Plant Study III

Chris of Arabia

Herding cats since 1988...
Supporting Member
Mar 10, 2007
Reaction score
The Magic Kingdom
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
My first offering in these parts, one of the series to be found here - Plant Study I-IV


I'm more interested in views on the B+W conversion than anything, which was done in Photoshop Elements 5, but would appreciate any comments you wish to offer.


Canon 350D
ISO 100
No flash
IMO, the conversion is fine but the underlying picture doesn't offer much. The composition is drained of a lot of energy by the top and left that leads the eye off.

To be honest, its one that I wouldn't have pictured in Black and White, but after seeing, I think its Fantastic!! I think its the filtered lighting on the leaves that is making this work, and showing nice separation of Blacks and White... Beautiful contrast, and detail in this conversion.. I like it...

Now if I could add something on my wish list , it would be for those Tall Vertical leaves to be gone.. they just come across as so bold vs the drooping subtle leaves in bottom of frame... I know it was out of your control, thats why I said , Wish List!!

Very Nice Shot!
I wrote a paragraph on this over 2 weeks ago, but didn't submit it, I do that all the time.
The thrust of it was, this particular image is the one out of the serise that doesn't fit the theme, I like the others for their abstract nature and the focus on a portion of the plant, I think they conform best to the idea of a plant "study".
Those aside, this shot is a little un-focussed in what its trying to do, I think the lack of colour hurts the interest as much as the compositional factors.
I dont think the plants in the foreground ask me to examine them in any detail, I'm pulling out trying to see the point of focus and finding more interest in the stuff in the background.
I don't really like this. A big part of the beauty of plants is their colour, and when you do a B&W conversion I feel like it takes away a lot of the interest.
An interesting selections of reactions to it. As I mentioned I think in the thread where the rest are posted, these were done as part of the OU course I've just completed. It was always my intention to complete the images as a B+W set and I had in the back of my mind, the work of Brett Weston, though at the time I shot them I wouldn't have been able to tell you which of his portfolios I was referencing. Having taken a look through The Brett Weston Archive for the first time yesterday, I'd say that his 1980 Hawaii Portfolio seems the most appropriate touchstone. I'd have seen his work originally in magazines in the early 80's when I was engaged with real film and doing my own dev & print work.

To me, the image works because it displays multiple layers, the foremost and lighter toned plants acting as a veil for the darker and more heavily structured plants towards the rear of the image. For me, the balance between the two is what makes the shot and it was probably this that caught my eye at the time. It's been pointed out to me since that the image contains a discernible diagonal running lower-left to upper-right, dividing the image into two halves - I could go really corny and suggest a yin and yang element to it, but there was nothing that contrived about it at the framing at the time.

Unlike some of the other shots, which I had to work at getting a composition I thought would work, this one screamed to be taken - there were no crops involved on this BTW. It was probably the only one where I didn't have to fight against the highlights being blown out in the course of trying to get the right contrast across the image - which reminds me, I really must learn how to use curves to control that.

For the benefit of those who may be curious, this is the colour version with no adjustments save a slight sharpening after resizing. It's still an attractive image, but for me doesn't get quite the impact or presence of the conversion and it would have me rushing for the framers.

In retrospect my only regret is that no longer have the gear around to have done this in film.


Most reactions