Seeking help - new to B&W

Discussion in 'The Black & White Gallery' started by Alley Cat Images, Jul 7, 2009.

  1. Alley Cat Images

    Alley Cat Images TPF Noob!

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    I love black and white photographs and would like to learn more about taking them myself. I have included a test shot that will serve as a springboard for future work. Advice on adjustments...???

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    Last edited: Jul 7, 2009
  2. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Crop out the watch.

    Now ... for the B+W part ...

    The image appears a little flat.
    When working with B+W, you play a lot with Exposure and Contrast.

    Darken the image and increase the contrast.
     
  3. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    Without seeing the color original its hard to say how best to make fixes.

    In general, the image lacks "snap" and the large blank burned out highlights are very distracting.
     
  4. Alley Cat Images

    Alley Cat Images TPF Noob!

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    I really appreciate your taking time to comment. I've cropped the image, boosted the contrast, and slightly tinkered with the white balance and highlights so it didn't get blown out. Did it help, or make it worse? I have so much to learn!

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Alley Cat Images

    Alley Cat Images TPF Noob!

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    I wondered about the highlights, but wasn't sure about cropping them out. The first shot is the original - I didn't make any adjustments to begin with. I wanted to start from scratch. I am using a digital SLR and shot in monochrome. The hand side of the chair was in shade, the rest in bright sunlight. Not good composition to begin with, I'm afraid.
     
  6. Alley Cat Images

    Alley Cat Images TPF Noob!

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    I cropped out most of the burned out highlights... I appreciate your help!

    [​IMG]
     
  7. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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  8. Alley Cat Images

    Alley Cat Images TPF Noob!

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    The website has helpful information! Thank you. I didn't think of the monochrome setting as a filter that removed the color. That makes a difference in the way I "see" what I'm shooting, doesn't it? I've got some work ahead to develop that skill... I'll enjoy the journey, though! I appreciate everyone's help.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2009
  9. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    The monochrome setting should be avoided. It dumps all the colour information of the image and makes it difficult to adjust later. As to how you see the image, B&W photography is all about contrast between greys; you need to look at the scene very differently, imagining what it will be like without colour.
     
  10. Alley Cat Images

    Alley Cat Images TPF Noob!

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    I will follow your advice. Much thanks!
     
  11. mitsugirly

    mitsugirly TPF Noob!

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    Now see I was told (well read) by a professional photog that the best way to do a black and white was using the monochrome. You are saying that is bad?
     
  12. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    *blinks* Yes, I'm saying it's bad. All the monochrome setting does is (dumbly) remove all the colour information from the image. The problem then is that making adjustments to the image later on is more difficult. ;)

    Say you take a photo of a building. Perhaps in B&W the sky is far too bright. With the colour information still there, it's easy to just turn-down the blue channel to darken the sky. If you shot in monochrome (and JPEG; those modes don't matter in RAW) then the colour information is gone and you can't adjust the image so easily. The same applies to converting the image to greyscale, or desaturating the entire image in post.
     

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