do with something here, is we're going to have to grant school, the philosopher soren kierkegaard said. We live life forwards with frequently, we experience it backwards, for example, you go to san francisco and you witness the golden gate bridge with a rainbow. Now this event happened over an hour and a half, and what occurred was the miss started to have happened while it was still sunny, the light hit, the moisture in the atmosphere created a rainbow, the fog came in, then the clouds happened, that will be how it will happen in reality, how you will describe it is completely backward, got the cloud bank came in and the fog hit the bridge, and then the sun hit the bridge and there was a rainbow, and you'll take pictures of this, and not one of those images will reflect that experience into which your responsibly I suck. What happens is you're trying to describe an experience that...

happened over an hour and a half and manifested in a metaphor that occurs at one hundred twenty fifth of a second, you can't possibly what you would do is capture several of those images and assemble it to tell this story, because that is how you're going to extend the dynamic range of time, but the point is that you're going to describe the experience backwards even though you've lived in the opposite direction. Would you like me to show you this as a example? Sure. Okay, let's do this we're going to do we're gonna call this we're into a variation of russell braun's film and filter technique and this has to be one of the coolest ideas in photo shop. All right? Does that mean my definition? Alright, I'll put in a color blind mode now I'm going to put, where are you? Call this filter one you see any change here when I moved the hugh slider? Nothing so we're looking at it from the top down or from the forest to the trees, so if you look at it from the top down this matters way mohr right contrast, lighten dark, then color so if you're looking at it that way, the observation that color doesn't matter would be correct. But what happens here? What do you see a current? Do you see change? Okay, what you're seeing is that color doesn't matter that if I control the color from the bottom up, which is how images built not from the top down, that what I do to you, what I do to saturation matters now here in lies the power of what it is that I'm going to show you just by using human saturation adjustment layers that's all I mean even one adjustment layer many many times is that I'm going to be able to create an image specific total reproduction curve or that would be like I just made custom emotion for this image that is not only custom for the image, but I'm able to make custom emotions for specific parts of the photograph feeling romp appeal at this point is that something you want but wait there's more all right? Is that something that would be of interest to you? Okay, now you can't do this in in raw processors because you don't have control of multiple adjustments everything is done two one layer basically if you're going to use third party plug ins and I preface iss with I was the second employee of a company called nick software and I was a photographer the primary photographer that silver effects was used to build silver effects I'm a big advocate of this, but because not everybody has through party plug ins and I'm not into making you buy something, I'm going to show you simply how to do it with something you already have now is there a better way on one software nick software the nick collection by google that software all of those could produce a better way to do this but if you were to use any of those plug ins in light room, what occurs is you have to create a tiff to use the plug and now the minute that you created tiff where should you be photoshopped? Because there are only like five things that a raw processor does and then everything else is piled on top of parsed data so you use a raw processor in my opinion to do those things that a raw processor should do and then you move to the more powerful software which is photos show I'm a photo shop guy I think it's most inspired piece of software ever created now what we're going to do is we're going to create multiple of these now I'm going to move this first one to negative one forty seven unit down there and I'm gonna put the saturation right there what happened to the image? Ok it's darker but we're going to use that let's create another human saturation adjustment layer this time let's move the hue now you see how I'm doing this moving it back and forth the musician brian eno said you go to an extreme and you retreat to a usable position I'm always amazed that instructors when I watch tutorials now set the opacity to thirty six percent how did you know that I'm showing you how we knew that ok it's like and you use the usually biological optical organic device the human eye which you possess to off to make decisions based on your image because whose image is it? So who gets to decide everything that happens to this image? You do you have to be the one that likes it first at four thirty seven in the morning when the cat's tired of sitting on the keyboard and has given up on you and you pull a print off the printer, right? What happens is you fall in love that's the buzz of photography and you get to decide you're the first person that sees it. You're the only person that needs to be pleased when you look at it. So let's do that let's go to a saturation of thirty four I did this before so that I could be quick about it on let's do this and minus two ok, so you see how this is different than that by going from the bottom up? Do you see I have now created and you see how these interact with each other. So I now have incredible control here call this film filter to I was going to do this picture. Um, I didn't get the dancer, I do my kind of kind of annual photo walk for glaser's whenever I'm up here and I was gonna do a flower, but I figured people would be pretty here, all right? And then what we'll do is we'll go to the last one which we're going to go to forty one and then saturation all right see how these air all interacting with each other differently. So what do I know about this one and fill this with black? Is that set my brush for b I want to set my brush tuna pass ity of fifty percent here is why later masks work in the gray scale when they work on a scale of zero to one hundred so what are the three events we know it will be fifty percent? It will be more than fifty percent or it will be less than fifty percent do we know which one of those it will be? Not until we do something. So what I do is I set my brush to fifty percent using a feathered brushing them to come into the background here actually let's use the more precise tool I travel with this antique and I'm gonna bring up fayed effect, which is command shift f or the fate, whatever the heck it is you just did now I can increase or decrease what it is that I'm doing with this slider, so the key is you do it in one move and don't worry about if you don't get it right because there's a way to get it all there's a way to touch