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Author Topic: Jeff Shewe getting blacks black  (Read 7774 times)
willie45
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« on: February 02, 2008, 05:19:51 PM »
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Hi

In one of the videos in the  from "Camera to Print" series which Michael and Jeff did, Jeff mentions a technique in black and white editing of making sure his blacks are really black. He uses the select by color range tool and ending up by altering numbers in a dialogue box to ensure the blacks are black enough. He goes through it all quite quickly and without the camera always picking up what he is doing, saying he was just doing the same thing as before.  Now try as I might I can't find where in the video he has done it before.

I am quite new to CS3 and would be most grateful if anyone could either explain what he is talking about or point me to where in the video series he has used this technique before.

Sorry if this is very basic

Thanks in advance

Willie
« Last Edit: February 02, 2008, 05:22:20 PM by willie45 » Logged
DarkPenguin
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« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2008, 05:51:06 PM »
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It is in the softproofing section.
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Schewe
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« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2008, 01:02:44 AM »
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Sorry if this is very basic
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No problem (although it's really not hard)...

The key is to make sure your colors are set to black over white (default). Use Color Range (which picks up the default color of black) and set the fuzziness to 30-60 so that black and anything up to 30-60 is also selected then create an adjustment layer using Levels (or Curves works too) and then clamp the black point up in the 8-15 or so range which will make sure your blacks are real black...adjust opacity to taste.
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BruceHouston
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« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2008, 01:03:04 AM »
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Be careful with this technique, by the way.  It goes by another name: posterization.  I tried it after viewing the "Camera to Print" segment and did not notice the negative effect on a few deep shadows on a print until the print was mounted.  (Shame on me for having mounted the print prematurely, of course.)

It is ok to use the technique on images that do not contain subtle shadow detail near black that needs to be preserved, provided that you go very easy on the "fuzziness" parameter (see below) and pay careful attention to any posterization effects in the resulting image.

The command sequence (starting at the main menu) is: select---> color range---> (select the "image" radio button)---> (use the dropper to select the blackest black in the image)---> (now the important part: make sure that the "fuzziness" slider is set to a small number of levels, because all the levels from the level selected with the eye dropper to the level which is the sum of the level selected with the eye dropper plus the fuzziness number will be at or near absolute black when you finish)---> (at the main menu select: layer---> new to make a new layer to contain only the selected pixels)---> (select the newly-created layer)---> (pull down the menu that probably says "normal" associated with the layers tab and select "multiply").

Here is what you did:  (1) You selected pixels to include all levels from pure black (or whatever level you selected with the eye dropper) up to a level that is the sum of the layer that you selected with the eye dropper plus the number indicated on the fuzziness slider; (2) you created a new layer consisting of only the selected pixels; (3) you blended the new layer with the base or "background" layer using the "multiply" blend mode.  The multiply blend mode combines the two layers as though the density of each were painted onto the other.  Mathematically, the multiply blend yields the following value for each channel of each pixel: (layer 1 density) * (layer 2 density) / 255.  Because the blend layer in this example is a duplicate of the underlying layer, the formula is: new density after multiply = original density**2 / 255.  So, for example, suppose that you selected absolute black with the eye dropper, and a fuzziness value of 25.  All pixels in the image with a density of 25 would be changed to: (25)**2 / 255 = 2.5  Thus, the original dynamic range of 0-25 would be compressed to 0-2.5.  Or, as Jeff said in the video, to essentially black.  This results in posterization of the image in this range.
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BruceHouston
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« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2008, 01:11:23 AM »
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P.S. A comical aside to this topic in the video is that just a few minutes before Jeff's spiel on making the blacks blacker, Michael commented that this area of the peppers plate really needed to be LIGHTENED!

I found the videos to be refreshingly unrehearsed, even if a bit inefficient as a result.
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willie45
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« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2008, 02:55:50 AM »
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Hhi

Thanks to you all for your extremely helpful guidance. I will experiment and check out results. This photoshop thing is huge. It will take me years to get halfway there with it.

I noticed Michael wasn't as keen on the dark blacks as Jeff but I suppose it goes to show we all have our own tastes  

Willie
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stamper
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« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2008, 08:10:09 AM »
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Hhi

Thanks to you all for your extremely helpful guidance. I will experiment and check out results. This photoshop thing is huge. It will take me years to get halfway there with it.

