B&W pointers and Positioning?


Been spending a lot of time on here!
Jun 22, 2011
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Lincoln, England
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This is one of my wife taken on Monday at a local park. I don't often do B&W conversions so any tips/comments there would be welcome; also I'm not sure about the crop/positioning on this one. Her body is slightly angled to the right but she's looking to the left (from a viewer's point of view). I ended up putting her face at the optimal "rule of thirds" point but I'm not sure about it. I have more room on the original both left and right to play with. Thanks.

Hmmm.... I can't say for sure because I'm not on my editing monitor, but I think the contrast could use just the slightest boost. I like her pose and expression, but her positioning on the path isn't optimal in my opinion. The large, bright area behind her is pulling the eye right past and onto the bright, blank leading line of the path, and taking the viewer right out of the image.
Aaaah yes... I see what you're saying. I'd have been better to shoot her on the grass - though that was problematic as it rained the day before and her heels were sinking into the dirt. I'll see what else I have. I don't think a recrop will eliminate the problem. Shooting outside is a whole different ballgame to studio work.
The quick and dirty method might be to simply burn the path in so that the exposure difference is lessened.
I think she needs more room to look into, and less space on the right hand side of the frame. I agree, a smidge more local contrast could be added to this. I think this is a case of where different on-location framing/composing would have improved the shot, and that cropping after the fact will not fundamentally make as large an improvement as a different camera placement would have made. The path is a very strong element that sort of overpowers everything else--burning it down is a good idea. Not sure what the positioning word in the thread title means--if it refers to her positioning in the photo, or camera positioning. She is still a very good photographic subject, and I like her outfit!

As far as B&W conversions, I like the Lightroom B&W colored filters options....yellow,green,orange,red,blue, one of those filters will make at least one, or two, of the major items in the frame stand out much more, tonally. A filter lightens its own color....so if the dress was a red and white polkadot pattern, then the red filter might look very good. With the exposure of course compensated.
I sometimes ask myself, "What **is** black and white anyway?"

Con-8234c_sepia + PC vignette 1.JPG
Is it sepia tone?

Con-8234c_look 3_adjusted a bit.JPG
Is it Adobe's Creative 3 look, adjusted a bit?

Con-8234c_green filter.JPG
Is it the Green filter look?

Con-8234c_infrared filter + adjustment.JPG
How about the infrared look,adjusted a bit?

Con-8234c_bleach bypass.JPG
And what about applying the bleach bypass filter to the original B&W file?
I'd agree about adjusting the contrast and cropping the right side some. Just some tweaking. Tell her I like her hat.
OK Guys, thanks for the suggestions. :) I'll go back to LR with this one, I like it enough for that and I didn't get a huge number of successes on this shoot. The location was poorly chosen but it can be salvaged. :)

@vintagesnaps - Sharon, the hat is a simple, basic straw thing I picked up cheap for her a few years ago - I saw it had potential as a prop. She made the band for it out of scraps from the dress (did I mention that she made the dress herself?).

We're off to our first 1940s event on Sunday so hopefully I'll benefit from the advice and do better
OK - I like the suggestions and I've always been very fond of sepia. They definitely look better with the path darkened and cropped with more room on the left.

Here are 2 reworks from scratch:

1. Sepia

2. B&W
Beautiful reposts especially the sepia. She's a very elegant lady.
Yes, the added room on the left really helps!
This has a bit of funny perspective distortion (which is why I don't like shootin portraits of any kind with a realtively short focus lense.
Looking at your subject, from the waist up she looks pretty standard with no hint of any perspective, she is just 'there' but from about the knees down I get the real impression I am looking down.

Backing away a few feet and shooting with a longer focal lens would cure this.


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