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Black and White question

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    Posted: 24 November 2017 at 16:14
Ahoy!

I'm not a PP expert at all BUT I used the Topaz Labs B&W plug-in for Photoshop CS6/CS2 which is simply a brilliant bit of software that only in my distant dreams I could've hoped to have ever achieved anything like as to the results it produced for me. I used the A700 and Sigma AF 17-70 F/2.8 - 4.5 DC Macro lens (correct APS-C format lens type to match the smaller sensor) for the Liverpool B&W images and ask yourself a simple question: would you be happy if your images were the same quality or better using the plug-in CS6 Topaz Labs App(s) - I have them all inc. activation codes), though the A850/A900/A99/A99M2 are all dual format models so they can use FF and APS-C optics, though your A77 is an APS-C model and you're not going to get the full width and range of a FF lens on an APS-C format sensor body so you're capturing 120mm if using an 80mm max focal length FF lens on an APS-C body (this is purely for ease of applying the 1.5x crop-factor for full frame lenses on an APS-C body.

The images referred to can be see on my Fluidr account (linked to Flickr - nicer interface) with camera lens/body on right of posted images incl. location here and here. Others were taken with different camera make/models/types and PP's in CS2 but I can't remember if I was using CS2 at that time, so again, make your own mind up if the following would 'flick your switch' on or off here, here, here, here, and here as examples (good, bad or plain ugly) as they span my camera make/model/types from Panasonic DMZ-FZ3, to Olympus Evolt E500 with 2x lens kit to Sony Alpha A100/A700/A580, Minolta Dynax 7D/5D to Sony A850.
 



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Post Options Post Options   Quote retta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 August 2017 at 00:52
Originally posted by Miranda F Miranda F wrote:

It's an odd thing; years ago when b/w pics and films were more common, I used to love b/w prints, but today with everything in colour, I find it much less natural.
Quite often I take a picture with very little colour in it, and find it works better in low colour than pure b/w


I am still enamored of the perfect black and white image on film. I find my taste in this doesn't mesh well with what I see in the bulk of the work I see around (dyxxum gets to be the exception!). I need to learn what it is I dislike and avoid it, so I am digging in. It may be that I don't like it when it is changed in post-production.
Color can be so breathtaking. I just got a Hasselblad 500 c/m to augment my Minolta film system. I am so enamored of these color images. I just got started, so am hoping the novelty doesn't wear off, lol.



Edited by retta - 31 August 2017 at 16:26
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Miranda F Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 August 2017 at 22:41
It's an odd thing; years ago when b/w pics and films were more common, I used to love b/w prints, but today with everything in colour, I find it much less natural.
Quite often I take a picture with very little colour in it, and find it works better in low colour than pure b/w
Miranda F & Sensorex, Sony A58, Nex-6, Dynax 4, 5, 60, 500si/600si/700si/800si, various Sony & Minolta lenses, several Tamrons, lots of MF primes and *far* too many old film cameras . . .
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Post Options Post Options   Quote retta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 August 2017 at 21:53
I briefly shot film seriously on my Maxxum 7000, but put it down in 1988 and picked it up about 4 months ago. For me, it is essential to understanding the making of a photograph because it makes me think through what the digital does when I toggle a lever or spin a wheel. If I can do that automatically when on the film cam, for me--understanding how to get what I want from a photo becomes much simpler. When I gain an unconscious competence, I will be able to move ahead in my own work.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Aavo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 August 2017 at 14:14
+1
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Miranda F Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 August 2017 at 14:03
Originally posted by retta retta wrote:

I have begun to implement this kind of discipline over the summer as I am shooting film again. I am interested to see how this all goes. I think I am looking for an answer that exists within. :-)


I agree that shooting film does require a lot more discipline than digital. I wonder how many on the 'film's not dead' challenge never shot film seriously before they got a DSLR?
Miranda F & Sensorex, Sony A58, Nex-6, Dynax 4, 5, 60, 500si/600si/700si/800si, various Sony & Minolta lenses, several Tamrons, lots of MF primes and *far* too many old film cameras . . .
 



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Post Options Post Options   Quote retta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 August 2017 at 13:56
Originally posted by Aavo Aavo wrote:

If me to answer, then ...
These building are probably high, but I miss this impression, can only imagine. For me the sky can help.
For me straightening lines feels good when the angle of shooting is not far from horisontal axxess. If I see that there is no way to have it, I try to catch whole height of the buildings and as symmetrically as possible. Shots with high resolution can mostly give solution even when FL of the lens is not the best for shooting.
And whole pic can of course be rotated, no problem if this idea works well.
But again, it is just me.

From the very first comment:
"Hi retta!
I don't know about "properly" or "more impact", my opinions are different, everyone's opinions and tastes are different."
It is so.    




I can see what you mean. I will work on it over the next couple of months and see the effect. If we had more than one tall building in my little city, I could get more practice with this scale. :-)

Thanks everyone for your input. I'm off to the field.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote retta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 August 2017 at 17:47
Originally posted by sybersitizen sybersitizen wrote:

[QUOTE=retta]

I guess so. I could add a personal story ...

