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Thread: Storm with Sunbeam on Hay bales

  1. #1
    tbob's Avatar
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    Trevor Reeves

    Storm with Sunbeam on Hay bales

    In your opinion is this better in black and white or colour?

    Oh yeah; and any critique is very welcome.

    Storm with Sunbeam on Hay bales

    Storm with Sunbeam on Hay bales

    And the out of camera (actually straightened, and sensor spots removed). It is always useful to me to see what others make of this

    Storm with Sunbeam on Hay bales

  2. #2

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    Re: Storm with Sunbeam on Hay bales

    Like both the B&W and colour, with the B&W I like the whole image, with the colour image my way of thinking would be to remove most of the grass so only a little is showing under the foremost bale. I like how the sun brightens the grass and bales behind that foremost bale and all the tops of the bales glow dragging my eye to the low dark clouds on the lower horizon.

    Cheers:

    Allan

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    rawill's Avatar
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    Re: Storm with Sunbeam on Hay bales

    Love the colour,
    and if I was cropping it I would only take out the immediate forground and leave the darker grass in the photo.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Storm with Sunbeam on Hay bales

    Interesting one.

    On the B & W - I looked at it as a 2:1 panorama, by cropping at the top and quite liekd that. I think it gave more attention to the bales.

    In terms of the colour version - I wondered if maybe you'd pushed it a bit far in the processing. I actually prefer the greater subtlety of the out-of-camera copy. I thought that I'd maybe use masks and go a bit towards what you did with the sky (but not so far) and only a tiny amount, if any, towards the effect on the land.
    Last edited by Donald; 8th August 2013 at 06:55 AM.

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    tbob's Avatar
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    Trevor Reeves

    Re: Storm with Sunbeam on Hay bales

    Thanks for the thoughts and advice. Always appreciated to have a this sort of constructive opinion.

    I will try to explain my choices in post processing on this one. I wanted to preserve and emphasize the arc of the cloud shadow in the foreground. Hence the crop as I felt it needed to have the bright area in the foreground. The top crop is an alternative I will look at.

    I agree the colour is a somewhat overdone. I looked though my processed images over the last month and I fear I am developing a style that tends towards this sort of thing. Whether that is good or bad remains to be seen. I seem to be veering towards portrayals that are more what the scene should have been rather than what is was. The same applies to the black and white version, I was much more heavy handed with the conversion than I usually would be, with the full intent of making an image that is more visceral than representative.

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Storm with Sunbeam on Hay bales

    Trevor - I vote for the second one. I actually like the overprocessed look as it provides a great contrast to the dark stormy clouds overhead. Perhaps it tells a bit of a story; stormy clouds = rain = lush, green grass. The more or less monochrome top two-thirds of the image are nicely balanced by the deep colours of the green grass and rolls of hay on the bottom.

    I don't think the B&W works particularly well; everything blends together and doesn't really contrast the two main compositional elements; they sort of just get mushed together. As for the out of the camer shot; it certainly shows potential, but somehow lacks real "punch".

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Storm with Sunbeam on Hay bales

    Quote Originally Posted by tbob View Post
    I seem to be veering towards portrayals that are more what the scene should have been rather than what is was.
    That's fine. That's what the artistic/creative process is all about. If Monet, Manet, Picasso, et al had painted 'what it was', the world of fine art would be a much poorer place. Photography is no different, unless your trade is photo-journalism, in which case you must reproduce the scene that was in front of you.

  8. #8
    tbob's Avatar
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    Re: Storm with Sunbeam on Hay bales

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    I don't think the B&W works particularly well; everything blends together and doesn't really contrast the two main compositional elements; they sort of just get mushed together.
    Black and white is still a concept, not a working medium for me at this point. Hopefully with time and effort I will be able to get where i want to go. So far I have resisted using a specialized conversion program, but I may have to because the tools in Aperture are quite limited and crude. Or maybe, as I fear, is my skills that are limited and crude.

  9. #9
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Storm with Sunbeam on Hay bales

    Quote Originally Posted by tbob View Post
    Black and white is still a concept, not a working medium for me at this point. Hopefully with time and effort I will be able to get where i want to go. So far I have resisted using a specialized conversion program, but I may have to because the tools in Aperture are quite limited and crude. Or maybe, as I fear, is my skills that are limited and crude.

    I started out many years ago as a black and white shooter (as a high school student; B&W was much more affordable than colour film work), and when I moved to colour, I noticed some images seemed to work in B&W while others worked better in colour (for the other old-timers, I remember buying Kodak Panalure paper that was designed to print colour negatives in B&W).

    I still find that today; there are some images that just work beautifully in B&W, even though they are quite ordinary in colour. One has to start seeing tonally rather than in colour; to some extent (the proof is always in the B&W conversion). B&W can simplifiy a busy scene, but if the tonality of the scene is fairly similar, colour often works better. I find this is what we are seeing in this scene. The sky, hay bales and grass all blend together; ergo, I find that the colour works much better.

    I have never used Aperture; but before I bought the NIK collection, I would check out and tweak the indvidual colour channels to get what I wanted in Photoshop as part of the conversion process. Just removing the colours never gives on the best output.

  10. #10
    Kaye Leggett's Avatar
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    Re: Storm with Sunbeam on Hay bales

    My vote goes for the colour - I too like the processed version and the contrast of the green and almost blue clouds

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