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B&W workflow in Photoshop
Old 07-09-2006   #1
jimbobuk
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B&W workflow in Photoshop

Hi guys,

I just developed a roll of film today testing my new Canon EOS 3 film SLR I'd brought. The pictures are here

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jimbobu...7594193359136/

I'm pretty happy with it all, could have pushed the sharpness a bit more and perhaps not scanned them beyond my scanners resolution again (3200dpi).

The main issue is that after scanning them (with my epson 4490) in epson scan, I had a set of 16bit b&w compressed tiffs for each picture. I went in and attempted some basic clone brushing out of the noise and marks from my film processing efforts.. immediately upon selecting a picture to work on from within ACD See and opening it in Photoshop I noticed that straight away all the tones were immediately a lot brighter.. too bright and grey in fact.. I then started using some autolevels and was generally happy with the look of them within photoshop.. saved out and converted into jpgs I noticed they looked darker in ACD See... having just finished uploading them onto flickr I now see that some especially are just too dark!!!

I borrowed a calibrator from work and so my monitor is reasonably well calibrated.. I've printed a few shots and they do look reasonably close on print to what they do look like in ACD See and i guess within my web browser..

Looking in photoshop under its calibration stuff I see that my working spaces are

RGB - Adobe RGB
CMYK - US Web Coated
Gray - Dot Gain 20%
Spot - Dot Gain 20%

My tiff files (16bit b&w as set in epson scan) load up and look too light, is this the Dot Gain 20%? My jpegs made in ACD See load up and photoshop complains about the profile being invalid.

I remember trying to set the profiles up to use my calibrated profile but then photoshop seemed to start wanting to embed that profile into the images, wasn't sure if that was what i wanted or not..

I'm just wondering, did the auto level operation take place with respect to this overly light look that b&w files have in photoshop or was that operation performed regardless of the colour space on the file itself. ie. was the autolevels command a mistake anyways in making it too dark.

Basically I'd really like the images to look in photoshop like they do in ACD See, and how they'll look in a browser.. also how they'll look when i print them or when i send them off to be printed.. I'm not talking 100% perfect but at least in the same kind of ball park.. at least then I'll be less likely to make some of the pictures as overly dark as the ones linked above.

Help from you gurus would be really appreciated.

Cheers
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Old 07-09-2006   #2
jano
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I had similar issue. Two ways to handle this:

1. assign gray gamma 2.2 if you are on a PC instead of dot grain 20%

2. assign the srgb profile and just do rgb for the b&w.

Hopefully that makes sense, if not, let me know and me or someone else will be able to explain it

For both items 1 and 2, I'd suggest you change your color settings there to srgb for color and gamma 2.2 for gray (only keep adobe rgb if you know what you are doing, otherwise, change it). Change the supplementary options to ask you what profile to assign in case there is none attached.

Jano
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Old 07-09-2006   #3
Swissmadepix
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Yup, I second Jano's advice. Had the same issue when I upgraded my graphic adapter and monitor.

Alternatively, run Adobe Gamma and set a new ICC profile. That did the trick for me.
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Old 07-10-2006   #4
iñaki
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbobuk
Hi guys,

I just developed a roll of film today testing my new Canon EOS 3 film SLR I'd brought. The pictures are here

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jimbobu...7594193359136/

I'm pretty happy with it all, could have pushed the sharpness a bit more and perhaps not scanned them beyond my scanners resolution again (3200dpi).

The main issue is that after scanning them (with my epson 4490) in epson scan, I had a set of 16bit b&w compressed tiffs for each picture. I went in and attempted some basic clone brushing out of the noise and marks from my film processing efforts.. immediately upon selecting a picture to work on from within ACD See and opening it in Photoshop I noticed that straight away all the tones were immediately a lot brighter.. too bright and grey in fact.. I then started using some autolevels and was generally happy with the look of them within photoshop.. saved out and converted into jpgs I noticed they looked darker in ACD See... having just finished uploading them onto flickr I now see that some especially are just too dark!!!

