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-   -   Underexposed rejection on B&W, your suggestions. (http://www.railpictures.net/forums/showthread.php?t=17823)

Grewup on the CW 11-11-2016 12:57 AM

Underexposed rejection on B&W, your suggestions.
Wanted to do & B&W of this engine as step back in time seemed fitting and different. I shot this in color and converted using PSE. Your suggestions are appreciated as I would like achieve success and post this pic or a similar and learn yet another craft.

John West 11-11-2016 02:15 AM

I don't think it is under exposed so much as needing more contrast. It also needs a trip through the lens correction filter to straighten up some of the verticals, and that may lead to some leveling as well. The scene does not jump out as being super interesting, but the B&O geep definitely adds some historical interest. I would also tighten up the crop, primarily on the left side.

Decapod401 11-11-2016 03:09 AM

I agree that it needs contrast. The solid verticals look good - I just think that the local utility crews have never set a vertical pole.

I prefer the B/W treatment for that engine - I cringe every time that I see the shade of blue that it's wearing.

JRMDC 11-11-2016 03:10 AM

You are using PSE. It offers some good tools for B/W conversion. You look like you have done a simple grayscale conversion or 100% desaturization. Have you used the styles PSE offers in conversion? Have you used the sliders (red/green/blue)?

Here is one of a gazillion links, not saying it is the best one, I just grabbed the first one I saw.


Grewup on the CW 11-11-2016 12:35 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Thanks for your input. I did use the B&W conversion style "Urban" in PSE and did not mess with the sliders in the rejected pic. Another member suggested lighting the shot and then converting to B&W. I also read through the posted article and added contrast via the sliders. The 2 attached revised pics are a result of all the suggestions. I also cropped before your suggestions and I do like that better.

John West 11-11-2016 02:03 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Looking better, I like the new crop but I think it needs a bit more contrast, I would lighten the midtones a bit and darken the darks.

Decapod raises an interesting issue about the utility poles not being vertical. He is right, but the poles still cause a visual sense of awkwardness, at least for me. Maybe there is nothing to be done about that but if it were me I would try to fudge the rotation a bit to see if that helps.

Edit. I had a little time so I downloaded your image to see what I could do. This is the result. When I tried increasing the overall contrast, the shadows went dark, so I did some selective work, lightening the shadows, darkening the sky, increasing the contrast on the engine, and then a bit of overall increase in contrast. I tried to see if running it through the lens correction filter could help with the crooked utility poles but it didn't seem to help. Attached (I hope) is what I came up with.

Grewup on the CW 11-11-2016 04:32 PM

Thank you John West for additional more informative suggestions and tips.
And yes all the poles are leaning naturally. I wasn't sure how to correct those or even attempt it. I also like the poles leaning to the degree that it just seems part of the "Times" I was trying for in a B&W. This little area (Pleasant Valley) seems to be lost in time in respect that time and technology has not changed nor I believe ever will even though Harrisonburg's sprawling growth it just a mere 1/2 mile around the corner. Also thank you for downloading the pic and giving it a try.

Grewup on the CW 11-11-2016 06:37 PM

Thanks again to all for your valuable input. John, I submitted a lighter "contrast" version of your suggestion and RP accepted it. Many thanks again. This forum has been a valuable learning tool.

troy12n 11-11-2016 09:40 PM

It's not a very good B&W conversion

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