I noticed Michael wasn't as keen on the dark blacks as Jeff but I suppose it goes to show we all have our own tastes   

Willie
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Couldn't you do the same thing with threshold Pick the blackest pixel Open curves move the endpoint to the pixel selected say 15 for the sake of the arguement and move it another 10 to the right thus steepening the curve? I have found that some people will recommend a convoluted method for the sake of being "original"
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Schewe
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« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2008, 11:10:31 AM »
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I have found that some people will recommend a convoluted method for the sake of being "original"
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Uh huh. . .well, why don't ya just try it bud and report back to us? (I already know the answer but sometimes it's useful to teach people lessons).

Oh, and by the way, with over 16 years of digital imaging experience behind me, I really don't feel the need to try to be "original", ya know? Use it or don't use it...your choice. You like the result, make it an action so you can do it at the punch of a button.
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Kenneth Sky
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« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2008, 02:24:15 PM »
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Jeff
I agree that stamper's last comment was gratuitous. You didn't need to rise to the "bait". Most of the  members of this forum are adults and recognize your expertise without you becoming defensive. I, for one, hate when we decend  to the level of debate so common on other websites. That's not to say I object to your colourful persona. I find that entertaining.
Ken
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dmward
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« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2008, 12:50:21 PM »
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Uh huh. . .well, why don't ya just try it bud and report back to us? (I already know the answer but sometimes it's useful to teach people lessons).

Oh, and by the way, with over 16 years of digital imaging experience behind me, I really don't feel the need to try to be "original", ya know? Use it or don't use it...your choice. You like the result, make it an action so you can do it at the punch of a button.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=173033\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I find it interesting that there is always someone who wants to find fault.

I noticed the technique in the video and began playing with it on BW images.

It is much easier to control than a curves based process. (BTW I tried the technique mentioned and found it much more "convoluted" primarily because it is difficult to be precise and easy to posterize)

The how to that is in an earlier reply should point out that when going to the Layer menu one has to select New then Layer Via Copy -- at least in CS3.

Another thing I find useful with this technique is being able to add a layer mask to enable "brushing out" areas where I want to eliminate the effect.

Jeff (and Michael) I have appreciated your video tutorials and found them to have suggestions and insights (such as this) that make them well worth the investment.

Now, Jeff, if you could help me shovel the snow we seem to getting here in Chicago much more than is necessary the world would be perfect :-) well better anyway.

Thanks again.

David
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stamper
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« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2008, 06:26:44 AM »
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Uh huh. . .well, why don't ya just try it bud and report back to us? (I already know the answer but sometimes it's useful to teach people lessons).

Oh, and by the way, with over 16 years of digital imaging experience behind me, I really don't feel the need to try to be "original", ya know? Use it or don't use it...your choice. You like the result, make it an action so you can do it at the punch of a button.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=173033\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I noticed that BruceHouston was more critical of you and didn't get a rebuke You seem to have a short fuse My last comment was not aimed primarily at you but PS teachers in general Some take a great delight in posting a method that is over complicated and the end result is no better than tested and provan methods that have been in vogue for years In this forum Dan Margulis comes under fire from you and one ot two others for for doing that  

Quote > I find it interesting that there is always someone who wants to find fault. <unquote

That is how we learn
« Last Edit: February 09, 2008, 06:31:51 AM by stamper » Logged

Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2008, 08:28:47 AM »
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Quote > I find it interesting that there is always someone who wants to find fault. <unquote

That is how we learn

No, it's how small-minded people play shit-disturber to try to assert their intellectual superiority. Learning is much better facilitated by asking questions, or better yet, doing an actual analysis of the relative merits of the different methods, and presenting some conclusions accompanied by side-by-side comparisons of the results.
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stamper
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« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2008, 06:53:28 AM »
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No, it's how small-minded people play shit-disturber to try to assert their intellectual superiority. Learning is much better facilitated by asking questions, or better yet, doing an actual analysis of the relative merits of the different methods, and presenting some conclusions accompanied by side-by-side comparisons of the results.
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 The threshold /curves method is a perfectly viable procedure I notice that there are a small clique on here that takes the highground and likes to "jump" in and use there "superior" knowledge to put persons down You have been doing it for some years and I notice that a few posters have justifiably complained about you Unfortunately you haven' taken notice and modified your behaviour
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2008, 08:24:49 AM »
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You have been doing it for some years and I notice that a few posters have justifiably complained about you Unfortunately you haven' taken notice and modified your behaviour

