Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Tutorials’ Category

It isn’t Always Black and White

sccemetery-7919Yesterday I did some photos in Black and White and added a touch of colour.  It was a fun process to do and I think the images came out well.  I know there are many people in photography that think black and white is the only way to go, there are others who think most images look better in black and white, then there are some of us who think it depends on the image.

I am not going to get into an argument about what is best, it is purely a personal thing.  However, having said that, I know there are many images that could be great black and white images, but due to the processing they aren’t.  Again, I know this can be a very personal thing, so all I can do is talk about what I think.  You can all have your say in the comments section.

Today I had a comment from someone wanting to know about how I did the photos yesterday.  It was an interesting comment, and I remembered that I had done posts on this in the past.  I did a tutorial on doing Black and White photos in GIMP, Black and White in GIMP – My Way and then I did one on Black and White Conversions.  It is a very subjective subject and I thought I might tackle it again, especially since I sccres-hpm5786-7wrote the latter over two years ago.

I think black and white images can be very dramatic, but they can also be boring, and it really depends on your subject matter.  I have always felt that your subject matter should determine which images should be made into monotone or duotone images.  Does it enhance the image more, if the colour is gone does the image miss something?  There are so many questions, but you have to answer those. In the end it is your image and has to be what you want.

However, having said that, there are still ways of taking a photo that would be great in black and white and then making it look horrible.  When I wrote the article on conversions it was because I was seeing so many black and white images on the scbarwon-8016-se1internet that had a lot of potential, but they hadn’t been processed right.

Many cameras now can take black and white images for you, it is not something I have ever done.  I like to take all my photos in colour, and then decide once I get them on the computer if I will make them black and white.  I like to have that choice, but I know many photographers that just shoot in B&W, again it is a personal choice.

Once the image is on the computer there are many ways to make it black and white. You can convert it to grey scale (if you do this, you won’t be able to use colour in the image, unless you save it, then convert it back to RGB), you can completely desaturate your image, or if you have Photoshop you can use the black and white adjustment layer.  I like the last option because then you have the choice to play with the tones of each colour, not sure that is the right way of putting it.

There is something that a lot people do to their images, or don’t do, and that is lookscbarwonheads-hpm8063-1sep1 at the contrast.  The contrast is the different between the darks and lights in your images, or the black and whites and everything in between.

When I started photography, I started with black and white, and developed my own films, and then printed them.  I converted my laundry into a darkroom that could only be used at night.  It worked, and I spent many evenings in there working on my images.  I was given some advice from another photographer that said, “make sure there is a black in your image, and there is a white.  He suggested using a piece of white paper and a piece of black to help make sure I had those.  It is good to also have the greys in between.

LeanneCole-ocean-ant4173You don’t want the image to be just black and white, that would be horrible, but you want a range of tones from black to white.  When I was at art school and drawing, I can remember my lecturers telling me that my drawings had no contrast, I didn’t know what they were talking about, now I do, the drawings had no darks, and they were very grey.  I worked it out eventually and my drawings got a lot better.

Photography is the same, if you don’t have that contrast, the images can look washed out if there are no blacks, or too dark if there are no whites.  It is a good thing to remember.

So how do you like your black and white images?  What is your favourite subject for those images?  Lastly, what do you use to process them?

Here is a little gallery of the images if you want a better look at them.

 

Just a Little More On Watermarking and a Bit on Searching

The other day when I did the post on Scott, I asked him why he didn’t watermark his images, and he was telling me how he had come across others using his images, quite by accident.  They had given him credit, but they hadn’t asked his permission.  So I asked him if he thought I should do something on how to search the internet to find out if people are using your images without your permission.  So today I have done another screencast for you and I will show you how to do a very basic watermark on your images, and then how to use Google Chrome to search the internet to find your images, or to see if someone has stolen them.

The video is a bit rough, but I hope you can follow it.

Attempting to Antique an Image

I thought I would have another go at doing another video.  I have tried out a few different sorts of free software, but they are not that great either.  Of course, the most obvious thing would be to buy some software, but I can’t see the point in spending money on software that I don’t really get any benefit from, so either I put up with this crappy software, or rather you do, or I stop doing them and not worry about doing them.

Todays video or screencast I have attempted to show you a different way to make an image look more antique, using an interesting way of making it black and white, or rather monotone, and how to add a texture so it looks like mold or stains on an image.

Please, if you have any questions I will do my best to answer them.

