June 23, 2011
Shoot and Edit: Week 24 – Father’s Day…EDIT
Welcome to the 24th week of Shoot and Edit: Part 2. Click HERE for all the details and upcoming prompts/themes (also including previous editing tutorials). This week’s theme or prompt was to show us one “Father’s Day” SOOC shot (this was just a suggestion, you can show us any SOOC shot). Hopefully you linked up with Jill’s blog earlier this week.

Each Thursday, I will take my SOOC shot and provide some basic editing tips. You can then try these tips on your own photos and link up here – linky will now open EARLY on Thursdays and be open THROUGH SUNDAY. If you’d prefer, can simply share your own edit and show us what you did to achieve the look. We want this challenge to be a learning experience, so feel free to teach us something new too! Also, it does not matter what editing program you use. Although I tend to work within Adobe CS5 (Photoshop), Photoshop Elements and Adobe Camera Raw…it does not mean that you have to use the exact same program. I hope you’ll be able to take the concepts and apply them in the program you feel most comfortable using. 

First of all, I want to thank EVERYONE for all of the incredible birthday messages  yesterday. You guys really know how to make someone’s day and I can’t thank you enough. Ree (aka The Pioneer Woman) must have also known that yesterday was my birthday as she selected my infamous cross-eyed face for Group One of her Funny Face contest. Click HERE to see it! 

Today, you may or may not learn anything new. I’ll share a couple of my favorite black and white actions (because at this point, we know how to run a conversion manually…it’s just so much easier with an action). But first…here’s my SOOCs again (mouseover to see my ACR adjustments).

Over the past 23 weeks, we have covered a lot of ground. If you’ve missed any of the lessons, CLICK HERE. I am so proud of how far each of you have come since Week 1 (if you haven’t done so already, take a look back at those early edits). Somewhere along the way, a few of you have even turned the tables and taught me a thing or two!

This week, my snapshots really called for a black and white conversion. From previous tutorials, you know that there are a couple of ways to run a nice black and white conversion (on top of your clean processing which should be done prior to any other adjustments or actions). 
  • Both Photoshop and Photoshop Elements (and probably Lightroom) have black and white adjustment layer options. They’re quick and easy but require a little tweaky. 
  • A Saturation adjustment can also create a nice black and white conversion – simply pulling all of the saturation out of an image. We discussed saturation in Week 4
  • Gradient Maps are also a wonderful way to go with regard to black and white conversions. We learned in Week 18 that not only can you convert to black and white using gradient maps…you can also change the tone of an image by also adjusting the blending mode of a layer. 
All that said, if you really enjoy manual black and white conversions…knock yourself out. Me – I prefer to use an action. Luckily, there are a gazillion (okay, slight exaggeration, but I’m close) actions available to help us out. 
IMG_5724 BW RS
With my first shot, I decided to go with Pioneer Woman’s B&W. If you have not downloaded PW’s actions, you’re missing out. Ree may be a hot shot now, but even before using a DSLR, I was studying her editing tutorials. Click HERE to download the full photoshop version of her action set. Click HERE to download photoshop elements’ version. 
IMG_5727 BW RS
With my second photo, I decided to go with a new action called A Pinch of Film Noir from Pure Photoshop Actions’ “Just a Pinch” Collection that was released last week. This particular action reminds me a bit of Florabella’s Lux II – B&W Film action (another one of my favorites). 

Of course, Pioneer Woman and Pure Photoshop Actions aren’t the only people that make great black and white actions. Here’s a few other places worth checking out (feel free to share your favorites in the comment section): 
On another note, I recently ran across 10 Reasons Why You Should Be Shooting RAW. I’ve been shooting RAW for over a year. I often have a hard time communicating all of the benefits, so when I ran across this article…I just had to share. 

