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Thread: One of my first attempts to B&W

  1. #1
    Nicola's Avatar
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    One of my first attempts to B&W

    During last holidays, decided to capture a scene in B&W
    it happened two times, and these have been the first two times I thought a picture directly in B&W
    below one of those.
    comments?
    thanks
    nicola

    One of my first attempts to B&W
    Last edited by Nicola; 12th September 2011 at 07:26 PM.

  2. #2
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: One of my first attempts to B&W

    Nicola

    I congratulate you for shooting for a B & W image and 'seeing' working to 'see' it in B & W before capturing the photograph. As I have written on here before, I attempt to do that and greatly enjoy it. I always think that to forecast how the image will look in B & W is a good test of my ability to observe and understand the scene in front of me.

    And this one works well. My one question is to wonder if the bright area at the right hand side, caused by the street lamp, draws our attention too much away from the rest of the image? I wonder how it would look if you were to crop that out to make it close to a 5:4 ratio?

  3. #3
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    Re: One of my first attempts to B&W

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    Nicola

    I congratulate you for shooting for a B & W image and 'seeing' working to 'see' it in B & W before capturing the photograph. As I have written on here before, I attempt to do that and greatly enjoy it. I always think that to forecast how the image will look in B & W is a good test of my ability to observe and understand the scene in front of me.

    And this one works well. My one question is to wonder if the bright area at the right hand side, caused by the street lamp, draws our attention too much away from the rest of the image? I wonder how it would look if you were to crop that out to make it close to a 5:4 ratio?
    thanks for the feedback Donald!
    I have already thought about the light, so I've also this version
    not a square-type crop but ...

    One of my first attempts to B&W

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    Re: One of my first attempts to B&W

    That one works better for me. What I really like are the patterns made by the bench and its 'wobbly' shadows - even that alone would make a nice little shot,and you don't need colour when light and shade and patterns are the subject.


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    Re: One of my first attempts to B&W

    Hey Nicola,

    As someone who is just beginning to stick his long nose into black-and-white, I'm not about to give you sage advice. I will leave that up to wiser heads, of which there is no shortage on this excellent site.
    I will say, however, that I like what I see and--if this is one of your first attempts--I predict you will go far in this genre.

    Congratulations,

    waha

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    Re: One of my first attempts to B&W

    Nicola, I liked the first one, and the second version without that lamp on the right is even better.
    Wonderful shadows!

    Have you considered cloning out the fire plug? (I saved the image and removed the fire post, and
    thought it was a nice improvement).

    Mike
    Last edited by Dizzy; 12th September 2011 at 08:45 PM.

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    Re: One of my first attempts to B&W

    Hi Nicola,

    I do prefer the second crop, although I am still troubled by the divider up the middle of the image.

    I wonder if you have a shot taken from a little further left, showing more of the bit down the steps?

    Technically a lovely conversion though, beautifully sharp and well worth F11 to full screen and viewing in the Lytebox.

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    Re: One of my first attempts to B&W

    I am going to assume you do not have Silver Efex Pro and used the desaturate mode to do your conversion. The most glaring error I find in the image is your further conversion to a grayscale image rather than staying with the RGB which saves more data.

    I took your image quite a bit further both in crop and treatment. Reconverting back to RGB, I went at it with SEP and did a deliberate underexposure and used my control points to demphasize the light fixture and centralizing all the major light to one area, though doing a pretty strong value reduction all over. I felt the place where the walkways converged was the most important, so pulled back on the fore, back and side panels to concentrate the interest there. Also using SEP, I cut the value of the light way down to avoid that over-garish effect.

    The light on the right side did nothing in the promotion of the story, so I tossed it. I also did some perspective and distortion control which I think help to further center the eye. Verticals provide stability.

    I very much like the juxtapositioning of the steps and bench slats. IT provides a nice point-counterpoint (contraposto) with the wall being the centering action. Hope you like.

    One of my first attempts to B&W

  9. #9
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    Re: One of my first attempts to B&W

    Quote Originally Posted by Davidd View Post
    That one works better for me. What I really like are the patterns made by the bench and its 'wobbly' shadows - even that alone would make a nice little shot,and you don't need colour when light and shade and patterns are the subject.

    Thanks David!
    your appreciation is a great encouragement for me!

  10. #10
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    Re: One of my first attempts to B&W

    Quote Originally Posted by Dizzy View Post
    Nicola, I liked the first one, and the second version without that lamp on the right is even better.
    Wonderful shadows!

    Have you considered cloning out the fire plug? (I saved the image and removed the fire post, and
    thought it was a nice improvement).

    Mike
    Interesting, I should try,,
    thanks!

  11. #11
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    Re: One of my first attempts to B&W

    Quote Originally Posted by waha View Post
    Hey Nicola,

    As someone who is just beginning to stick his long nose into black-and-white, I'm not about to give you sage advice. I will leave that up to wiser heads, of which there is no shortage on this excellent site.
    I will say, however, that I like what I see and--if this is one of your first attempts--I predict you will go far in this genre.