Yes, I have on occasion been unsparingly critical of individuals (or much more often, ideas) that I believed deserving of criticism. In each case (such as my comments about Dan Margulis' views on color management or his inverted K-channel sharpening mask technique) you'll find that my criticism was based on the merits of the arguments presented or results of the method, and not mere ad hominem mudslinging. There is such a thing as a stupid idea, and there is even such a thing as a stupid question. There are also stupid people. Ignorance is forgivable, as it is where we all start out, but once one has been given the means to rectify their ignorance and persist in foolishness, they have crossed the line into stupidity.

Some people are uncomfortable with my plain-spokenness, and others appreciate my willingness to call a spade a spade, even if it isn't politically correct. I get far more fan mail than hate mail, but even if that was not the case, I probably would not change. And I'm certainly not going to apologize.

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I noticed that BruceHouston was more critical of you and didn't get a rebuke

You jumped into this discussion making a throwaway ad hominem comment that had no basis in the relative merits of the methods. Unlike Bruce Houston's comment, which indicated potential negative effects of the method and how to avoid them, your comment was a straight-up personal attack. It's the difference between constructive criticism (or pointing out a limitation) vs. a personal attack.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2008, 08:29:44 AM by Jonathan Wienke » Logged

eleanorbrown
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« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2008, 11:19:39 AM »
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Photography aside, that's a rather profound quote Jonathan.  I (being a psychologically inclined individual) think I will hold on to it for future reference. ;-)  Eleanor



Quote from: Jonathan Wienke,Feb 10 2008, 02:24 PM
Ignorance is forgivable, as it is where we all start out, but once one has been given the means to rectify their ignorance and persist in foolishness, they have crossed the line into stupidity.
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stamper
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« Reply #15 on: February 10, 2008, 01:57:08 PM »
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Yes, I have on occasion been unsparingly critical of individuals (or much more often, ideas) that I believed deserving of criticism. In each case (such as my comments about Dan Margulis' views on color management or his inverted K-channel sharpening mask technique) you'll find that my criticism was based on the merits of the arguments presented or results of the method, and not mere ad hominem mudslinging. There is such a thing as a stupid idea, and there is even such a thing as a stupid question. There are also stupid people. Ignorance is forgivable, as it is where we all start out, but once one has been given the means to rectify their ignorance and persist in foolishness, they have crossed the line into stupidity.

Some people are uncomfortable with my plain-spokenness, and others appreciate my willingness to call a spade a spade, even if it isn't politically correct. I get far more fan mail than hate mail, but even if that was not the case, I probably would not change. And I'm certainly not going to apologize.
You jumped into this discussion making a throwaway ad hominem comment that had no basis in the relative merits of the methods. Unlike Bruce Houston's comment, which indicated potential negative effects of the method and how to avoid them, your comment was a straight-up personal attack. It's the difference between constructive criticism (or pointing out a limitation) vs. a personal attack.
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Quote   Ignorance is forgivable,    unquote

I don't think that yours is It was you that jumped in without contributing anything to the debate You saw an opportunity to show your arrogance My original point was that the method could be done with a threshold and curves You saw an opportunity to defend your buddy and thought that you could bully me into silence as you have with others Unless you are willing to make a wothwhile contribution with your superior knowledge I suggest you find another target
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RogerW
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« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2008, 02:28:51 PM »
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Oh dear, handbags at 5 paces (as they say in the very best rugby circles).  Can we get back to photography please?
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #17 on: February 10, 2008, 02:55:02 PM »
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Fight!  Fight!  Fight!  Fight!  Fight!
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #18 on: February 10, 2008, 03:47:51 PM »
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Stamper has just been added to my ignore list.
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Harry Carpenter
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« Reply #19 on: February 12, 2008, 02:40:59 PM »
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I'm sure he is gutted.
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