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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Still Life, B/W & Experimental 
Thread started 10 May 2012 (Thursday) 12:46
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What makes a good BW scene? How do you get the most out of it?

 
jerrywb48
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Location: New Mexico
     
May 10, 2012 12:46 |  #1

I haven't done many BW photos because I don't know what makes a good BW scene. When I saw this scene it seemed like it would make a good BW. I'm sure in the right hands it could be very good. But I just don't know what to do to get the most out of it.
I appreciate any advice.
1. This is the original out of the camera (I didn't shoot raw).

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2. After some minor pp, this is the conversion from PS Elements 7. Initially I didn't like this one because I remembered more contrast in the rocks and the black lava doesn't look black.
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3. So I played with the contrast and came up with this. I think I overdid it a bit.
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4. This is my attempt at trying something in between 2 and 3.
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After all that, now I like #2 best. It seems more bold and dramatic.
Any suggestions on what would make it better?
When I'm out walking around what should I look for to make a good BW photo?
Thanks for all feedback.
Jerry

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rick_reno
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May 10, 2012 21:57 |  #2

i look for a wide range of tones, and you want to pay attention to the boundaries (edges) of things in your photo.
I use Nik's Silver Efex plugin.




  
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Imaginary ­ Enemy
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May 10, 2012 22:00 |  #3

You need a good composition, also.


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jerrywb48
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May 10, 2012 22:23 |  #4

Rick, thanks for the tips.

Thanks for the honest comment Triple A.
Composition is definitely what I struggle with most.


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Imaginary ­ Enemy
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May 10, 2012 23:01 |  #5

No problem. Just spend some time studying what you see through your view finder. Maybe even set your camera to shoot in black and white.


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dscri001
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May 13, 2012 15:04 |  #6

I agree. For me black and white takes a little extra time to compose. I used to just simply pick and choose pictures and set to black and white. But when I started to look for good compositions, and started to plan my shots, I was able to get much better results.

Here's an example if you don't mind me sharing. I've stuck to the concept of emphasizing light more than anything with b&w.

IMAGE: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7016/6786402805_cc02a9d966_z.jpg

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Brian_R
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May 13, 2012 15:58 |  #7

great interesting light (like above) really make a b&w shot as well as a wide range of tones.

and of course composition but that goes for all shots




  
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jerrywb48
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May 14, 2012 16:03 |  #8

Thanks for the example dscri. That shot is great.
Like you said Brian, I've recently read about looking for the light.
Just like everything else, I need to get out and experiment and learn.


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What makes a good BW scene? How do you get the most out of it?
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