    Congratulations,

    waha
    Many thanks Wayne!
    feel free to write down your thoughts, neither me nor others members will laugh about your words in every thread of this forum! will we?

  12. #12
    Nicola's Avatar
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    Re: One of my first attempts to B&W

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    Hi Nicola,

    I do prefer the second crop, although I am still troubled by the divider up the middle of the image.

    I wonder if you have a shot taken from a little further left, showing more of the bit down the steps?

    Technically a lovely conversion though, beautifully sharp and well worth F11 to full screen and viewing in the Lytebox.
    thanks Dave,
    I'm sorry, it was the only way for positioning:
    sliding to the left side I would fell down from the square's balcony
    sliding to the right, the perspective would has been too low since I was holding my camera on a gorillapod
    this is why I've just bought my new walk around tripod!

  13. #13
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    Re: One of my first attempts to B&W

    Quote Originally Posted by MiniChris View Post
    I am going to assume you do not have Silver Efex Pro and used the desaturate mode to do your conversion. The most glaring error I find in the image is your further conversion to a grayscale image rather than staying with the RGB which saves more data.

    I took your image quite a bit further both in crop and treatment. Reconverting back to RGB, I went at it with SEP and did a deliberate underexposure and used my control points to demphasize the light fixture and centralizing all the major light to one area, though doing a pretty strong value reduction all over. I felt the place where the walkways converged was the most important, so pulled back on the fore, back and side panels to concentrate the interest there. Also using SEP, I cut the value of the light way down to avoid that over-garish effect.

    The light on the right side did nothing in the promotion of the story, so I tossed it. I also did some perspective and distortion control which I think help to further center the eye. Verticals provide stability.

    I very much like the juxtapositioning of the steps and bench slats. IT provides a nice point-counterpoint (contraposto) with the wall being the centering action. Hope you like.

    One of my first attempts to B&W
    Yes I like it very much! you convinced me!
    and I think it approachs what Donald said about 5.4 ratio
    anyway, I didn't desaturate the pic, I clicked on the B&W tool on the left of photoshop..
    i've still to understand how to keep the RGB channels...

    ok I'm going to study...

  14. #14

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    Re: One of my first attempts to B&W

    It is the 5:4 though here we call it 4:5 ...same difference. If you go into your adjustments dialogue in photoshop, choose the black & white layer converter which allows you to adjust several different color channels. It can, in many instances get you as close as SEP, but definitely closer than in strictly RGB channel adjustments. I sometimes use it over SEP when making a layer adjustment for strengthening my gray values within the image.

    Without SEP, you could do a new layer and change the blend mode to overlay and click on the fill with 50% gray option. Then, using your white and black brushes, you can either darken or lighten specific areas of the image. Good luck.

  15. #15
    Nicola's Avatar
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    Re: One of my first attempts to B&W

    My last version...

    One of my first attempts to B&W

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    Re: One of my first attempts to B&W

    Nicola,

    Couldn't resist...here is your beautiful pic again, with the only difference being the fire post is removed:

    One of my first attempts to B&W

    I only wish there were locations available in my region with the same type of setting you've
    chosen here, but since there is not, it looks like my wife and I will just have to travel to
    Europe some day..

    Mike

  17. #17
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    Re: One of my first attempts to B&W

    Quote Originally Posted by Dizzy View Post
    Nicola,

    Couldn't resist...here is your beautiful pic again, with the only difference being the fire post is removed:

    One of my first attempts to B&W

    I only wish there were locations available in my region with the same type of setting you've
    chosen here, but since there is not, it looks like my wife and I will just have to travel to
    Europe some day..

    Mike
    Mike
    you are welcome!
    and you are right: I should remove the fire post!
    every place all over the world has its features and its own kind of beauty. a visit will make the traveller grow up. as you can't find these kind of location in USA, I can't find here many places you have there.
    Have a tour in europe, you will find the footsteps of the human history, you will enjoy it
    I am too wishing to travel towards America, I will find plaaces and peoples that I can't imagine.. wait for me, I'me going to leave..

  18. #18
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: One of my first attempts to B&W

    Quote Originally Posted by Nicola View Post
    My last version...

    One of my first attempts to B&W
    That is very good. What a difference between the original version at the top of the thread and this version. This one is full of mood and atmosphere.

  19. #19
    Nicola's Avatar
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    Re: One of my first attempts to B&W

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    That is very good. What a difference between the original version at the top of the thread and this version. This one is full of mood and atmosphere.
    thanks to you all!!
    a good result for CiC forum, as usual!

  20. #20
    speedneeder's Avatar
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    Re: One of my first attempts to B&W

    I like every version of this photo in this thread!
    Have you posted this photo before?

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