B&W conversion - not sure which I like better...photos 2

Started Jul 6, 2012 | Discussions thread
Katie Piecrust
Regular MemberPosts: 333
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Re: B&W conversion - not sure which I like better...photos 2
In reply to Jim Radcliffe, Jul 10, 2012

I like them both and I completely understand what you mean about golden light, especially right after a storm. There really are rare occasions when nature goes overboard, a confluence of several events coming together at just the right time to create something spectacularly jaw dropping. I've only experienced it twice, one of which being similar to what you saw when you took your photo. The warm colors were so overwhelming that all the other colors were drowned out as the world itself turned intensely sepia toned for a few minutes. The rain had cleaned all the dust from the air and the low clouds from a temporary break in the storm were reflecting absolutely everything the setting sun was putting out. It's hard to describe as it was one of those events where you had to be there to truly understand just how odd it really was. Sadly my camera was packed away because I was in the middle of a long portage and with the weather as bad as it was, along with night coming soon, I honestly didn't believe a good opportunity for shooting would present itself. Immediately after the show was over, the clouds rolled back in and it rained all night. Always be prepared, lesson learned lol.

The only thing that feels odd to me in your color shot is the color of the sky. That shade of cyan feels a bit off and is certainly over-saturated. The boat and landscape I can understand because of the light shining on them, but not that particular bit of sky which suggests settings that were pushed just a tad too far. Perfectly understandable since you were trying to recreate what you saw with your own eyes that day. As for the black and white one, it looks really great. The only thing I'd suggest is perhaps a bit of dodging and burning in a few key areas, like to restore a bit of texture in the strongest highlights of the wheelhouse and perhaps to make the hull pop out a bit more seeing as it's tones are very close to those of the land it occupies. Or leave it as is since it's already 99% of the way there.

I have a love for black and white too and sometimes miss those long hours working in the darkroom to get the perfect print. I've never encountered a shot that didn't need at least some artful dodging and/or burning. Looking at the B&W photographs in the challenge section leaves me with the impression that it may be becoming a bit of a lost art sadly. Do you do any kind of tonal control work or do you just do a straight desaturation? Certainly something worth considering if you find your B&W shots often tend to come out a bit flat compared to the color version.

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