first try with digital B&W CC appreciated

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by blakejd, Jun 23, 2009.

  1. blakejd

    blakejd TPF Noob!

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    First one felt a bit cluttered to me but I liked the lines as I was shooting it. Also had a hard time with the bright light in the tree canopy trying to decide if it looked better a bit blown out or not.
    1.
    [​IMG]
    Second one was lots of fun to shoot and try to capture the reflections of myself and the tree canopy above in it. However I can't seem to take this neet little feature I found to photograph and improve it into something more appealing.
    2.
    [​IMG]
    Thanks
     
  2. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    How are you converting your images to B&W?
     
  3. blash

    blash TPF Noob!

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    As for the first one, it's a visually busy photo with no real subject. Not quite sure what is going on here. The framing would've been interesting had it not been obscured by all the bush in front of it.

    If you're looking for info on B&W - I suggest you try some of this. Ilford | HP5 Plus 135-24 Black & White Print Film | 1700646
    Film SLR's start used nowadays around $50.
     
  4. blakejd

    blakejd TPF Noob!

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    The images were shot in the BW mode of my camera. I normally would shoot RAW and convert later but had limited image space on my card for this trip.
    Bash,
    "As for the first one, it's a visually busy photo with no real subject. Not quite sure what is going on here. The framing would've been interesting had it not been obscured by all the bush in front of it."
    I was worried about it being too busy and distracting from the image I wanted which was a deep DOF starting with the iron on the right and then using the walls of the collasped building constricting in through the distance. Would you say this could be improved most by angle and compositon, or perhaps by better lighting to highlight the wall on the right side better. I was reluctant to remove anything there as this was a National Park which equals heavy fines.
    thanks to you both.
    Also I do own a film SLR but shooting and developing true BW film is too costly for me right now. If it wasn't for money savings I'd proboly shoot all slides and BW.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2009
  5. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Does shooting in-camera B&W reduce your file size? Regardless it's probably the worst way to get a B&W.

    Perfect excuse to buy spare memory.

    Images:
    #1 - Yup, too busy, no subject, no real direction for my eye to travel through the image.

    #2 - I guess you were using the smaller drop for the reflection of yourself. Hmm, I can almost make out something of a silohuette, but you'd need to be much, much closer to make it identifiable.
     
  6. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    Not so much an excuse as a great reason. Converting to B&W like that really mucks up IQ (though I'm pretty sure you already know that Kundalini, just saying it for the benefit of others).

    Shoot RAW and convert later, indeed. While doing this will definitely save space (the camera is simply discarding all colour data), it will also definitely wreak havoc on your image quality. And remove all control from you. Not a good combination.

    Check this out.
     
  7. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I'm very much a lower cased k.






    And I know....... :mrgreen:
     
  8. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    Bah, force of habit, kundalini. :greenpbl:
     
  9. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    just remember, you need to think in black and white terms.
    the first scence is full of middle grey values, which allow don't do well for making great black and white images.

    and will second or is it third's on converting from color
     
  10. blash

    blash TPF Noob!

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    When converting from black and white though, those aren't middle grey values - they're originally colors. With either film (in the field) or photoshop (in digital post-production), individual colors can be controlled as to the intensity of how bright/dark they are. For example, the in the French flag (simple stripes of blue, white, and red) the blue and red would constitute these "middle grey values" for you since they aren't dark or light blues/reds and a quickie B&W conversion could likely end up showing only 1 shade of grey and white. However, with Photoshop or with film techniques you can take that blue and say that you want it to end up representing a very dark grey while you want the red to represent a very light grey and you end up having 3 tones, 1 dark grey, 1 white, and 1 light grey, that looks much more like a French flag.

    Which goes to my point - the photo sucks because it's visually busy and has no clear subject, not because all the trees and foliage were the same shade of green.

    To the OP - this is one of those shots that is flawed in concept and not just execution because you can't alter what's making the image bad (read on...). If the foliage wasn't there or else was very sparse, and if the walls didn't end in 20 feet, then there might've been an opportunity.

    BUT - you said that you didn't dare affect the scene because it's a National Park and what with the fines etc. Oh well. Move on, there are better photos to be had. But, if you could affect the scene, what you would want to do is plant the ground with a kind of messy grass, clear the walls of most of the foliage and certainly any foliage that has fallen between the two walls, re-angle the camera slightly to the left to reduce attention on the beam, and then give the photo a subject - say, a silhouette of someone standing at the end of the tunnel with a halo of light around him caused by wireless flash, which would evoke this kind of imagery of a person of power walking down a path trying to be reclaimed by nature sort of thing. In this example, B&W would probably still be a good medium because now the photo isn't about all this green shrubbery but rather about power and nature, which are abstract ideas. As the photo stands though, the B&W conversion probably hurts the image more than it helps it since it reduces the differentiation between the various shrubbery in the photograph and the diffused light coming between it.

    From a technical standpoint, I would also try to make sure that both of the walls are lit with the same intensity, instead of the sun coming over 1 wall, lighting up the other wall while leaving the first wall (the right one) in shadow. This means taking the photo at a different time of day - sunrise or sunset would probably work best.

    And that's probably enough food for thought for you right now. ;)
     
  11. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    i understand what to do with converting, it still helps to think in black and white
    the screen we are talking about would need some serious work with filters to separate the gray values with film and of course this would also aply for digital.

    to help the workflow it would be helpful (at least IMHO to realize this before firing the shutter)

    i am only suggesting that folks start thinking in black and white terms which will help before firing the shutter, let alone with converferting.
     
  12. blakejd

    blakejd TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all the imput everyone. The more I look at the photo the more of a mess I see. Blash thanks for the breakdown of how this photo possibly could have atleast been improved. This was what I was looking for the most. Although the photo was bad the actually view sitting there was very aestetic and so what I was lacking in a large part was the ability to translate that into an image. Thanks.
     

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