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Thread: Great B&W is so hard to do

  1. #1

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    Chris

    Great B&W is so hard to do

    but I keep trying. Shot these two images a while back and decided today they would look good in B&W, but was somewhat hesitant to make the attempt. Each of these represents multiple runs through Silver Efex Pro, with various and sundry layer masks and other tomfoolery. Opinions as to the success, or lack thereof would be greatfully appreciated.

    Great B&W is so hard to do

    Great B&W is so hard to do

  2. #2
    ucci's Avatar
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    Ken Outch

    Re: Great B&W is so hard to do

    If I could do half as well I would give up chasing blondes and die happily. I am never happy with what I can achieve with my B&W's and it is obvious that I need something like Silver Efex pro... and lots more skill and talent.. with the emphasis on the more S&T's bit! Great shots! Incredible sharpness and contrast.
    K

  3. #3

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    Mary... or Lucy... either is fine with me. ;)

    Re: Great B&W is so hard to do

    I'm not going to say what I think.

  4. #4
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Just add 'MacKenzie'

    Re: Great B&W is so hard to do

    Like Ken, I would certainly mark that down as success. Not sure about the whiteness of the frame, particularly in the first one. But that's not really the point of this discussion.

    The richness of tone around the gear mechanism is excellent, particularly in the second one. And in that same one, the texture on the concrete in the background is lovely.

    So, yes ... success.

  5. #5

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    Re: Great B&W is so hard to do

    The whiteness was the challenge, and that bike was the whitest white they make, I am sure. It was brighter than appliance white which, I think is what drew me to it in the first place. This is the RAW file, right out of the camera. I cropped it to the same format as the first to keep the comparison equal. Pure white is, in my humble opinion, the hardest value to capture accurately, without offending glare and to edit without the artificial 'flatness' which occurs when adding a layer mask.

    I did have a bit more success on the second one becuase I used a circular polarizer, significantly dialed down to avoid getting the concrete too dark. I knew, with the spokes moving, I could probably get away with it if I had to tone the concrete down (which, I left as is wondering if I should clone out the nasty crack)...

    And back to Ansel Adams, and you Donald, and Jiro and Rob, and...a lot of people on this forum, more and more, I am finding myself tending to the details, thinking the shot through, anticipating the moment (Steve), pre-setting the camera for "opportunity," and trying to become "one with the camera." I still find it all a daunting journey, and as cliche-sih as it is, all journeys are made up of many first steps. I guess to brag on myself, I find this shot one of those which has carried me from the plodding stage, to at least walking with purpose and direction.

    To all you new members, I didn't climb the hill without a lot of hands pushing me, pulling me and guiding me. You only think you are good until you look around you and discover there is so much more to learn. Whoohoo. On that note, any ideas as to how to capture a pure white would be greatly appreciated.

    Great B&W is so hard to do

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