Picture of a tree in my front yard. C&C Please!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Ubi, May 26, 2009.

  1. Ubi

    Ubi TPF Noob!

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    This is my first shot at a serious black & white photo. I desaturated using GIMP, instead of my digital camera's setting. Thoughts?
     
  2. Ubi

    Ubi TPF Noob!

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    Is the sky what you guys call "blown out"? (I'm trying to understand the exact meaning of that phrase).
     
  3. amber_martin05

    amber_martin05 TPF Noob!

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    the tree is gorgeous! i wish i could add something but i'm just hoping to learn from your thread. i like it in black and white
     
  4. Samanax

    Samanax TPF Noob!

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    "Blown out" basically means it's over-exposed and there is no detail in it at all. was it an overcast day with cloud cover?
     
  5. Mtalicarox

    Mtalicarox TPF Noob!

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    it's a tree.... relatively standard pic I guess.. good job?
     
  6. rmh159

    rmh159 TPF Noob!

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    Yeah I agree that it's relatively standard. 99% of the people on here have seen this scene everyday when they leave their house so what's really creative about it? I'd try to challenge yourself a bit more with subject choice and maybe ask yourself before snapping the pic "What exactly is my subject and why is it interesting?" then see if that would translate over to someone that has never been where you're standing. Make sense? I think if you can't answer those two questions it might not be worth pushing the shutter release and if you CAN... then you know you're half way to a great shot.
     
  7. Ubi

    Ubi TPF Noob!

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    Yeah it was. And I understand this isn't very creative. I guess I'm just looking for compositional tips.
     
  8. Jose Cuervo

    Jose Cuervo TPF Noob!

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    the tree isn't interesting at all. there's nothing that is capturing my attention. there are no patterns, no lines, no breaks, no moods, no movement, no interesting lighting features or effects. if you want to stick with this tree, maybe you can try changing your perspective, or wait for a better day for the sun and clear skies. it just needs something that'll make you go "ooh".
     
  9. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    You desaturated the whole picture? Try not to take this the wrong way, but that's the worst way to create a B&W photo in digital (well actually, it's a bit better than just converting the image to greyscale, but not by much).

    I'm going to use Photoshop terms because that's what I'm familiar with, but I'll bet that GIMP has something similar (I'd suggest searching the help files, or on a Mac with Leopard, searching the menus).

    One better method is to use the "channel mixer". Simply go into the channel mixer and there should be a box that you can check for "monochrome" or "monochromatic". Check it, and ta-da, you have a B&W photo, but all the colour information is still there, so you can adjust the luminosity of the red, green, and blue channels at will. That will allow you to brighten up the tree and darken the sky. A rule of thumb when doing this is to keep the total percentages of the channels close to 100%, but you can go outside of this without getting any weird effects.

    As an example, I'll provide one of my B&Ws, which you can also view on Flickr. For this I used Lightroom's grayscale mixer, which affords more control then just using an RGB channel mixer (as it can control red, orange, yellow, green, aqua, blue, purple, and magenta).

    Here is the original for reference:
    [​IMG]

    Here is the image without any mixing of colour channels:
    [​IMG]

    Note how bright the sky is (I shot this in early afternoon, so the lighting was a bit harsh), and how the subject (in this case the fire hydrant) isn't clearly defined, nor the brightest thing in the frame. Our eyes move from dark to light, so this isn't effective presenation of the subject. The top of the hydrant also loses a lot of detail, as it's a bit too bright and next to the bright sky.

    To fix this, I turned blue way, way down, and boosted red and purple. The final result was this:
    [​IMG]

    Final grayscale mix:
    Red +23
    Orange -21
    Yellow -6
    Green -38
    Aqua -75
    Blue -56
    Purple +65
    Magenta +3

    I also applied a strong S-curve in light levels to give the picture more contrast.
     
  10. Ubi

    Ubi TPF Noob!

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    Wow, thanks for the tips, I'll have to try this.
     

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