Building an Image – Monochrome conversion

This is an image of Mike that I processed last month for Impact Group. The first shot is the un-manipulated RAW file from which I decided to make a monochrome image.

Original-RAW-file
The original RAW file, taken on 16mm lens at 200 ISO and f/5.6. The eyes lack light and the low angle has created strong converging verticals.

I wanted to make a strong monochrome image from it. For the first stage, I tone-mapped in Lightroom using the Lightroom develop module, then vignette, and local adjustments with the adjustment brush. I then imported into Photoshop, applied a transform to reduce the convergence and then slightly enlarged his eyes using the Liquefy tool and lightened the eyes on a mask.

After tonal adjustments in Lightroom, transform and liquefy.

I think it’s looking more “powerful” but the beard is brighter than the face, so further burning and dodging was done on a layer.

Burn-and-dodge
After burning and dodging.

The last processes were to convert to monochrome using the B&W filter

monochrome
After applying monochrome filter.

Final adjustments are always very subtle and for this image I added a final adjustment with levels then unsharp mask 250% at 0.3 radius.

monochrome2
Final image.
© Christine Widdall