One Four Challenge – June – Week 3…

This month seems like I am on a film-style type of theme, so I decided to run with it.  I asked my husband for suggestions of film styles for me to manipulate this month’s photo… among the suggestions was Film Noir.  Ooooo serious B&W, I love it.  I found out another way to transform to B&W in GIMP* and used that method here.  Without further ado, I present week 3…

One Four Challenge June Week 3

I’m not sure when the noise became a factor in the process, but looking at the image now (about a week later) it seems noisier than I would like.  There was some noise introduced in the process I used, the channel mixer… but I suspect that the most noise came from my method of sharpening on this image, I used one of the wavelet levels.

EDIT: I’ve added a de-noise filter, I think it helps out a little bit…

One Four Challenge June Week 3 edit

Added Noise-Reduction Filter

Anyway, what do you think?  Kind thoughts and comments are welcome.

Also, I have no idea yet what I’m doing for week 4, any film-style suggestions out there?

Keep reading for the How-To. 😀


I have joined a month-long photo post-processing challenge called One Four Challenge, hosted by Robyn at Captivate Me. “This challenge is about processing 1 image in 4 different ways over 4 weeks.” Every Monday Robyn posts a new version of her photo and challenges us to do the same each week.


It’s been a week since I created this image, hopefully I can remember everything I did.

  1. I started out with my image from week 1 up to the point where I adjusted the brightness and contrast (week one’s step 3).  120414_NAT_4437-gimp-noir2-b5c5_LR500
  2. Next I made a duplicate of the last layer from step 1, and then used the channel mixer to make my greyscale [Colors->Components->Channel Mixer].  I adjusted each of the RGB channel sliders while the monochrome box was checked, until I got a look I liked…
  3. Then I darkened the shadows using curves [Color->Curves]…
  4. I reduced the shadows even more using levels [Colors->Levels]…
  5. Next I decided that I wanted a bit more detail in the flower petals, so I created a grayscale layer using the color layer from step 1.  I used desaturate [Colors->Desaturate], and I chose Luminosity.  I reduced the opacity to ~50%…
  6. I was pretty happy with that, so I decided to try something new for sharpening.  Remember that frequency separation from this tutorial?  Well I ran the wavelet decompose filter [Filters->General->Wavelet Decompose] at the default of 5 levels.  Then I turned off all the wavelet layers and then turned them on one at a time until I liked the added sharpness… for this image I chose wavelet scale 4.  And that’s it!  A bit less work than my usual, but I really like the results…
  7. EDIT:  I’ve added a Noise Reduction filter… [Filters->G’MIC->Repair->Iain’s Noise Reduction]…

I hope you try out this tutorial (or parts of it), I’d love to hear if you do and how you did.

Until next time…

* GIMP is Open Source software that is available for all platforms (Linux, Mac, and Windows), it is a photo editor that does many (if not all) of the things you can do in Photoshop. You can download it for free here. The GIMP online manual can be found here.


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19 thoughts on “One Four Challenge – June – Week 3…

  1. I quite like the black and white, very high contrast. Normally I would mention the crushed shadows but the high contrast feel overrides that. The noise could be a by product of the process and I am glad you reduced it.

    • Thanks, Ben! 🙂 I don’t normally crush the shadows, but I was going for a Film Noir look, and there tends to be a lot of black spaces in those images. The noise was a product of too much processing, but hopefully the noise reduction filter helped out a bit.

  2. This is such an eye catching image. I love it Nic and in the words of Rodie from Iron Man (carrying on with the movie theme) “Yeah, yeah. Nice!” 😃😃

  3. Hi Nic,
    It looks like the noise starting appearing in your step 3, whereas the petals were still crisp and white in step 2, and the noise got intensified in step 4… I do like the monochrome, though.

    • Thanks, Chris! 😀 Oh, I see it now… yeah it’s when I pushed the shadows to the extreme. I tried to rework it with only using levels (and not curves) and it is still the same amount of noisy. I’ve added a de-noise filter to it and I’ll edit the post in a second.

Kind thoughts and comments are always welcome...

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