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Golden Gate Bridge black and white

By Kerro
Trying something different to plain old colour photos

Tags: Black and white Golden Gate Bridge San Francisco CA

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dudler Plus
19 1.9k 1947 England
13 Jan 2017 3:43PM
Hi, Kerrigan, and welcome to the Critique Gallery.

You've been a member for a few weeks, and this is your first upload here. In case you missed it elsewhere, the deal in this Galelry is that you don't get any votes or awards, but you will get feedback. The more focussed your description (and possibly questions), the better we can tailor our comments to your needs.

Here, you've simply said you're trying something different from colour - and I applaud that, as I use B/W a good deal, and even shoot and process monochrome film. It's a good medium, and puts the emphasis on form, shape, texture and light.

What I see is a nicely composed, technically sound picture, which has been quite heavily processed, including a dark vignette and softening at the top. That's a pity - the definition everywhere else is amazing, including the wires above the main suspension cables!

Looking at the histogram, you've completely lost shadow detail in some areas, and I'd quite like to see the velvety variations that fuller exposure and pulling the tones down later would give.

Could you post the original, either as a variant, if you're able, or as your own Modification to this picture? Also, some information on how you did the B/W concersion would be good - there may be alternative suggestions that we can make for doing the conversion.

And I keep coming back to a gripping view of an iconic structure - with the perfect geometry that I (and a good few people I know) find deeply satisfying. All those vertical cables are, indeed, vertical, and that's painstaking and excellent.
paulbroad Plus
15 131 1294 United Kingdom
13 Jan 2017 4:28PM
Completely with John, above. The basis of a first class image, but very over processed at the top for some reason. I wonder why you went that far because it is very obviously not natural.

A it under exposed too, giving a slightly dark image. Don't think you needed that negative compensation. i'm not convinced mono is best for this - it is quite interesting in a way but the image is a nicely composed pictorial record and record, to me, in this day and age is colour.

As I often say, personal preference.

banehawi Plus
18 2.7k 4314 Canada
13 Jan 2017 10:44PM
Would like to see the original also.
mrswoolybill Plus
15 3.3k 2536 United Kingdom
14 Jan 2017 9:34AM
A warm welcome from me too. You have good feedback above. I would just add that a little more space at the top of the frame and less dark vignetting would allow the structure to soar. Here it looks rather cramped, constricted.

You're looking for mood, the spirit of the place. That's something that I appreciate.
Kerro 5 Australia
14 Jan 2017 1:15PM
Thanks guys and girls for your feedback. It is truely appreciated. I was just trying something different as I like good black and white images too.
When I took the photo, in a carpark at the Not SF end of the bridge, the bus driver said, you have 2 minutes to get as many photos as you can. This is one of them. I will upload the colour version for you tomorrow.

dudler Plus
19 1.9k 1947 England
14 Jan 2017 5:21PM
You can upload as a version of this picture, so as to avoid using up a daily picture for a version...
Kerro 5 Australia
14 Jan 2017 8:26PM
Guys, I have put the original, as before I black and whited it. Just cropped and sharpened in PS.
When I took the picture, I only had my long lens and of course being so close to the bridge couldn't get the whole thing in.
I have learned since then, that I always take my 28mm - 85mm with me too.
I welcome your feedback.

dudler Plus
19 1.9k 1947 England
15 Jan 2017 8:13AM
Thanks for the original.

I've done a much brighter B/W conversion from your colour file, using the Nik Efex full dynamic range filter (Nik's now a free download form Google - I paid around 80 for it 18 months back...)

I wanted to bring out the lovely detail in the hillside on the left, which is largely lost in your much darker conversion (which may also have been done with Nik, or a similar plugin, I realise!)

Dark can be good, but this shot is all about detail (and your technique and gear have given plenty of that), so it seems ot me to be worth celebrating that detail. I can imagine this as an Ansel Adams style picture, shot on slow 10"x8" film, and meticulously processed so that every blade of grass is visible - and your image is not so far short of that level of detail!

Thanks again for both the picture and the conversation. It makes critique feel worthwhile when there's a real dialogue.
Kerro 5 Australia
15 Jan 2017 11:41AM

Thanks for the critique on my GGB photos. I like what you did with the colour version.
It is much appreciated and helps to know what I've done wrong so I won't make the same mistake.
I also enjoyed the conversation side with you too. Please keep in touch as I need all the help I can get....

dudler Plus
19 1.9k 1947 England
15 Jan 2017 1:14PM
It's not about right and wrong, so much as giving you options, and suggesting interpretations. There are circumstances when a dark, moody and heavily vignetted version will be absolutely right.

I've enjoyed the conversation, too - and I'll be keeping in touch as you post more pictures!

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