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Thread: Heading into the Storm. (Color or B&W?)

  1. #1

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    Heading into the Storm. (Color or B&W?)

    This image may violate a "rule" or two, but I'm not sure if that's for the better or the worse. I would appreciate any comments you may have on how well it "works", composition, suggestions for improvements, or whatever occurs to you. In particular, I would appreciate your feedback on color vs B&W; which one (if either) strikes your fancy?


    Heading into the Storm. (Color or B&W?)




    Heading into the Storm. (Color or B&W?)

  2. #2
    PhotoRob's Avatar
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    Robert Farkas

    Re: Heading into the Storm. (Color or B&W?)

    Great shot - where were you perched to get it? I like the color version / the blue sky...real nice...

  3. #3

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    Jack R Mann

    Re: Heading into the Storm. (Color or B&W?)

    Love each one but b+w appeals to me, the texture on the water is outstanding and the boat leads you into the heart of the storm.

  4. #4

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    Re: Heading into the Storm. (Color or B&W?)

    I prefer the B&W version. I would like it even more if you would eliminate the bright cloud. Doing so would make the boat seem as if it is heading toward "nothingness" (is that a word?).

    I wonder if you have an image where the boat is in a small patch of sunlight. For me, that would make it really special, akin to a Cartier-Bresson style.

  5. #5
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    Re: Heading into the Storm. (Color or B&W?)

    Rules, what rules? This is a cracking shot for mine. The light is just perfect and creates an atmosphere which really has an ominous feel about it, like a calm before a storm. As much as I would hang the B&W on my wall I cannot go past the colour version with those wonderful shades of blue. Composition, don't change anything.Amazing shot, well done.

  6. #6
    MilT0s's Avatar
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    Re: Heading into the Storm. (Color or B&W?)

    Excellent Arlen. Just excellent. I can look at it for hours..!

    A wonderful atmosphere and mood. What I really like is that although your image uses common elements it gives the feeling of a novel approach. Both versions work for me.

  7. #7

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    Re: Heading into the Storm. (Color or B&W?)

    The scene is of Puget Sound, from atop the Space Needle in Seattle.

    Thanks to all of you for your comments. As many of you know, there are a multitude of approaches to B&W conversions. I've tried several of them so far on this picture, and haven't been 100% happy with any of them. Trying to hold the tonal relationships across the image while preserving the overall impact has turned out to be a challenge that I'm still working on. Everyone's kind words help confirm that it's worth the effort.

  8. #8

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    Re: Heading into the Storm. (Color or B&W?)

    Mike, I take your point about the bright cloud. As you might imagine, I've spent quite a bit of time pondering it. A bright object on the periphery--not usually considered a good thing. What's more, it extends out of the frame, another questionable situation. So I completely understand (and actually anticipated) that some folks would prefer it if it were treated as you described.

    But personally, I think it's an essential element to the composition as I envision it. It anchors the bright light which comes from above and the left side, and then fades into the darkness on the bottom and right. By being partially out of frame (which I could easily cure with clone tools etc.), to me it helps convey a sense of motion, that the boat is moving out of the lighted zone (and away from the bright cloud) and into the darkness. Similar reasoning applies to the boat. Where it is situated, right on the line as the light ends and darkness begins, it doesn't seem right to light it up.

    However, it is all a matter of personal interpretation and taste, and I'm sure it would have its own appeal if treated in many different ways, including as you suggest. And by providing my rationale for why it's the way it is, I don't in any way mean to discourage others from providing thoughts on how they would envision it. I think it's interesting to hear them. And I've already made some small changes in response to comments I've received, so it is definitely educational as well.

    Finally, lest it sound like I studied this situation at length before pressing the shutter, I should say that when I spotted that boat it was about to disappear into the darkness. A "now or never" scenario. So a great part of this shot was just plain luck!

  9. #9
    Harpo's Avatar
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    Re: Heading into the Storm. (Color or B&W?)

    This is so COOL! While the B&W is good, in this case I really like the color version since the blues in the sky are unique. The ripples on the ocean are unusual and look almost like a zen garden. I like the cloud as it helps tell the story. without it, its not obvious what it is- more abstract. Taking this on top of the space needle presents a very unique vantage point for this shot.

  10. #10

    Re: Heading into the Storm. (Color or B&W?)

    I like B & W but in this case I like both versions the same. I too think the cloud helps make the image.

  11. #11

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    Re: Heading into the Storm. (Color or B&W?)

    Mike and Carl--and everyone else--thanks for taking the time to look and comment. It's greatly appreciated.

  12. #12
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    Re: Heading into the Storm. (Color or B&W?)

    How on earth did I miss this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Arlen View Post
    Heading into the Storm. (Color or B&W?)
    The patterns, the textures on the water. Just sublime. The patterns of light thrown across the frame. Wonderful.

    Super piece of work. My compliments.

  13. #13

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    Re: Heading into the Storm. (Color or B&W?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Arlen View Post
    So a great part of this shot was just plain luck!
    Maybe so, but I would venture that a far greater part is due to your ability to take advantage of the situation at the moment of capture and during post-processing. It's really a marvelous image (with or without the cloud).

  14. #14

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    Re: Heading into the Storm. (Color or B&W?)

    The 'colour' version does it for me; that sea looks like a sheet of engraved and engine turned silver. I feel for the souls on the boat.

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