Wednesday, January 6, 2010

One Image, Two Views


Inspired by other photographers, online and in real life, I've been playing more with black & white photography. It appears so simple, yet can easily become complicated. There must be a dozen and one different techniques to create a black and white image.

This is another image from one of my Cheadle Lake walks. The original is a bad image, with an ugly, muddy background, and blown highlights. But I like the composition, and I like the subject. (Perhaps the better option is to return and shoot another image with better light and correct exposure.)

Ive been playing with gradient maps in photoshop. It's a technique I learned from a website link that Mike sent me. It's an interesting technique and it gives some intriguing control over the image. I've had better success with some other images, but it did a lot to salvage this one. I like the post and chain in the foreground, but the background is a lost cause. (Yes, definitely need to reshoot.) I've left just a hint of color to this image.

 On the other end of the spectrum, there is color and lots of it. Sometimes I see something in an image that just begs to be oversaturated. (Really, I don't hear voices...mostly.) This is a portion of the same image, highly saturated, heavily clipped and rotated. As a composition, I love how it turned out. It may even make banner status one of these days. It has the right proportions.

More of my b&w photography

6 comments:

  1. BlueKat:

    I am from the old school of photography. B&W to me is using film and developing the negatives myself. I have darkroom equipment and enlargers to do my own printing. I also do my own framing and mounting.
    I find that with digital B&W you don't get max D-max. I think the only printer that can come close to printing good B&W is the Epson 3800

    bob
    bobskoot: wet coast scootin

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  2. Nice experiment Kari! I like doing B&W and with the gradient map method you have a lot of control. As Bobskoot says, film is good too but it's more work. Photoshop is a breeze in comparison. Next time you're in NW Portland, go to Pro Photo Supply and look at the B&W's on the walls.

    I like the roughness of the post and chain in the B&W. And the color shot is not oversaturated IMHO. The color is nice and rusty. The slight amount of vegetation adds to it too.

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  3. I'm finding that lighting and texture are the two things that contribute to the quality of a good B & W.

    Listen to the voices. It adds to the adventure.

    The background seems fine. Looking at it, I find the items in the foreground are more distinct. A clearer background might take away from that. Unless you had another idea for the background?

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  4. Hi Bob
    Wow, you can take it from start to finish! I did some photography and darkroom work back in high school (not that I was a good student). I didn't like developing the negs, but making prints was fun. And there's something about being "hands on" with real materials, that is missing with digital/photoshop.

    I still have my old minolta that was my graduation present. I was using it until I went digital in 2003. Might be fun to dig it out again.

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  5. Thanks Mike,
    I agree it does allow for a nice degree of control. Have you clicked on some of the color gradients? You can get some wild effects that way. Think 70's psychodelic :)

    My co-worker (photographer) loves pro-photo. I've wanted to go there, but I hate driving in the big city - Especially downtown. (Sheesh! and you ride a bike there!)

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  6. Hi Irondad,
    Yes, I'm starting to notice that too. The right light & nice contrast. Some images turn muddy when converted, others pop.

    I didn't have any ideas on the background other than I just don't like it. Overall I think it looks too harsh. I didn't like the light that day, and I guess that's what I see in the background-harsh light bouncing back at me. I need to go back early in the morning when the light is better.

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