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Using desaturation to control contrast in Black and White printing .

Discussion in 'Everything Film' started by corncrake, Mar 13, 2017.

  1. corncrake

    corncrake Well-Known Member

    Hi folks ,trying out some ideas presented for discussion by a very talented individual, namely the use of the Desaturation control to adjust contrast and tones ? in Black and White photo printing. Any one interested in discussing or has tried out the idea .
    John J. Morton. ''Corncrake''
  2. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    I use a variety of techniques depending on what I"m after. I usually make my initial edit in Camera Raw, using the HLS/Grayscale sliders, and swapping between grayscale and colour to get the saturation/luminence how I want them in colour to get the black and white I want. If it's still not right there's a bit of a trick once you open the file in photoshop. You open the (colour) file in photoshop, duplicate the layers, turn one off, open a black and white adjustment layer and sandwich it between the two image layers, moving the sliders aroudn to get what you want. If you want to make adjustments to saturation etc, you turn on the other image layer, open it in Camera Raw and fiddle around in there. Move the B/W adustment layer above it and then you can turn the image layer on and off to see what effect it has had - fiddle accordingly!

    Not sure if that's what you meant though?!
  3. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    In conversion from colour to mono you can affect the result by varying HSL. I presume there is a systematic way to use the controls to emulate the effects of using yellow, green, orange, red filters and all degrees between.

    I was playing with HSL in lightroom the other day to try to minimise differences in the colour of a blue sky across shots taken at different angles to the sun and different exposures. I'd have to go back and check exactly what I was looking at histogram wise, because I can't make sense of my memory, but changing the "Blue" only slider on my sampled colour. Luminance moved all RGB curves together, saturation moved B relative to R and G and hue moved R relative to G leaving B fixed. By aiming at ajustments that got the peaks of the R,G,B curve to values in the reference image I was able to roughly match the skies but I can't figure out what the histogram was showing. I wonder if it was for all pixels in the image that fall within the segment of the colour wheel in which the sampled colour falls.
  4. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Good grief! Isn't it easier just to change paper grades? (This assumes you're printing in a real darkroom, of course).


    Geren likes this.
  5. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    I don't think actual printing is involved. I think the question was about conversion from colour. Printing might be the next question but not in a real darkroom.
  6. neilt3

    neilt3 Well-Known Member

    As already pointed out with B&W printing ( on an enlarger ) , as this is your question , just use Ilford's multi-grade paper and relevant filter .
    Use the technique where you expose twice with two different filters to get the best out of them .

    Also use filters on your lens at the picture taking stage , ie , yellow , yellow green , orange etc .

    Starting with a good negative is the best way forward .


    If your scanning your film and printing via an injet printer , or if your shooting digital , then your asking in the wrong forum .
    See here ; http://www.amateurphotographer.co.uk/forums/forums/digital-image-editing-printing.18/
  7. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

  8. neilt3

    neilt3 Well-Known Member

    In the question being asked the O.P stated "in Black and White photo printing."

    With him also asking about saturation it isn't clear if he is using colour film instead of black and white film .
    I suspect it's a question about digital cameras and editing for printing on an ink jet printer , but has been asked in the film forum .......

    Hence the link in my post above .
  9. corncrake

    corncrake Well-Known Member

    Well now ,lots of good stuff to think about.the shots tat i am working on were taken on a Canon Film 35mm camera...using f
    Fujii Superia 35mm x(i think) 400 asa film ...this was processed to negs..and also scanned to disc..then downloaded to computer for editing E.T.C. one of the negs.had a street scene with the subject very poorly lit,,the rest of the neg...being brightly lit. I have reasonably decent photo editing progs.. Gimp---Nero--Fasttone....but still contrasty tried desat control (as was mentioned above) with a combination of skittering about I managed to get a reasonable result.
    Done_rundleCams likes this.
  10. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Pete,

    Yes, I'd guessed that. Which is why I suggested a real darkroom...


  11. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    Pardon me. I was in a rush this morning and did not even notice this was film related!!!!
  12. Done_rundleCams

    Done_rundleCams AP Forum Ambassador to Canada

    Hi John,

    I'd curious to see the original (scanned) photo in colour and, then, your mono version after having a fiddle with it. :) I
    did a couple of shots at a camera swap meet last April (2016) and had two different pics in the same/similar lighting
    but with two different exposures -- one of OK and one was ugly (thin) … and converted them to Mono …here they are:

    Apr24-16-Ted Huang-CLR-_29_00024 copy 2.jpg Apr24-16-Tom_A-Chris_C-_29_00023 copy 2.jpg Apr24-16-Ted Huang-Mono-_29_00024 copy 2.jpg Apr24-16-Tom_A-Chris_C-_29_00023 copy.jpg


    Jack Simpson

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