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Exploring creative black-and-white processes

From: Lightroom Workflow Strategies

Video: Exploring creative black-and-white processes

In this movie we are going to throw caution to the wind, and rather than being conservative, we're going to create a black and white version, which is really high key. When we create this strong black and white version and add a defined edge or border to our picture and also take a look at how we might bring in a little bit of color to the photograph. All right. Well, I want to work on two images. To do that, we'll go ahead and click on those in the filmstrip. Click on the first image, hold down Command or Ctrl and click on the second image. Next, let's click on the Synchronize button. You want to make sure that you click on the button for Check All. Once you have done that you can click Cancel and then flip the switch in order to turn on Auto Sync.

Exploring creative black-and-white processes

In this movie we are going to throw caution to the wind, and rather than being conservative, we're going to create a black and white version, which is really high key. When we create this strong black and white version and add a defined edge or border to our picture and also take a look at how we might bring in a little bit of color to the photograph. All right. Well, I want to work on two images. To do that, we'll go ahead and click on those in the filmstrip. Click on the first image, hold down Command or Ctrl and click on the second image. Next, let's click on the Synchronize button. You want to make sure that you click on the button for Check All. Once you have done that you can click Cancel and then flip the switch in order to turn on Auto Sync.

Now here, when we typically convert to black and white--say in the Basic panel-- we desaturate. This looks a little bit lackluster. It needs something. So here I am going to go really extreme. One of the things that I am going to do is brighten up my blacks. I am also going to brighten up my exposure. I'm going to overexpose this image so it looks really high key. Here at this point, it looks like we have lost too much detail. You will be surprised what clarity can do for a picture. Bring up that clarity. You can see how it really draws in those edges.

These are exaggerated, incredibly high amounts. We can also use whites to dial back, perhaps, a little bit of the brightness until we find the right amount of detail on the face. All right. Well, that looks good. Next, let's zoom in on the picture to see if this is holding up. Well, the detail on the eyes, it looks amazing. We have this really intense, really bright black and white conversion. Next, I want to get rid of the darkness. I see around the edges. So we need to leave the Basic panel. We'll close the Basic panel, we'll go down to our Lens Corrections panel, in lens corrections, rather than adding the vignette, we're going to remove one.

We want this image to be much brighter and whiter, so I'm going to go ahead and use these controls, swinging them really hard in order to add some brightness to the outer edge of the picture. What I want to do to finish this off is I want to add a defined border or edge and maybe a little bit of color. So let's close the Lens Corrections panel. Here, we'll open up the Effects panel. In the Effects panel we have the ability to add a post-crop vignette, and this can have a defined edge or shape. Here, we'll simply reduce all of these sliders.

So go ahead and drag them all to negative 100, or all the way to the left there. You can see we have this border or edge. What can be interesting about this is that this border edge, they can connect these two pictures. Let's click on the other picture. Well, when I do that--I click on the second picture--this one's too bright. It is too bright because the exposure was a little different. No big deal. Simply turn off Auto Sync, go back to the Basic panel, and in the Basic panel we might bring down our whites, or perhaps lower the highlights there, or take down the exposure a little bit 'til we have nice detail in the face. And I think that looks pretty good.

Okay. Well, what about color and why would we want to add color? Well, color is a great tool when it comes to expression. Here, we'll close the Basic panel and open up the Split Toning panel. In the Split Toning panel we have seen how we can add color to the highlights or to the shadows. With black and white images, a lot of times you want to have your whites a little bit more pure--not tainted with a color. So here it's just about the shadows. Perhaps we will find a blue somewhere in here. And we can bring up our saturation slider. Let me exaggerate.

As I do that, you can see that we have this blue tone and those shadows there. I want a blue which is not too purple. That looks good. And then I'll lower the saturation. Now here it is pretty subtle, but again it's just creating a little bit of a mood or a tone, or perhaps you could go the other way and add some reds or yellows or oranges in here, maybe a little bit of sepia toning. Well, this image, because it is so stark, I think blue is going to be the color. I think just cooling it off just a little bit, creating that black and white creative, expressive image. Well, after having made these adjustments, these are really extreme black and white conversions.

What I want to do is turn off the lights. I also want to minimize the Lightroom interface. So I can just check out the image and see if this is even worthwhile. So let's press our shortcut which allows us to minimize the interface, that's Shift+Tab. Now that we have minimized that, press the L key twice in order to dim the lights. Well, here on a black background, those rounded corners, well, they take on a different feel. Or that border edge, it makes it feel more like rounded corners. We can press our arrow keys to toggle between the two images. Here we can see one with a little bit of toning, and then the other one with this cooler tone.

In order to compare these two, I'm just clicking back and forth to see these. One of the things that I am noticing is that I want to bring this tone to both images. So press the L key to bring back the lights, press Shift+Tab, that will bring back all of the interface, and then you want to select the image with a tone that you like here. In this case, I like the one which is a little bit cooler, here, which has this cool tone. So I'll navigate to my synchronize dialog by clicking on Synchronize. And here, I'll check none and then just check on the option for split toning.

I don't want to touch the exposure, because remember we had to customize that for each image--just want to synchronize split toning. Click Synchronize, it will then apply that to both of these images so that they now both have this look and feel.

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This video is part of

Image for Lightroom Workflow Strategies
Lightroom Workflow Strategies

38 video lessons · 10471 viewers

Chris Orwig
Author

 
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  1. 2m 10s
    1. Welcome
      1m 5s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 5s
  2. 44m 20s
    1. Importing images on-site
      7m 30s
    2. Creating a slideshow template
      7m 37s
    3. Selecting photos for a slideshow
      7m 26s
    4. Setting up for quick and easy batch processing
      7m 38s
    5. Finishing the batch processing
      3m 36s
    6. Launching the event slideshow
      5m 34s
    7. Uploading photos to Facebook during the event
      4m 59s
  3. 39m 47s
    1. Grouping photos into general collections
      5m 25s
    2. Using collections to sort out the keepers
      8m 30s
    3. Organizing collections based on subject matter
      4m 54s
    4. Batch processing color and black-and-white images
      4m 56s
    5. Exporting photos for lab printing
      4m 47s
    6. Exporting high-resolution photos for DVD or drives
      5m 35s
    7. Compressing and archiving the images
      5m 40s
  4. 23m 58s
    1. Getting started with travel collections
      3m 9s
    2. Labeling the photos
      5m 25s
    3. Adding travel-specific keywords and captions
      5m 28s
    4. Adding locations to the Map module
      3m 49s
    5. Processing the images
      6m 7s
  5. 32m 38s
    1. Combining multiple catalogs
      2m 49s
    2. Exporting images and merging laptop and desktop catalogs
      7m 37s
    3. Designing a Blurb book
      5m 53s
    4. Customizing the interior of the book
      2m 31s
    5. Customizing the book cover
      5m 6s
    6. Sending the book to Blurb
      2m 36s
    7. Creating multiple-image print layouts
      6m 6s
  6. 19m 35s
    1. Processing the images
      5m 57s
    2. Emailing low-resolution photos for client review
      4m 49s
    3. Creating a web gallery for client review
      5m 11s
    4. Exporting and sending full-resolution photos
      3m 38s
  7. 30m 32s
    1. Evaluating and processing the photos
      7m 3s
    2. Working with virtual copies
      6m 13s
    3. Exploring creative black-and-white processes
      5m 34s
    4. Removing and adding color
      5m 13s
    5. Using the Print module for virtual layouts
      6m 29s
  8. 40s
    1. Goodbye
      40s

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