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Pensive Mono

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Thanks for the critique Keith (Dark_Lord). As suggested here is an updated version of my previous shot (colour) - mono-fied and cropped slightly.
All constructive critiques are sincerely appreciated.
Stox

Brand:Sony
Camera:Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W35
Recording media:JPEG (digital)
Date Taken:20 May 2010 - 11:54 AM
Focal Length:6.3mm
Lens Max Aperture:f/2.8
Aperture:f/2.8
Shutter Speed:1/80sec
Exposure Comp:0.0
ISO:100
Exposure Mode:Program AE
Metering Mode:Multi-segment
Flash:On, Red-eye reduction, Return detected
White Balance:Auto
Title:Pensive Mono
Username:Stoxpix Stoxpix
Uploaded:1 Dec 2013 - 6:42 AM
Tags:Black & white, Portraits / people
VS Mode Rating 97 (27.27% won)
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Comments

This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.
paulbroad
paulbroad  681 forum posts United Kingdom842 Constructive Critique Points
1 Dec 2013 - 9:21 AMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

The flash has balanced nicely with the ambient through the window. I think I would just lift the contrast a touch and lighten some shadows abit with the dodge tool. How are you converting to mono? There are various ways but that with most control within most image editors is the channel mixer. There you can control how much of each colour channel goes into each shade of grey.

Paul

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Stoxpix
1 Dec 2013 - 10:47 AM

Thanks Paul. I edited with Picasa which pretty much does it all for you. Coming from an AV background, l'm just now getting into stills. Quite a steep learning curve!
Cheers
Stox

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mrswoolybill
mrswoolybill Critique Team 7394 forum postsmrswoolybill vcard United Kingdom968 Constructive Critique Points
1 Dec 2013 - 2:37 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

Hi Brian, welcome to the Critique Gallery, I think this is your first upload here. It's a good place to learn, particularly when you are exploring new territory.

I've been back to your portfolio, it's a very attractive portrait, nicely balanced and with life in the eyes. I like the idea of b&w here as the pink gilet draws attention away from the face in colour. Not sure about the crop though, this is a bit too 50/50 for my taste, with a strong line running down the middle. I prefer the off-set effect of the original, and the breadth of view that it allows her to gaze out at.

What this does need is a slight rotation clockwise.

I've taken the liberty of downloading the original, and I shall try my own conversion. As Paul mentions, use colour channels if you have them, in an image such as this you need to watch that skin tones don't come out as muddy-looking. Women's faces need clarity, luminosity.

It's important too to check the light balance after you have converted to b&w. A perfectly balanced colour image will not necessarily convert to a perfect b&w. B&W, unlike colour, almost always needs hints at least of true black, for depth, and true white, for vitality, sparkle. Always check the histogram after conversion, and adjust as necessary.

I'll upload a Mod in a little while.
Moira
Moira

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pamelajean
pamelajean Critique Team 8752 forum postspamelajean vcard United Kingdom1578 Constructive Critique Points
1 Dec 2013 - 4:30 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

I agree that mono works best for this image, Brian, as it tends to enhance the emotional substance. Mono conveys the simple, raw emotion of people in a way that colour can't. It's good for bringing a story into a shot.

For some reason, I didn't notice the lady's reflection in the window until I saw Moira's modification.

I kept being drawn to the overhead light just above the lady's head, so I took Moira's mod and simply cleaned the top left corner so that there is nothing to distract the eye from the face (see my mod).

Pamela.

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banehawi
banehawi Critique Team 10781 forum postsbanehawi vcard Canada2797 Constructive Critique Points
1 Dec 2013 - 4:47 PM

Down load Gimp. Much better product and also free.


Willie

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banehawi
banehawi Critique Team 10781 forum postsbanehawi vcard Canada2797 Constructive Critique Points
1 Dec 2013 - 5:13 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

Im not convinced that mono is better, - its different.

Going back to the original upload, I have taken that and modified it before mono conversion. What I notice in the original, though quite a good shot, is that the face is lacking in detail, due to low contrast, and not enough sharpening, though the eyes sparkle well.

I do like the crop, but the original wide version also works just as well.

Leveling does also introduce problems too though, as this is a wide angle shot. Using the pole in the train as a reference throws the apartment building off, so need for care. I would tend to have the centre line vertical. I did try lens distortion correction, but it doesnt do much.

So, mod1 is the original, cropped as this one is, mid tone contrast increased, sharpening, and colour saturation reduced significantly. Ive made an attempt at getting the building and the post straighter, may not be spot on. Mod2 is a toned mono version of Mod1. Removed that spot on the window.

I expect reflections in windows, and lights in trains, so for me its optional if you want to address these areas.

View all mods LARGE


regards


Willie

Last Modified By banehawi at 1 Dec 2013 - 5:13 PM

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dark_lord
dark_lord Critique Team 101448 forum postsdark_lord vcard England123 Constructive Critique Points
2 Dec 2013 - 8:36 PM

Just catching up with everyone, so apologies for a late reply Smile

Good to see you tried the mono approach.
I agree about the increased contrast, perhaps I should have mentioned that in my original comment, but I didn't know how well acquainted you are or are not with mono conversion. Still, plenty of advice and food for thought given here.

Keith

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