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Thread: B&W shots of people on the street

  1. #1
    teokf's Avatar
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    B&W shots of people on the street

    I am learning to convert my photos to B&W. Many times, it's touch and go. I would appreciate any help in this area and not forgetting any comments on the photos are welcome. Thanks for viewing.

    #1 met the elderly lady bargaining with a street vendor

    B&W shots of people on the street
    #2 she was alone sitting by herself

    B&W shots of people on the street

    #3 these kids saw me with a camera and immediately they posed for me
    B&W shots of people on the street

  2. #2
    WJT's Avatar
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    Re: B&W shots of people on the street

    Hi Steven,I would certainly try a tight crop on the older lady, she has a great face and the background takes from the portrait in this shot. Sorry but I'm not the one to give advice on conversions, you have a good eye and great subjetc.

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    teokf's Avatar
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    Re: B&W shots of people on the street

    Wayne, thanks for the pointer about a tighter crop.

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    Re: B&W shots of people on the street

    Steven,

    I really enjoy this area of photography, and these are very nice images. Agree with Wayne regarding a tighter crop on the first image. The focus on the next two is just a tad soft. I have recently employed Scott Kelby's suggestion to shoot these in burst mode (5-10 fps), as expressions and focus can change so subtlely that out of a cluster of shots, one is often the clear winner. Hope to see more of your street shots.

    Kevin

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    teokf's Avatar
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    Re: B&W shots of people on the street

    Wayne, Kevin would this crop be better?

    B&W shots of people on the street

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: B&W shots of people on the street

    Quote Originally Posted by teokf View Post
    I am learning to convert my photos to B&W. Many times, it's touch and go. I would appreciate any help in this area and not forgetting any comments on the photos are welcome. Thanks for viewing.
    Steven

    My own view, for what it's worth, is that the thing about B & W is it's all about tone and arranging tones in an image so that they work with each other, or at least don't clash with each other.

    If you study your images, I think we see a couple of examples of the latter in action.

    First of all, the old lady. On the right side of her head (left as we look at it) she has white hair in sunlight. And directly behind that we have white objects. So, her hair is lost against the background.

    In the second one of the young girl alone. She has dark hair. On the left hand side of hear head (right as we look at it) her dark hair is set against a dark background, again causing her head to blend in to the background rather than stand out from it.

    That, I think, is what we mean when we talk about 'seeing' in B & W. The colours in a scene might not cause this blending of tonality, but once we convert them to greys, the tonal values can often be quite similar. We can, of course, address these issues in post-processing by selective use of colour filtration and create marked tonal differences. But it's always worth be aware of the tonal values of colours at the time of capture.

    Hope that is of some help.

    I love the ideas behind these images and I hope you have the chance to carry on shooting such subjects.
    Last edited by Donald; 12th February 2012 at 05:27 PM.

  7. #7
    teokf's Avatar
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    Re: B&W shots of people on the street

    Donald, thanks for the detailed explanation that has helped me to understand a bit more about the issues of conversation to B&W. I do hope you would continue to give your invaluable advice.

    Thanks again.

  8. #8

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    Re: B&W shots of people on the street

    That is exactly the problems that Donald points out with b/w and street shoots. There is but one split second to take a shot and literally no time to "see".

    I hit this problem 99% of the time and end up in colour even though a b/w would (could) be great. Precisely one reason maybe why some photographers "stage" street shots by selecting a location, and waiting for shots to happen. Most of my street shoots are done in Asia where people are more accomodating and have seen some guys setup tripods and remote triggers at intersections or busy places and just firing away.

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    teokf's Avatar
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    Re: B&W shots of people on the street

    sorry Bobo, I am not getting what you are saying? Are you commenting on my photo? Commenting what Donald commented? or something else?

    Anyway, thanks for dropping by to view the photos.

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    WJT's Avatar
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    Re: B&W shots of people on the street

    Quote Originally Posted by teokf View Post
    Wayne, Kevin would this crop be better?

    B&W shots of people on the street
    Nice, I like her hair though so maybe just a little more of her left ear and the pony tail. It looks great, we all love to shoot subjects like this character.

  11. #11
    teokf's Avatar
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    Re: B&W shots of people on the street

    Wayne, ok got your idea

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