The Drink and Click event with Olympus was a little different this time. They hired a makeup artist to touch up people before they got their profile pictures taken. I noticed that a number of women jumped at the opportunity — not so much for men. I too passed, since I don’t need a profile picture and I also had no desire for makeup. The exercise, however, was a good chance for me to create a high-contrast black and white. Here, we have Lauren doing the makeup for Neha.
Like the two other black and white photos in this series, I used the Olympus PEN-F and Panasonic Leica 25mm f1.4 lens. Also, like the previous two photos, I created the black and whites from the RAW file, which gave me more post processing latitude compared with the JPEG. With the PEN-F, I usually shoot in JPEG + RAW and I get to visualized the scene in black and white. But, I have the RAW if I want a color version or opt to create a different kind of monochrome. This is working really well for me.
Some of my readers have commented how different my RAW processed black and whites look from the built-in Olympus versions. The reality is, that’s on purpose. With the RAW, I can create a cleaner or sharper or higher contrast or lower contrast black and white. I get a lot more flexibility. I can also lift shadows or recover highlights and even burn and dodge selective areas. This is courtesy of the new Capture One software that I’m now using. The key is that I have control. But, the manual conversion takes more effort and I use the default JPEG, if that works for me.
This second photo is the out of camera JPEG created by the Olympus PEN-F set to “MonoProfile 2”. I like this setting and I often use it unaltered. It gives a gritty and slightly soft film-ish look. As you can see from the photo at the top, created from the RAW in post, it looks very similar to the Olympus JPEG. I could have done a more radical change but I preferred a subtle recovery of the shadows, to show a touch more detail.
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