Black and White conversion in CS4: the Joffe Method

•February 9, 2009 • 1 Comment

After you find a digital image that you would like to convert to black and white, open it in Photoshop CS4.

For this tutorial I will use the same landscape shot I did for the Coleman assignment. joffe_landscape_bw
After you open it up, Instead of doing a full desat, or grey scale conversion, we’ll do a Black and White conversion from the adjustments menu.

Image>Adjustments>Black and White

Image>Adjustments>Black and White

After this, adjust colors to get the best possible contrast, etc. this will not be what you end up with.

Black and White menu

Black and White menu

After you get it to where you want it, press ok.

We have now converted to black and white; but hold on, we’re not done yet.

Duplicate your back ground layer so you have a different layer to work off of. Then make a selecting of an area in which you want to adjust for contrast, black, etc.
After you have made your selection, bring up your curves menu



When adjusting for contrast in your curves in local areas, I like to make my curve similar to what you see here.

Keep doing this for various areas with in your photograph. Remember to create a separate layer for each selected area. You can Copy Via Layer, or create a layer mask, I prefer creating a layer mask.

Once your finished adjusting curves throughout your image. Go to each layer and adjust your Levels for each area. While doing this, look for your deepest black and your whitest whites (you can check with Info, then check for 0 and 255)

By now you should have a decent looking image. You can now do what ever you want to do to it, sharpen, re-size, etc.




Grey Scale Conversion

Grey Scale Conversion

Joffe Method

Joffe Method


One more day!

•February 5, 2009 • 2 Comments

As you know we’ve been doing advertising campaigns for a HUGE range of companies, from Coleman, to Harley Davidson, to some made up shit. I am on “team” Coleman, and we have had a great time doing this!

The Images will be seen for the first time tomorrow at 1:00p. They will be displayed and critiqued by many.

I recently gave you a sneak peak of part of a shot. Here’s a different one from the same assignment. There are three more. That I won’t show on here, but will be displayed tomorrow.


Sneak Peak

•January 31, 2009 • 3 Comments

Here’s a sneak peak from the Joint Project. Nothing els being said.

Background for shot 1.

Background for shot 1.

another thing

•January 31, 2009 • 2 Comments

So while looking through some files, I’ve been looking for something to just retouch; but, wanted to try something different. What you see is mainly dodge and burning, some blur {overlay}, and a highpass sharpen.

So, as you guys can probably tell. I’m not writing as much on each post.

Fruit Cake? no.. Cheese Cake

•January 13, 2009 • 5 Comments

I was given the assignment for my advertising class to photograph a desert. For those of you who have never photographed food before, It’s kind of a pain in the ass.

I tried to make it as dynamic as possibly while still keeping it a still product shot showing time of day, and craving. eh? kinda.

I bought the food at a local grocery store. I know you are thinking “that’s your first problem” well I know; but, my plan was buy it frozen so it would stay the same while shooting; problem two. joffe_dessert

So I bought the cheese cake witch came two per container for under $3. I got some strawberry glaze, under $2. Raspberries, which were the most expensive for $3, and lastly mint, for another $3. After tax, I came out just under $12. This was another goal; to budget and use as little money as possible and still get the results as if I had gone to a true bakery and paid their prices.

I then set up my camera and started to style my food so I could plan for composition.

This was the most challenging part. I used a knife to lightly paint the glaze onto the cake, one stroke at a time until the tops on the cakes were covered. I was not concerned about getting it even; I just slowly applied it making sure it did not spill over the edges.

To get the design on the plate, I just used the same glaze as was on the cakes. Because I did not have bakery tool things, I used a knife; dipping the blade in the glaze, and tapping it on the plate.

I then put the cakes onto their plates.

Then used a toothpick to pick up a raspberry. I again applied the glaze to the raspberry as if I was painting it on. This was kind of frustrating because each stroke sent the toothpick more and more through the raspberry, I will label this as problem 3 because I could of use a Q-tip, maybe? It wasn’t really a problem, though, so I kept going.

I used the knife to apply a bit more glaze the the cake in the area I was planning to put the raspberry so the it would set into place, then used the toothpick to place it.

Then I picked out the best looking mint leaves (looking at relative size, and freshness) and placed them with the leave in my left hand, and a tooth pick in my right to help set it into place. another process that was done while trying to be so careful and so precise that I was shaking as I got closer to the cakes.

Food photography can be fun, but also takes a special kind of person to do it well. You have to really enjoy food. You almost need to master culinary arts so that you know about the components of food, texture, consistancy, etc. Knowing the tricks is also crucial, “what can I use to immitate grease, or meat, or ice cream” etc. and “how do I get it to stay.” Things like that. But I enjoy shooting food.

WORLD: auto bailout

•December 3, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Another post with no photographic value…

Well, we have all heard about the American auto bailout that the american auto industry is hoping for. As we all know by now, the guys from each maker flew to Washington to put in their request for money to be dug out of their rut.

This post is not so much about them receiving the money, but more about them FLYING in their “private” jet. For all the people out there that think this was stupid on their part, I just wanted to mention a few things for you to think about.

1. It is not really a private jet. It is a corporate jet. They flew in for business, not leisure. Which is why the aircraft was purchased.
2. You guys must realize that these are the presidents of HUGE companies that are on the verge of going down. These guys are very busy people who’s time is valuable. They need to get in do their thing and get back. Which brings me to:
3. They cannot drive because of time and why fly commercially when they have their own jet, for that very reason. AND they would probably arrived in Washington before they would have even passed security flying on a commercial airline.

Just my thoughts… What are yours?

Gina: Most flexible girl Ive ever seen.

•November 3, 2008 • Leave a Comment

With the tension rising in the presidential elections between McCain and Obama, we have many thoughts as to whats going to happen if _________ becomes president. I think by now it is safe to say that Obama has the lead and will most likely become  president of the United States of America. People are crazy about his idea to change.

Obama though is not the only one with this philosophy that change is important. BMW has a bad ass way of change sparking in the automotive industry. It’s in their blood to stay on top of new ideas by which are most attractive to the world by means of design, power, technology, etc.

BMW has started a project car called GINA which is the idea to “be flexible, act flexible,” and to do it in a very humanistic way. Project GINA focuses on a new type of body which is not really a body, but rather a skin.

We have all heard about the nano organisms they say they are going to use in automobiles’ body to be able to heal itself; repair a scratch, or dented panel on it’s own. I think this is a bit down the road (if at all possible to manufacture). So I came across this cool video on GINA that better describes the skin, check this shit out!

Pretty cool huh!? Never until now have I seen a car literally wink.

Of course the chance of this passing its concept stage and being manufactured to me, is not so great. If you took a hammer to it, it won’t dent, scrath, or harm it, it will only strech it inward, and reform its shape. But, if you were to be Tboned in the middle of an intersection this could do much more damaged had there been a traditional body on it. The car colliding into you would be prone to more frame damage, which would be sooner claimed to be a totaled vehicle. And what about weather? What do I know though. Either way. It’s cool, and different.