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DPChallenge Forums >> Current Challenge >> Duotone Help
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05/19/2003 11:08:38 AM · #1
I (and probably lots of other people on the site) need some help with this duotone thing. I hope people who know will help.

First, the challenge says to do something duotone like B/W or Sepia, etc. What is the etc? Are there other duotone options besides B/W and Sepia?

Second, and way more important, what are the important elements in a B/W shot? I entered one for the glass challenge and got killed. What makes for a powerful/inspirational shot when bright, eye-catching colors can't be used?

Hopefully, this can become the duotone challenge thread, instead of the standard complaining one that's already been going on...
05/19/2003 11:11:51 AM · #2
A couple of pages I wrote that might be helpful

Converting to B&W

Duotones and Quadtones

There millions of options for duotone colours - after all, you can pick any two colours that you like...

Good B&W pictures tend to focus on texture or patterns and the play of light, these are elements that can actually be reduced in a colour version and the B&W treatment tends to focus your attention on the other compositional elements that often colour might well detract from.

Message edited by author 2003-05-19 11:13:59.
05/19/2003 12:02:09 PM · #3
Thank you for the tutorials Gordon. I was originally just going to shoot B/W or Sepia out of the camera but your Tutorials have made me want to experiment alittle more. This sounds like fun and something I've not done before. Thanks again.
Sherryk471
05/19/2003 01:39:51 PM · #4
I agree this should be the thread to discuss the current challenge. If for no other reason, than to preserve the sanity of the overworked and under-thanked admins of this site.

This is one of those challenges that should have people out with their cameras the WHOLE week shooting, which is one of the best ways to actually work on your photography. SO GO PLAY OUTSIDE, and don't forget your camera.
05/19/2003 02:19:19 PM · #5
Due to my lack of knowledge concerning the art of duotones in photography, I could be way out of touch, but it seems like this challenge is geared more toward the use of Photoshop in post-processing. Yes, the subject is important, but it would seem to me, that the greatest advantage is being able to master the settings in Photoshop to obtain the best results. A couple people have put up Tutorials, but all have to do with Photoshop.

I'm feeling rather frustrated because I don't have Photoshop and can no way afford it. Are there any suggestions to obtain good results for this challenge using less sophisticated means? In all of my submissions so far, I've used a combination between Microsoft Picture It and Adobe PhotoDeluxe Home Edition...mostly the latter.

Gordon, I'm interested to know how other colors can be used. Does this challenge mean that you should only see the shades of two colors in the picture? I guess I'm needing some more instruction.
05/19/2003 02:29:10 PM · #6
You might try downloading a trial version PaintShopPro8. Granted it's not PhotoShop, but it IS an alternative. It's good for 30 days...
//www.jasc.com/download_4.asp?

As soon as my beta version self destructs, I'll probably see if I can download the trial. 8-)

Message edited by author 2003-05-19 14:49:15.
05/19/2003 02:30:35 PM · #7
I think that starting with a good shot makes working with Photoshop effective. For duotone images, I suspect that shadow and form are the key assets you are working with for your subject. Since color doesn't matter, just take some nice shots of things or people in which the sculpture of the subject works for you. Just as in color photography, it's still all about capturing interesting light, whether or not you have Photoshop.

By the way, there are a number of other applications besides Photoshop that can aid in post processing a photo, and several are free and downloadable. I'll reiterate: Photoshop only works effectively if you are starting with a pretty good photo.
05/19/2003 02:44:27 PM · #8
Originally posted by CLarson557:

Due to my lack of knowledge concerning the art of duotones in photography, I could be way out of touch, but it seems like this challenge is geared more toward the use of Photoshop in post-processing. Yes, the subject is important, but it would seem to me, that the greatest advantage is being able to master the settings in Photoshop to obtain the best results. A couple people have put up Tutorials, but all have to do with Photoshop.

I'm feeling rather frustrated because I don't have Photoshop and can no way afford it. Are there any suggestions to obtain good results for this challenge using less sophisticated means? In all of my submissions so far, I've used a combination between Microsoft Picture It and Adobe PhotoDeluxe Home Edition...mostly the latter.

Gordon, I'm interested to know how other colors can be used. Does this challenge mean that you should only see the shades of two colors in the picture? I guess I'm needing some more instruction.



Black and white (greyscale really) is the 'classic' duotone, although real B&W film prints tend to always be toned too. Selenium tend to be warmer (more orangy) platinum toned prints are colder (more blue).

Sepia prints use an orangy tone for the mid-range values, or you could use a green colour or a blue colour. In fact any colour you like can be used for the mid range tones. The key is that you only use one colour and then shades from black through that colour to white.

Some examples:
an orange toned shot
a green toned shot
A blue tone
and another blue toned shot.

The toning can be used to enforce certain ideas (e.g., blue for cold/ metal) but really the important thing is that the scene is interesting without colour. With the colour removed, other compositional elements become more obvious or have a stronger impact.

Message edited by author 2003-05-19 14:45:36.
05/19/2003 03:05:26 PM · #9
Originally posted by CLarson557:

Due to my lack of knowledge concerning the art of duotones in photography, I could be way out of touch, but it seems like this challenge is geared more toward the use of Photoshop in post-processing. Yes, the subject is important, but it would seem to me, that the greatest advantage is being able to master the settings in Photoshop to obtain the best results. A couple people have put up Tutorials, but all have to do with Photoshop.

I'm feeling rather frustrated because I don't have Photoshop and can no way afford it. Are there any suggestions to obtain good results for this challenge using less sophisticated means? In all of my submissions so far, I've used a combination between Microsoft Picture It and Adobe PhotoDeluxe Home Edition...mostly the latter.

Gordon, I'm interested to know how other colors can be used. Does this challenge mean that you should only see the shades of two colors in the picture? I guess I'm needing some more instruction.

I use abobe photo Deluxe business Edition,[ I use to have home edition]
before my DPChallenge days I took a picture of my Grand daughter which turned out with red eye and I just clicked convert to Black and White
and it turned out great but I understand they don't sell ether of these anymore mine came with scanner I've thought about Photoshop Elements but don't know just what it has. Have received a lot of Photo Shop emails for $49 dollars but sounds too good to be true afraid to take a chance Crafty Sue
Crafty Sue
05/20/2003 12:42:07 AM · #10
Thank-you Gordon...that really helped a lot. Thank you for providing the examples. Now I understand the task at hand and can work on it. New concept and great learning experience. I'm probably going to be basic and see how it comes out in voting. FUN!!

I also took the advice of kavamama and downloaded the program she suggested. WOW!! There's a lot more there than what I've worked with before. I spent the afternoon playing with it and now...ending up with some interesting results. :-) LOL I'm kind of getting a feeling of what you all are talking about.

Ol poor me (I've been out of work for a little over a month due to complications from surgery I had end of March) will have to settle for the free trial for awhile. Probably just get the hang of it (30 days) and it'll go ka-blooie. Hey...at least since I've been out of work, I've had the chance to catch up and work on my photography.

Thanks (as always) to those who help us out here. It's greatly appreciated.
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