I was a better photographer in my youth because of one thing: I was impassioned and inspired. I shot Kodachromes and did virtually no printing, meaning there was little option for recomposing (cropping) later. One of my personal favorite genres was abstracts. Once I saw a likely subject, my modus operandi was to analyze the scene, find an angle and composition that worked - all strictly within the viewfinder - and commit. When I look back on that collection, I don't second-guess the way I composed those shots. I liked them then, and I still like them.

Today, I have plenty of opportunity to rework any or all of my slides because I've scanned them all into digital format. However, I haven't felt an urge to do that. They were right for the guy who shot them at the time.


I have begun to implement this kind of discipline over the summer as I am shooting film again. I am interested to see how this all goes. I think I am looking for an answer that exists within. :-)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote sybersitizen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 August 2017 at 16:58
Originally posted by retta retta wrote:

Okay. I get rather confused at this point between what "must" be in a photo and what is not to be. People like Siskind even have differing criteria within their own bodies of work. I do see many options for composition, but was afforded this one opportunity from this one angle.

I meant there are numerous ways to crop (and process) this single photo for different compositions, any of which can be 'successful' for lack of a better word.

I thought I got it right, but I also think there are other correct ways, so we agree. It is so hard to just say I did it well and move on. I guess I think I should be sweating more over some parts of this.

If you enjoy the exploration, keep at it until you're convinced it's done. That's pretty much the way art works.

A lot of the work I see has such fantastic reactions and I think it's not fantastic.

Again, that's pretty much the way art works!

It seems the answer lies in practice, study and finding my own groove. Is that what you are saying?

I guess so. I could add a personal story ...

I was a better photographer in my youth because of one thing: I was impassioned and inspired. I shot Kodachromes and did virtually no printing, meaning there was little option for recomposing (cropping) later. One of my personal favorite genres was abstracts. Once I saw a likely subject, my modus operandi was to analyze the scene, find an angle and composition that worked - all strictly within the viewfinder - and commit. When I look back on that collection, I don't second-guess the way I composed those shots. I liked them then, and I still like them.

Today, I have plenty of opportunity to rework any or all of my slides because I've scanned them all into digital format. However, I haven't felt an urge to do that. They were right for the guy who shot them at the time.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Aavo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 August 2017 at 16:23
If me to answer, then ...
These building are probably high, but I miss this impression, can only imagine. For me the sky can help.
For me straightening lines feels good when the angle of shooting is not far from horisontal axxess. If I see that there is no way to have it, I try to catch whole height of the buildings and as symmetrically as possible. Shots with high resolution can mostly give solution even when FL of the lens is not the best for shooting.
And whole pic can of course be rotated, no problem if this idea works well.
But again, it is just me.

From the very first comment:
"Hi retta!
I don't know about "properly" or "more impact", my opinions are different, everyone's opinions and tastes are different."
It is so.    


a6500 & 20/2.8, 24/1.8, 56/1.4, 18-135/3.5-5.6 OSS
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Post Options Post Options   Quote retta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 August 2017 at 15:59
Originally posted by sybersitizen sybersitizen wrote:

The original composition is fine; so is the grayscale rather than color treatment; so is the contrast, and so are the converging lines. Even so, there are literally dozens of different compositions and treatments and tonal choices and perspective adjustments you could extract from this single photo. However, I doubt that any one of them could be considered inherently superior to the one you presented. You could fill a gallery with such variations if you want to; or you could say I did this well and move on now to another project. All up to you!

PS: IMO the original color version is not quite as effective. The color serves to separate the planes and reflections and help 'orient' the viewer, but I prefer the 'disorienting' version without the color clues; and I like the fact that the right side with its bright strip has been trimmed away.


Okay. I get rather confused at this point between what "must" be in a photo and what is not to be. People like Siskind even have differing criteria within their own bodies of work. I do see many options for composition, but was afforded this one opportunity from this one angle. I thought I got it right, but I also think there are other correct ways, so we agree. It is so hard to just say I did it well and move on. I guess I think I should be sweating more over some parts of this.
A lot of the work I see has such fantastic reactions and I think it's not fantastic. It seems the answer lies in practice, study and finding my own groove. Is that what you are saying?
We agree on the color version.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote retta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 August 2017 at 15:50
I am going into the weeds a bit with this, but... if you are looking at this as not a standard architectural photo, meaning no client hired me to show their work, what is left in this photo for you? None? It's okay to be blunt.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Aavo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 August 2017 at 06:09
For my eyes this pic is where straightening lines not harms the structure and pic in overall. So my fist step to do is straightening here, but it's me :)
I think you can't do much better B/W here, as the walls have without reflections mostly no soul. This is probably the most important architectural idea hugely used in contemporary design. For my eyes color pic looks better :)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote sybersitizen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 August 2017 at 01:57
The original composition is fine; so is the grayscale rather than color treatment; so is the contrast, and so are the converging lines. Even so, there are literally dozens of different compositions and treatments and tonal choices and perspective adjustments you could extract from this single photo. However, I doubt that any one of them could be considered inherently superior to the one you presented. You could fill a gallery with such variations if you want to; or you could say I did this well and move on now to another project. All up to you!

PS: IMO the original color version is not quite as effective. The color serves to separate the planes and reflections and help 'orient' the viewer, but I prefer the 'disorienting' version without the color clues; and I like the fact that the right side with its bright strip has been trimmed away.
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