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Glen Orchy

By Bigpoolman
A tranquil scene from Glen Orchy in Scotland. Converted to Black and White in PS and slightly toned. Edited in a combination of LR,PS, and Camera Raw.

Rather enjoying playing around with monochrome and prefer this to the colour version.

Comments appreciated as always.


Tags: Scotland Glencoe Winter Landscape and travel Glenorchy 2017

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27 Dec 2017 7:11PM
This is a beautiful picture Tim, perfect in mono. Pam
paulbroad 13 131 1293 United Kingdom
27 Dec 2017 7:51PM
It is a fine scene but there is a tonal loss causing a largely mid grey image. It needs some impact and thus darken mid tones and burn in some areas. A crop will shift some of the light grey water and sky.

I think your conversion may have gone a little astray. Mono or colour? This works quite well but depends what the image is required for and most customers and libraries require colour as they can soon produce mono should they wish.

However, competition, exhibition and wall prints are a different issue and mono, given that impact, can often attract attention.

27 Dec 2017 8:30PM
Thanks Paul, not sure what happens between your computer and mine, it baffles me. I have double checked both the original and the jpeg and there is a full tonal range. The whites are just in and and the blacks likewise. Any further move in either direction results in either blown out highlights or total blacks.

I can readily see that your mod is more dramatic and catches the eye. Not sure that it represents the scene that I saw which was very pastel and gentle in colour and tone and I suppose that it depends on what we are trying to achieve. I really appreciate the contrasting view, I am looking for challenges here so thats great.


27 Dec 2017 8:31PM

thank you for your comment. I appreciate you looking and taking the time to respond


sawsengee 14 6 40 Malaysia
28 Dec 2017 5:42AM
Hi Tim, the scenic location is awesome with plenty of photo ops. After viewing your shot & the mod by Paul, I have uploaded a simple alternative. that is somewhere in-between the two by taking the following into consideration:
1. the lighting is soft with little contrast except the distant hills on the left which seemed "bleached" out but not reflected in its shadows on the water;
2. the bottom of the image seems a little murky dark at the border, could it be the sensor or any lens hood you might have used;
3. the sky opening on the left seemed a little burnt out, just a little;
So, I have selectively darkened the distant hills on the left, darken the mid range level on the sky, slight cropping on the bottom border & overall increase in contrast to the image. Again, any modification is based on personal taste & preferences, only you & you alone know the scene as you were there to capture it and not us. Hope you like the mod.
Best regards..... Merry Christmass & a Happy New Year to you. ee Grin
banehawi Plus
16 2.4k 4236 Canada
28 Dec 2017 6:24AM
Yep, I agree with Paul.

Ive uploaded some screen shots that might help explain what we and you see.

The range here would really require you to take two exposures, one for the sky, one for the land and combine.


mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.8k 2408 United Kingdom
28 Dec 2017 9:40AM
It's a difficult scene to convey in a 2-dimensional medium, we are not seeing the original but essentially a very large proportion of the frame - sky, water and the background on the left - falls into a fairly narrow tonal range. So the trees and the textures along the water's edge really need to contrast with all that, to provide relief from uniformity and to give a sense of structure, distance. Willie's mod does that for me.
paulbroad 13 131 1293 United Kingdom
28 Dec 2017 9:51AM
The histogram cannot be different from one computer to another. If you look at your original you will see that the curve is too far up the chart and the ends do not reach the bottom corners. Thus you are missing contrast in respect to both the black and white ends. Willies excellent screen shots show this clearly. Willies mod is the best one.

The bottom line is that if you like the end result, that's all that matters, but the histogram is not technically 'correct'.

28 Dec 2017 10:14AM
Thanks all, great feedback as always.

Can I explore the histogram technicalities so that I completely understand the point and am not talking at cross purposes?
In either Lightroom or Camera Raw I set the warnings to show clipping of both blacks and whites. I then alt-click (on a Mac) on the black slider and it shows the faintest of tiny speckles on the picture. If I then move the blacks darker this increases so, as I understand it, this tells me that I was at the limit without clipping blacks. The same process is repeated for the whites.
So thats what I mean when I say that there is a full tonal range and thats what I get when I look at the jpeg that I used to upload. Hence my confusion.
I appreciate that I can make the picture more contrasty to taste and I do like the various mods as well and take the comments on board.


dudler Plus
17 1.6k 1845 England
28 Dec 2017 10:16AM
Has something happened in the upload process? Tim - if you download from here for modification, is the histogram the same as the image you uploaded?

I rather suspect overprocessing, though i am not sure how or where: and I entirely understand the desire to render an undramatic tonal range without too much drama - so it is ironic that the original has lost detail in both shadows and highlights...

It would be interesting to see the colour original, I think.

Paul's mod is a rendering that would definitely tempt me - it's the way that one often want to see the world, even if it isn't accurate. Sawsengee's mod seems a little wiry and obviously digitally manipulated, though the tonal changes are well thought through.
28 Dec 2017 10:38AM

Good suggestion, I have now downloaded the image and opened it in PS and then Camera Raw to check it and its the same as my original - any movement in black or white sliders results in clipping.



banehawi Plus
16 2.4k 4236 Canada
28 Dec 2017 6:26PM
You have a full tonal range as mentioned, but its the value and position that can be tweaked. Very weak on the lower, left side showing only absolute dark tones in trees, but the image isnt doing anything for the sky. Hence a two exposure shot. In this you have a vast amount of mid greys, and a small amount of back, That can look bland. You eye would have seen it qute differently at the time.

Nice to see the colour?
banehawi Plus
16 2.4k 4236 Canada
29 Dec 2017 2:18AM
Tks for the priginal. Quiote a dull scene for sure. The histogram has a lot more going on on the left; its perhaps a funstion of converting to mono thats intrudiced some issues.

Ive tried a mod of the colour, - much the same approach as before, and a mono thats really a lot moodier than the original scene
dudler Plus
17 1.6k 1845 England
29 Dec 2017 12:06PM
Your original is lovely, though underexposed. It has the look of an old painting, in need of cleaning....

My mod simply brightens, and holds back the highlights - making it an understated, gentle landscape, I hope. Mono Yes, but the colours are lovely...
29 Dec 2017 4:23PM
Willie / John

Thanks for taking the time to do the extra mods and comments. I do like the colour mods in particular. I see a lot of black and white shots that I think are really overdone on the dark moody look, much as I like it when its applicable, and I have probably overcompensated for that by upping the shadows too much in my first offering.

You're quite right that this original version was somewhat underexposed, I did retake it a couple of times to get the histogram further to the right. Think I preferred the cloud shapes in this one which was why I used it, maybe not a good plan.

All always, loads of food for thought and I appreciate all the comments and the time taken to make them.



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