I borrowed a calibrator from work and so my monitor is reasonably well calibrated.. I've printed a few shots and they do look reasonably close on print to what they do look like in ACD See and i guess within my web browser..

Looking in photoshop under its calibration stuff I see that my working spaces are

RGB - Adobe RGB
CMYK - US Web Coated
Gray - Dot Gain 20%
Spot - Dot Gain 20%

My tiff files (16bit b&w as set in epson scan) load up and look too light, is this the Dot Gain 20%? My jpegs made in ACD See load up and photoshop complains about the profile being invalid.

I remember trying to set the profiles up to use my calibrated profile but then photoshop seemed to start wanting to embed that profile into the images, wasn't sure if that was what i wanted or not..

I'm just wondering, did the auto level operation take place with respect to this overly light look that b&w files have in photoshop or was that operation performed regardless of the colour space on the file itself. ie. was the autolevels command a mistake anyways in making it too dark.

Basically I'd really like the images to look in photoshop like they do in ACD See, and how they'll look in a browser.. also how they'll look when i print them or when i send them off to be printed.. I'm not talking 100% perfect but at least in the same kind of ball park.. at least then I'll be less likely to make some of the pictures as overly dark as the ones linked above.

Help from you gurus would be really appreciated.

Cheers
First, I´m not an expert.
I had the same problem, and soved it selecting, in Photoshop, "Vista"/"Ajuste de prueba"/"monitor RGB". Of course in spanish, in english it must be someting like "View"/"test adjustment" (first of the view menu)/"RGB monitor"
Maybe I´m wrong, but if you try it you wont ruin any photo
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Old 07-10-2006   #5
jimbobuk
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Thanks guys, I'll be sure to try out your advice..

Seeing my shots on other monitors showed that it was a bit better than what my monitor shows.. ie. not as dark as it could have been.

I've been told that regardless of these colour profile shenanigans photoshop is working on the identical file regardless of the mode.. ie. the auto levels will perform exactly the same regardless of what mode you are in.. the only difference is what that file then looks like depending on that mode..

I'm guessing that auto levels is a bit lazy.. I think i'd have spotted this if i'd have had photoshop more resembling what other apps see.. and then could have moved the brightness up just a tad to reset the balance.

Never mind.. Will try it sometime soon. Cheers

Jim
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Old 07-10-2006   #6
planetjoe
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I, uh, "third" Jano's suggestion of Grey Gamma 2.2.

After many similar trials & tribulations, I settled upon the following workflow for myself:

1. calibrate monitor (GreytagMacBeth Eye-One Display2)
2. shoot and dev B&W film. duh.
3. scan B&W negs as RGB using Vuescan and Minolta Scan Multi (2800+ dpi)

Now I've got a "raw" file, which is a negative image in the output RGB space that I've chosen in Vuescan. In my case, it happens to be sRGB, and I know that I'm seeing it as accurately as possible, since I've calibrated my monitor. Windows color management (I'm running a PC) isn't exactly the same (or as good) as Photoshop's internal system, or even the default desktop color engine on a Macintosh. Finally, my copy of Photoshop has access to the current monitor ICC profile, so it can show me the "right" color balance when I work on the image. Of course, I'm headed for monochrome, so it's kind of an academic exercise for this example. However, a correctly calibrated monitor is generally a good idea.

4. apply photoshop actions to "raw" file: invert, channel mixer, levels, curves, etc. The image should now be monochrome.
5. Crop, clean, de-scratch, and manipulate. Apply stage 1 sharpening, if desired.
6. Convert to Profile --> Grey Gamma 2.2.

Now I've got a "master" file at maximum resolution, which I will use to produce several differently-sized images for output.

7. bore folks on RFF by listing every step in this process.
8. apologize for excessive level of detail.

Sorry; hope this helps.


Cheers,
--joe.
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