it up so what I'm going to say here is that forty one is about right for that I'm going to come in here command shift f on dh lower that a little bit and then come back and hear and dark in that up a bit command shift elf okay that's the first one now let's fill this with black what's happening to her hair what? How much do you owe me now I'm gonna leave that right at fifty percent open up her body just a hair and it's ok to leave things at fifty percent if that's what it works out to me it's a nice looking black and white right? So did I see this in color image in black and white? If that was true, I would have seen the colors that way now unless you are starring in the movie one of the vampire movies right vampire see color that way you don't you see color this way now by controlling the color of the image what I can do is I can further comeback in aiken dial this in I have incredible control over how much of this actually happens. So when I'm done that's what my color image would look like so to answer the first question no you can't see a color image in black and white if somebody tells you that they can okay I can't I see color images in color what I do is I use color to be able to control the chromatic grayscale image in such a way that I can extract the maximum amount of image data out of the file by giving myself access to the red the green and blue aspects of that file it's everybody get that point by lost any of you how much money you got in your pockets all right I want to have access to the blue channel the red green channel in the red channel you see, I have these you see how this dip data is different now the simplest way in the world to do this I just showed you was anything that I did they're difficult if you look at it from the bottom up which is a force is made up of what trees and how do you build a forest one tree at a time? The general problem is that we look at the forest because we look at it from the top down and we freak out it's like, oh my god, I got all these things like I can't do that if I would have told you at the beginning this is what we were going to do in each and every one of you was going to do it I was going to make it do it generally what I get when I teach this in a classroom situation is I can't do it it's too much, but if you look at I'm just going to make filter the filter one for the dark aspect, the image I'm going to make it the best dark aspect of it filter to was the best middle aspect of it. Filter three was the best, more creaminess aspect of it. Whatever you use is your decision making process. If I look at just those and then I come back in and picked the best examples of what it is that I liked, and then combine those was any one of those individual steps that difficult to conceptualize? No, what I'm inviting you to consider is to air in the direction of keeping the answers to your questions as close to yes or no as possible. Because there's one thing in this room that we all agree on, even donald trump and I agree on another born ing and liberal, okay, which is the truth is the truth. It could only be one thing right if it's not the truth, it's something else. So it's the only time in logic theory, that circular definition works. The next thing that we all agree on is that when we see the truth, we know it. Where we stopped agreeing on is what the truth is, but what that means is there's a test for the truth which is the closer you are to the truth the simpler things are the further away you are from the truth more complicated things are so if you keep your answers to your questions and you frame your questions in a way in which they become a yes or no where this or that or should I or shouldn't I it becomes much easier to figure out what's going on in art in your art in your image so that when I look at a picture it's like oh I want mohr lightness when you took the picture did you like it right that's why I took it right what happened when you look at the picture in the computer instead of airing in the direction of oh that sucks why not err in the direction of this color red is not as successful a red is I would like it to be well what would make it more successful well it has its two orange so what do you know lower the yellow pop in a little blue maybe this file simply doesn't have contrast at the way in which I wanted so what's the answer the question adm or contrast do you see how there's no running dialogue that beat yourself up because the person that beat yourself up the most sits in the same share you do there are enough people that will mess with your head don't help him and where they're really going to fight yet is here this is like religion to people black and white, and the joy of black and white is that you can express your voice in the purest possible note because you removed the distraction of color and you're left with the abstraction of the gesture that took you and that's why I'm a big advocate of working with color. So the first question is, did I answer that? You can't the second answer to the question, the second question is, how come my black and white it's look better than your black and white? I just show you this is how they look better. This is why they look better because I use color as the key to the way in which I make a black and white image, that I used the image structure of the individual channels that for me there's something mohr to the image than just contrast. And lastly, can I teach you how to see a color image in black and white? I don't know you tell me, okay, you can't it can't be done could realistically can't see the color image in color and then make it perfect in color and then go to converting it to chromatic grayscale, but make sure that along the way you don't dump the color, a simple plainness is the most difficult thing to achieve. If you can make your image is simple. Plainness is that are things that people walk by, but you stopped them. You did your job. Mais elle says that being a photographer is selfish. The goal of being a photographer is to make it to that. When you look at a thing, you see my interpretation of that thing first, so I take a picture of an orchid, and you look at the orchid, you see my orchid than the flower. If I do that, I did my job. How do I do that? By controlling the way the human eye moves through my image?

Class Description

High quality black and white images require careful handling – learn the best way to work on yours in  Black and White Photography: Learning Grayscale Conversion with Vincent Versace

When you convert your digital image from color to black and white, you destroy ⅔ of the data in the file. In this class, Vincent will explore the complete conversion process and show you how to protect what remains. You’ll learn how to preserve your image’s contrast, control the individual color channels, manage the hue and saturation layers, and how to print. 

Black and White Photography: Learning Grayscale Conversion with Vincent Versace will help you ensure that every black and white image you work on looks its absolute best.

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 2015