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Why Black & White?


ade_mcfade e2
10 15.1k 216 England
2 Aug 2010 2:08PM
ok

Here are a couple of versions of the Lowry

here the HDR has created some crazy colours - they're not too offensive, but looks a little strange

A quick conversion using Photohop's B&W adjustment and you get the more sensible looking mono

-mg-7939-40-41hdrimono.jpg


-mg-7939-40-41hdri.jpg

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ade_mcfade e2
10 15.1k 216 England
2 Aug 2010 2:14PM
And here's a fairly typical field shot, just done in mono


the advantage of mono on these is that they never really look bleached out like colour ones do - this was in very bright sunshine. Add a red filter and the sky just dives towards black ness, the clouds remaining white

-mg-5616-mono.jpg

pascalg e2
7 37 France
2 Aug 2010 2:23PM
the difference is blatant between colour / bw !

thanks to digital, filters are easy to use, (esp. silver effex...)
User_Removed 11 455 13 United Kingdom
2 Aug 2010 3:49PM

Quote:more sensible looking mono


A good example. You wouldn't immediately think 'HDR'.

Even without HDR I do sometimes work the raw file to some slightly exaggerated colours to bring everything out before converting to B&W, which gives a similar effect.

The field shot is a good example too. The mono brings out the sky and gives the light and texture on the field. I would guess in colour it looks fairly ordinary.

I think the filters in Silver Efex are not only easier, but a lot more flexible. With film it was down to what you put in front of the lens at the time. HAving said that, I am thinking about how I will process a shot when I take it - not that I always get what I expect.
James_G 7 166 5
2 Aug 2010 4:56PM
Personally, I love mono. It's stark and the composition of the pic becomes so much more important. Ade's right that sometimes colour becomes a distraction. The problem is that many people simply do not like black and white pix. Just look at EPZ. Load up a mono shot and you are guaranteed to get very low viewing figures and precious few clicks. (I know, I know, they shouldn't matter, but...) Sadly, black and white is now a minority interest, just when it becomes so much easier to get the right tone, contrast etc through software. Everyone claims to like b&w, but really oversaturated colour seems to mean that much more to people. I think it's fair to say that a horrribly over the top HDR colour image gets a better reaction on EPZ than poor old mono. Sad but true...
User_Removed 11 455 13 United Kingdom
2 Aug 2010 6:39PM

Quote:I think it's fair to say that a horrribly over the top HDR colour image gets a better reaction on EPZ than poor old mono.


Probably a reasonable assessment, but it is possibly just a matter of popular taste. The site caters for all sorts and inevitably the popular culture wins out.

East Enders has higher viewing figures than many I would consider 'better' programmes - but that's just my taste.

I like good Black & White work and there's a smaller group of people who are closely interested in it and some who enjoy and respond to some shots. I don't think that matters greatly.

I didn't expect lots of clicks on my recent upload of a German door handle but I got five lovely and much appreciated comments from people who clearly like it.

I'll keep posting what I enjoy, which is mostly but not exclusively B&W, and if a group like this can extend the interest of others then all well and good (and there are some B&W shots that get lots of votes). Smile

I would hope that a Group like this could extend interest in the genre a little. (And as much as I have not explored HDR a lot the HDR Group shows that it's not all over-saturated cliche.)
KenTaylor e2
10 3.0k 2 United Kingdom
2 Aug 2010 7:03PM

Quote:I would hope that a Group like this could extend interest in the genre a little.


All that needs is enthusiasm Wink

I have never tried HDR so I cant pass judgment. From what I have seen on here it needs very careful processing.
I have just posted a shot in B&W of an old pier and immediately can say it looks so boring as thumbnail.

My real passion is B&W printing.
Something to chew over and contemplate is a print exchange. Although I do realise that not so many have the desire or want to enter the world of B&W printing.
ade_mcfade e2
10 15.1k 216 England
2 Aug 2010 7:24PM
Here's today's shot

A street candid - shot from the hip, no idea whether I'd got the subject, I wasn't even looking at him when hit the shutter.

This kind of photography seems to appear as mono mainly - whether that's a fashion thing or not I do not know, but i certainly prefer it. In the colour version there were reds and greens behind him which would distract you straight away. Here's you're more drawn to the guy than you'd ever be with colour.
-mg-3068.jpg

WOW! The image leaps out at you. figuratively speaking, as it were.

I don't think it would have the same impact in colour.
StrayCat e2
10 15.5k 2 Canada
2 Aug 2010 8:54PM
Good one Ade. Excellent example of the effects of B/W.
User_Removed 11 455 13 United Kingdom
2 Aug 2010 8:55PM
Brilliantly caught - I think even shooting from the hip you need to know what you're doing.

The processing works a treat - strong sense of character.
User_Removed 11 455 13 United Kingdom
2 Aug 2010 9:17PM
I managed to get out for a while today, and have processed the same shot in two different ways to see what I can achieve. It's a shot of a boathouse on Horsey Mere in Norfolk, which I've photographed in the passed and had shot I was really please with. The sky today was more dramatic with storm clouds heading in.

First shot:
boathouse-as.jpg



Processed from a single raw shot - the most underexposed of a bracket of three and then into Photoshop and Silver Efex.

Second:
boathouse-o.jpg



Three shots 4/3 over and 4/3 under processed HDR in Oloneo and then into Photoshop and Silver Efex.

I think I prefer the HDR version - although there's not a lot in it. I might try a single file from the middle and see how that works.
Paul Morgan e2
13 16.1k 6 England
2 Aug 2010 9:25PM

Quote:A street candid - shot from the hip, no idea whether I'd got the subject, I wasn't even looking at him when hit the shutter


Why not Ade, your just leaving too much to chance.

Just another technique and not always shooting from the hip.


I prefer B&W to colour always have.

Been trying to get this shooting from hip thing out of my system, its more fun simply to walk up to people in the street and ask and set up a shot that looks natural.

p5262821.jpg



p7033585b.jpg



p7033592b.jpg



p5262835.jpg



Three of the above where set up, only one was taken as it happened.
User_Removed 11 455 13 United Kingdom
2 Aug 2010 10:06PM
Interesting collection Paul. Neither is a technique I've tried - street photography has not really been my thing, but I do like looking at it.

Only the last shot actually looks posed to me, but that doesn't mean its not the 'as it happened' shot (don't give the answer away too soon - if you intend to give it away at all).
ade_mcfade e2
10 15.1k 216 England
2 Aug 2010 11:38PM
I guess the counter argument is that if you set up something that looks natural, it isn't actually natural and you're getting a fake shot.

Depends what you're after

I see what you're suggesting more as portraiture than street photography because the subjects are in on the shoot.

I do what the guy in the movie does too - using a mix of techniques including a radio trigger in the pocket and the camera around the neck and shooting from the hip. It is indeed very hit and miss, the guy in the video gets 3 out of 100 that he posts on Flickr. If you're setting up shots, as you do with portraiture, then you should be getting higher hit rates - unless you're useless Wink

I'm not a purist on this - my whole aim in doing it is to capture something interesting on a day when I'm bored. I'll drive into town, use the camera candidly whilst walking between shops, then go home and see what I got. No qualms or themes or projects - it's just a creative addition to a mundane task like shopping Smile

and it looks better in black and white usually Smile

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