For this week’s “Before & After” photo editing tutorial, we’ve invited our friend, Kate T. Parker Photography, to share her process of creating dramatic black and white photos. Follow along as she demonstrates her Lightroom 3 workflow for black and white conversion.
I love the drama of a stormy sky. The look of a silhouette against the sky and tons of negative space are one of my favorite kinds of shots. You can’t always capture that in camera, so you have to make do with your edits. I love doing this shot for families, since you don’t have to be smiling or looking at the camera or even awake to have a great shot! Great with uncooperative kids and animals.
Black & White Conversion
I converted the photo to black and white under “treatment.” Just click on “black and white.”
To create the drama in the clouds and sky that I was looking for, you need to work with the blacks, clarity and contrast. I upped the blacks to 100. Brought the exposure down -3, increased the clarity to +100 and added +25 contrast.
Clouds are looking better! Now I want to zoom in a bit on the girl and dog, but not too much. I cropped with a 4×6 ratio to lessen the ground and use more of the sky in the image.
Call me crazy, but I liked her running from the left better than the right. Why? I have no idea, but that’s what I wanted. Head up to “Photo” and click “flip horizontal”.
Alright, I like the clouds, but I want more DRAMA, more detail! Head over to the “Tone Curve”. I increased the highlights to +41, increased the lights to +50, brought the darks down to -50 and added +10 to the shadows. Play around with here and see what you like best for your images.
Looking better, but seems a bit flat to me. I want to add some tone. Not a ton, but just a touch of color to the black and whites. Head over to “split toning”. I chose to go with 40 for the highlights and 21 for the shadows for this slightly brownish tinge to the image.
The weeds bug me now. Let’s get them out. Head to the “Spot Edit” on the top right of Lightroom. Click on the healing tool. Then size it to the size you want, click on weeds, then make the other circle on some ground without weeds. Voila! No weeds…LR is the perfect gardener.
All done. Weedless, dramatic final image.
I am Kate. A wife, a mother, a photographer based out of Atlanta. I have a terrible memory which I why I started shooting pictures in the first place…then I found my passion. My downfalls? Laughing at horribly inappropriate moments and raw cookie dough. You can follow me on Facebook and Pinterest.
Now it’s your turn!
Hop on over to our free photography community tomorrow to participate in this week’s Fix-It Friday Photo Editing Challenge. This challenge will be open for participation until November 15, 2012.
Would you like to be considered as an upcoming Featured Photographer in our “Before & After” photo editing series? Our schedule is filling up very quickly so please contact us ASAP. We only consider those who include samples of their current editing and writing style and links to their blog/website. We love to feature members of our community whenever possible!