So, to recap our lesson, today we discussed black and white conversions. For your edit, I would love to see you continuing using the lessons we’ve covered in the past 23 weeks. And, if your image calls for it, go for a black and white! Here’s a final look at my SOOC vs. Edited shots:
IMG_5724 Compare

IMG_5727 Compare
I hope you found today’s lesson useful and I hope you have a great Thursday! If you have any questions or need more explanation, don’t hesitate to contact me. Next week’s theme is “Sunrise.”


    great edits, Ashley! And I am looking forward to going over all your tutorials again soon, as a “refresher”!

    I was ridiculously excited to see you on PW’s website. Isn’t that silly?! Lol.

    I don’t shoot Raw. I’ve tried, but I didn’t really like it. Maybe I should try it again.

    Marla @ http://www.blueskiesphotoblog.com

    I’m so glad today is BW–I really couldn’t think of another way to edit my photos. Love your images in Black and White!

    I love those with excellent results processed. beautiful photos.

    These were excellently processed… love the effect the B&W gives!

    I think I like BWs much better. :)

    These are great – I have been loving b&ws lately. I use a few LR presets, and Florabella’s BW Film. Also, My4Hens has 2 amazing ones, Sterling and Faded.

    I think black & white is perfect for this sort of picture. I did the same with mine. Looking at all the entries, everyone had the same idea. LOL!

    Great b&ws, Ashley!! I included one (didn’t use it as my thumbnail though!) of me and my dad, but hum… learning how to use b&w in lightoom (without a preset/action) to fine tune it was a bit difficult… maybe because mine wasn’t the best technical exposure to begin with…. oh well! But then again, if I had a bit more time available to me I might have been able to tweak it a bit more, but unfortunately, I didn’t. :( Enough about me! :)

    I really like that first one in b&w – I didn’t notice the shadow on the right side in the color version and the b&w brings it out nicely and I think adds a great touch… almost like you can really see there’s someone there, peeking in at dad. :)

    Have a great day, and glad you had a great birthday!! Congrats on the PW selection!

    Thanks for posting the info about shooting RAW. I was just thinking the other night, “you know, I’d really like an explanation on that…” Thanks so much! Happy Belated Birthday!

    Congrats on PW’s selecton! She knows a good thing when she sees it!

    I love your shadow in the first shot!

    The black and white is gorgeous. :)

    Really love them in B&W.

    You know… I don’t shoot in RAW. The biggest reason is that I can’t preview the photos in Live Gallery if they’re RAW. ;) Guess I should read up on why I should start.

    Happy belated Birthday Ashley. I like to use PW black and white action and also the desaturated route for black and whites. Great tutorial. V

    Great edits, I love them in Black and White! Congratulations on the PW pick, yay!!!!

    Loving these father’s day shots! & your edits are lovely as well :) And HAPPY belated BIRTHDAY Ashley :D I hope it was a good one!

    Well- I have to first say congrats on being chosen- that is quite exciting. I know that when I added my photo- there were already 200k entries & I am sure it’s doubled since then.

    I happen to love converting photos to B&W. Especially when I just can’t get the colors to come out quite as I had hoped. B&W seems to fix it all & make regular photos seem so classic & timeless. LOVE THEM.

    Great conversions. I really need to check out some of those other b&w actions.

    I still haven’t quite convinced myself to make the jump to RAW. I am still on the fence. Some people seem to love it, others hate it. WHo knows. I’m sure I’ll give it a shot when I get my new 7D. Great conversions!

    I love your black and white conversions. Great job!

    These are great! I need to start participating so I can practice editing. I’m so lazy and have no idea what I’m doing. Great series!

    I read 10 Reasons You Should Be Shooting RAW and it was great. Thanks for providing the link! I mentioned it in my most current post and linked it back to your blog. Hope that’s okay. Thanks again!

    I love B&W images in general, and I’m with you, sometimes it’s just easier to use a preset on those. I read the article…good stuff. I shoot in jpeg & raw at the same time…my computer hates me for it, and I’ll have to look at getting an external hard drive. I was actually debating going back to just jpeg but after reading that, I think I’ll stick with what I’m doing. Thanks for sharing it!