Dark Image to BWWhen I first saw this image, I really thought there was no hope, but after playing with it for a few minutes in Adobe Camera Raw, I realized there was a lot of information in those shadows, mostly because I shot in Raw format.  I’ve actually started shooting Raw+Jpg in most cases because then I have a processed image ready to go if I want it, but I also have the ability to do more extreme work with the Raw image if there’s a need to.  When I got it brightened up, I realized there was some nice contrast between her bright face and the dark background, and her darker body and the lighter background, which would read well as a black & white image.  Here’s the process I went through to get to the After image:

  • Pulled the exposure WAY up.
  • Did some custom manipulations during the Black & White conversion, such as making the oranges brighter to give better contrast.
  • Got rid of most of the noise.  By adjusting the exposure level so much, a lot of noise was revealed.  Some came out in ACR, and then I use the Noise Ninja plugin inside of Photoshop to go the rest of the way.
  • A little bit of split-toning.  I pushed the shadows into the blue range, and the highlights more into the yellow range.  Just for fun.

To see more of these before & after images in a gallery, go on over to the babynounce facebook page!