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Thread: Mountain View in B&W

  1. #1
    Ken Curtis's Avatar
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    Mountain View in B&W

    I have trouble creating B&W images and deciding whether there is not enough or too much contrast, and was it worthwhile converting to B&W. I would appreciate hearing any comments whether this image has any merit and how you might improve on it.

    It is a view of Whiteface Mountain taken from Lake Placid, NY this winter.

    Mountain View in B&W

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    Re: Mountain View in B&W

    I think, Ken, that you may need to decide what is your main subject here. At the moment there are too many competing elements. It is the composition which is concerning you more than the amount of contrast, which looks about correct to me.

    For example, buildings with a mountain backdrop plus interesting sky? Crop off some sky, possibly something around 3 x 2 ratio.

    Mountain with sky? Lose the buildings, probably with 3 x 2 ratio, which also reduces a bit of sky.

    Sky with mountain foreground? Lose the buildings but crop to 5 x 4 ratio, approx.

    There are other options.

    Also a little bit of Local Contrast Enhancement might be worth trying. But I don't expect that to be the answer on its own. And quite possibly not needed.

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    Re: Mountain View in B&W

    I LOVE this photo, but I do agree with Geoff, I would crop some of the sky but I would leave the buildings I think the buildings add character to the photo!!

    Kathy

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    Re: Mountain View in B&W

    I think the contrast and composition work fine. For me, it's an environmental portrait of a mountain. So, the expansive sky and man-made stuff in the foreground are a good fit.

    The biggest issue I have is that the bright sky on the right side distracts from the mountain. I would be tempted to clone some of the clouds from the other areas of the image to get rid of that bright light.

    To ensure that the mountain is immediately seen as the subject, I would try lightening the darkest clouds and maybe even the mountain just a bit.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Mountain View in B&W

    First thing to say is that I'm not looking at this on my own monitor, but tonal range looks good. I would echo Mike's point about lightening the darkest clouds.

    I think all the comments above have merit, but I'd like to make a comment based on what we have here rather than any re-cropped version of it (any of those suggested giving a different but good image). In terms of composition my comment is about that roofline suddenly rising upwards at the right hand side and exiting the image. I think that 'jars' and causes an imbalance in the image.

    In terms of showing a scene that places elements in a context, I don't have a problem with the buildings being in there with the mountain and that wonderful sky (which the B & W conversion has made the most of). The low-lying buildings with their background against trees and the background hill are fine, I think. But that roof line that suddenly introduces an 'unnatural' element cutting into the sky, looks 'wrong' to my eye.

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    Re: Mountain View in B&W

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    that roofline suddenly rising upwards at the right hand side and exiting the image
    I missed that in my first review of the photo. I agree with Donald.

  7. #7
    Ken Curtis's Avatar
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    Re: Mountain View in B&W

    Thanks to all who commented. I truly appreciate hearing your thoughts. Now I have something I can work with to see how it looks. I don't know if it ever happens to you guys, but sometimes I get so wrapped up in processing the image, that eventually my mind turns to mush and I can no longer figure out what to do. Now, with your comments and a little time, I can go back to the image fresh.

  8. #8
    Ken Curtis's Avatar
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    Re: Mountain View in B&W

    Here is most recent iteration based upon comments I received. I cropped and cloned in some clouds over bright white clouds that were on right side. It's much better than the original. Thanks again everyone for taking the time to comment.

    Mountain View in B&W

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    Re: Mountain View in B&W

    I do like this one much better. I thought I would miss those dramatic clouds at the top, but your rework has caused the peak of the mountain to pop out more and become the focus by getting rid of the bright part of the sky.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Mountain View in B&W

    Quote Originally Posted by pasusan View Post
    I do like this one much better.
    I'll second that. Open one in the lightbox (right click on it) and use the arrows to flick between one and the other. Very different images.

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    Re: Mountain View in B&W

    Ken, nice photo.

    Karm

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    Re: Mountain View in B&W

    Very nice revision, Ken.

  13. #13
    Ken Curtis's Avatar
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    Re: Mountain View in B&W

    Thank you everyone.

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