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St Pauls

By sweetpea62
I am trying to learn Mono, but do not know how to get the best effects and tones...Lin..This was taken behind glass 32 floors high

Tags: General Architecture

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.


NaturesHaven 6 283 6 England
9 Nov 2013 8:16PM
Works very well in mono....well done..............GrinGrinGrin

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Caziwinkles 5 3 1 United Kingdom
9 Nov 2013 8:17PM have done a VERY good job here Lin!! Fantastic!
Lots of variation and subtleties in tones and textures adding depth to this image. Smile
AnneB50 6 118 18 Scotland
9 Nov 2013 8:24PM
There are plenty of tones and contrast here Lin, what software do use as this will help others offer you the best advice. I use Lightroom mostly and the different tones are achieved via the colour sliders as well as highlights shadows and contrasts. Plus of course lots of experimentation and practice. I don't know about Photoshop though.

gary_d 10 576 13 Wales
9 Nov 2013 8:30PM
I am no expert when it comes to mono either but it looks pretty good to me. - gary
morpheus1955 11 3 2 United Kingdom
9 Nov 2013 8:31PM
Superb image Lin, great capture, looks fine to me like it a lot

9 Nov 2013 8:33PM
Anne I use Capture NX2..Lin
cabbie Plus
11 31 United Kingdom
9 Nov 2013 8:33PM
You've just proved you can do it works very well Lin

netta1234 6 382 2 Wales
9 Nov 2013 8:50PM
This is a great mono imageSmileSmileSmileSmile
Mollycat Plus
4 11 2 United Kingdom
9 Nov 2013 8:52PM
Think you've succeeded. Grin Peter.
Philip_H 6 1 United Kingdom
9 Nov 2013 8:53PM
Great looking skyline, Lin.

Daisymaye Plus
9 23 16 Canada
9 Nov 2013 9:17PM
For starters in mono I enjoy playing with colour filters. It's amazing how that can change mono images by bringing out tones and detail. I find it can be more difficult with sky. It can make it too grainy and leaves a halo many times. This is very good.
9 Nov 2013 9:19PM
I think that you are in the right path to success in monochrome photography!
pks 14 2 England
9 Nov 2013 9:34PM
great mono shot well taken

9 Nov 2013 10:33PM
Thank you all for your comments and advice..Lin
9 10 10 England
9 Nov 2013 10:36PM
I cannot be of any help Lin - but to me you seem to have the right idea as this image has a good range of tones and good detail.
mrswoolybill Plus
11 1.2k 1929 United Kingdom
9 Nov 2013 10:47PM
Could you please let us know what software you used for the conversion?
A couple of points - simply as a composition it's a bit cramped for me, and that creates a sort of model village feel. It doesn't convey the scale of the buildings. That may be intentional.
So far as the b&w is concerned, you have a good tonal range in the buildings, what lets it down for me is the sky, which has a muddy look. That's the curse of digital b&w. I want to add a bit of brightness there, to give a sense of luminosity, and airiness. I'll try a Mod...
Irishkate Plus
7 41 114 United Kingdom
9 Nov 2013 11:42PM
Mono can't be learned in a day.
It does need practise.
You have taken this in RAW which is good.
I think the whites are blown a bit - you should be able to see detail
in shadows and in the whites. St. Paul's does look overexposed.
If you use Photshop or Elements you should convert to mono not desaturate.
Then use the colour sliders to adjust each colour in the image.
Go back to Levels, hold down the Alt key and check the right hand side of slider - the screen will show up
any areas which are blown in white. Similarly hold Alt key and check the blacks at the left handside.
Ideally you should have a full tonal range with a little white and a little black and every tone in between.
You can rescue the blown areas a little by using the burn highlights tool and bring back detail in shadows by burning
the shadows.
banehawi Plus
14 1.8k 3894 Canada
10 Nov 2013 3:05AM
Upload the colour version of this if you still have it. You can load it right here, click the modifications tab, then upload a modification tab, then select the colour version and upload.

Its only then we can comment on what can be done, how to do it, and provide help.

tell us what editing software you have, and how you converted this one too please. Also provide all you shot settings.


ddolfelin Plus
6 103 3 Wales
10 Nov 2013 5:06AM
I think you have come a fair way with this, Lin.
Lovely shot with good detail.
CarolG 11 199 20 Greece
10 Nov 2013 5:40AM
I cannot believe that this is London, Lin, I would never recognise it now Smile An excellent presentation. Carol
Love it Lin Grin
Julie x
10 Nov 2013 1:49PM
You are well on track, Lin Smile A nice range of grey tones in this image.

paulbroad 10 123 1250 United Kingdom
10 Nov 2013 2:35PM
A well seen and processed image with good tones. You do not need to buy or obtain any conversion software if you already have a decent image processing package. It does not need to be the full Photoshop, either.

You need access to a channel mixer. A colour image is made up of three colours. Red, green and blue. You need access to these three channels to adjust to a mono tonal range that suites the image. There are millions of colour variations and only 256 shades for mono, so you must try and mlve the grey tones around to provide separation whilst remaining natural.

That is why photographers used to use coloured filters when shooting black and white. The colour used passed it's own colour whilst reducing the effect of it's complimentaries.

Thus you load the colour image, then open the channel mixer, checking the mono button. Move the RGB sliders to achieve the mono tones you require. Some advanced channel mixers may also have sliders for the complimentaries too, cyan, magenta and yellow.

It is advised to try and keep the tonal values totalling 100, but that is just a guideline. Do what works.

Finally, make sure you choose images which look right in mono. I think, for example, that natural history needs colour, sunsets need colour, street photography and news can look best in mono.

banehawi Plus
14 1.8k 3894 Canada
11 Nov 2013 10:17PM
Thanks for uploading the original colour.

The shot is interesting. I wonder if it was shot through a window? The reason I ask is that there is a light cross shape in the sky, just over the Gherkin building> Its a lot more apparent in the mono conversion which I loaded as mod2.

So a little work on the original colour loaded as mod1. Mainly contrast, and reduction of highlights. Nothing terribly wrong with the original though, - nice light.

Mod2 is a conversion from mod1. Its a duo tone done in Photoshop after a straight mono conversion. As you can see in this, that cross in the sky is more visible, and the sky upper right is a little odd, - hence the window question. I would really like this if the sky was a little cleaner.

Your mono had had a red, yellow of green filter used in the process which makes the brighter yellow building almost white.



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