Don’t forget that Public Domain Textures is a great place to get your free textures, or a great place to share them, and we would like to see how you have used the textures.  I added about 30 textures the other day and I have some more rock ones to add today.

Looking at Watermarking

No Words, just a video on Watermarking.

Using Textures

So after quite a few people asked me how to make textures, I have attempted to do a video tutorial on how to apply a texture to an image.  I am going to post, but you need to be warned it isn’t very good.  My computer did not behave and Photoshop wouldn’t work properly.  I don’t know what the issue was, but hopefully you will get the general idea that the trick to using textures is all about blending.

I hope you can work it out, but remember that the library of textures is growing at Public Domain Textures, and you also see some work by people who have used some textures from the site.  So if you want your work shown, put a link to the texture you used so we get a pingback.

As I said the video isn’t great, a few problems there, I am also not sure about the quality, I tried to get as good as possible.

The Efex of Color

Since I showed you Silver Efex by Nik Software last week, I thought today we could look at Color Efex Pro 4.  It is interesting software.  You can get some interesting effects from it, not always what you want, but that is going to be the same with any software you use.  I think this is similar to using Instagram with all its filters, but the main difference, and a big difference it is, is that you can change and make the filter work the way you want it to.  You have a lot more control over it.  That is something that I like a lot.

cep-1To use Color Efex, it is the same as Silver Efex, you have to open an image up in Photoshop, or the program that you have it as a plugin.  The website has information about what programs you can use.

cep-2To open it you go to Filters, Nik Software, then Color Efex Pro 4.

cep-3Here is what Color Efex looks like.  You can see a list of filters down the left side, over the on the right is a list of functions that you can do with the filter that is choosen.  The filter for this image has been circled in yellow.

cep-4I have changed the filter to Film Efex: Faded.  You can see on the right all the different things that you can change.   In the above image, nothing has been changed yet.

cep-5I have changed a few thing here, not much, but enough to make the image more to my liking.  I also changed the film type.  Again, like Silver Efex, when you have a drop down menu if you hover over the top you will see how each one changes the images.

If you play around with one filter and then decide you don’t like it, you can click on another one and it will change everything for that new filter.  What you did previously is erased, which also means if you go back to the original one, you will have to make all the changes and adjustments again.

cep-6There are also a heap of recipes that you can try out.  Or you can make your own and save them.  Again, just because someone has done one, doesn’t mean you can’t make some adjustments to it.

cep-7This is nice, it comes with a history, or rather you can see what you have done to the image as you went along.  That is a great feature.

cep-8When you are finished, you can just click OK and your image will be transformed in Photoshop.  You can also click Brush, and then in Photoshop you can brush the effect on the areas that want.  I haven’t really played with that very much.  Of course, if you don’t like it and don’t want it, you can simply press Cancel and go back to your original image.

I have a few images now, well the same image, but it has been processed with different filters in Color Efex.

CEP - Film Efex: FadedThis image was processed with the filter Film Efex: Faded.  I actually like this one.  It gives it a very retro feel.

CEP - Paper TonerThis was using the filter Paper Toner.  You can get different tones or different coloured tones.  Remember in the days of black and white printing and we all tried different toners to give our images a slight tinge in colour.  I can remember using Tea, Coffee and, my favourite, beetroot.

CEP - Indian SummerThis is Indian Summer.  I can see this one being used a lot.  I like it.  I wanted to try Monday Morning, but it just didn’t work with this image.

CEP - SolarisationHere is the Solarisation Filter.  Pretty cool effect and a bit of fun.  Not really sure what you would use it for, though I used to know a guy that painted images that looked similar to this, they were pretty amazing.

There are many filters and some recipes.  It is fun to play with and I have used some of the filters to great effect, you have seen some.  For me it is just as important to have as Silver Efex.  Next week we might look at another Nik Software product, Dfine.  It is apparently very good at reducing noise in your images.  That is something I need to look at, since my camera can produce quite a bit when I go up the ISO.

I know that Topaz have some similar products, but they haven’t been great with allowing me to have extra time to try the stuff out.  I downloaded all the software before Christmas, and of course didn’t have enough time to try them out, now the trial time has run out and I can’t try them.  Oh well.  Perhaps if they read this, they might let me have an extended trial period, then again, I am enjoying the Nik Software products.

For those interested, todays image of the Thistle was taken in the Kitchen Garden at Heide last Saturday.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 28,304 other followers