Monday, May 10, 2010

Black and White Iris – A Comparison Between Silver Efex Pro and Photoshop B&W Adjustment

This is a review of only 2 approaches to achieve a desired effect with a purple Iris flower. I had placed purple iris flowers in a vase, which I set in front of a white mat board. I wanted to do a study of this flower because of the great purple tones, the strong complimentary yellow colour and great curves and folds. The purple in these flowers are normally so saturated that I needed a very soft light (cloudy day, large window and not in direct light) to not overly darken the shadow areas.

It wasn't until some time later while reviewing the images again that I thought about trying to produce a B&W version.

I didn't want a high contrast image but wanted to focus on the great tones and textures as the form was already established by the image taken.

My approach is to open in Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) and then to tweak the hue saturation and luminescence for what I think will convert well with a photoshop B&W adjustment layer. I know I can do this directly with the setting in ACR but I find that I have more flexibly creating masks with colour and using ACR to separate colours further apart before bringing into photoshop.

In the image below, you can see by using the blue and magenta sliders I made the bluer tones bluer and the darker purple more magenta. This would give more control over the tones when using the blue and purple slider with the B&W adjustment layer.

I have just finally installed Photoshop on my new computer as the CS3 (windows XP) version was not migratable to the new windows 7 (64-bit) machine. With 7 processors, 12 GB of RAM and 1.8GB Nividia video card, it sure does fly. I did get the upgrade Veveza II and I thought I would play around with Silver Efex Pro that many photographers seem to enjoy.

I enjoy the B&W adjustment layer version better, mainly because I could bring out more tones, less muddy in the darker portions and I could also turn the yellow stamens white. There was considerable time spent achieving this effect whereas with Silver Efex Pro it was just a click of the button after I selected the processing type and film section.

I do like the Silver Pro version because while still soft, the contrast in texture of the vein like patterns is better. I suspect that if I were to make a final print I would combine the best parts of each through masking and blending modes.

I did add a blue/purple duo-tone and in this case more of a tint to further soften the final image.

Niels Henriksen

1 comment:

David Bennett said...

I am very impressed with the angle from which you took the photo, the tones and the overall 'look'.


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