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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Critique Corner 
Thread started 26 Feb 2009 (Thursday) 12:43
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What makes a Black & White shot a good one ?

 
yb98
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Feb 26, 2009 12:43 |  #1

I'm starting to be interested by B&W shots and I'm wondering how to know if a B&W pic is a good one or not ? Is there a good web site which explains this ?
Example: between the following 2 pics which one is better and why ?

IMAGE: http://www.limsi.fr/~bellik/BW1.jpg

IMAGE: http://www.limsi.fr/~bellik/BW2.jpg

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griptape
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Feb 26, 2009 12:48 |  #2

They're far too similar to say one way or the other. They both offer the same mood/tone/content/over​all shot.




  
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exposurecontrol
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Feb 26, 2009 19:56 |  #3

Well, the first one holds my attention longer..primarily because of its higher contrast. Seems to enhance details in the riverbank and rocks.


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lonelyjew
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Feb 26, 2009 20:08 |  #4

There is no simple rule for what makes one picture "better" than another. Different things are good for different pictures. Different levels of brightness and contrast can be used to convey different moods. It's up to you to use lighting(after all photography comes from Greek words that translate to drawing with light) to give your picture the feel you'd like it to have.

If you want an example I used high contrast to make the picture harsh; I wanted to accentuate debris and the destruction. At least that's what I was going for.

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Here harsh contrast and lighting would have probably not fit the mood of the picture.
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Regardless, better is a subjective word and its really, in the end, up to you whether you think the picture is good or not

edit*
Oh, and as far as the two you posted the first is better, the second is overexposed.

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RAPhotography
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Feb 26, 2009 20:12 |  #5

griptape wrote in post #7411916 (external link)
They're far too similar to say one way or the other. They both offer the same mood/tone/content/over​all shot.

+1 . . . the difference is way too subtle.




  
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Laffctx
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Feb 26, 2009 20:27 |  #6

I do prefer the 1st one best.




  
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iamthaley
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Feb 26, 2009 21:37 |  #7

i don't know if things are different between b&w film and b&w digital but...

with b&w film printing, you always want a "maximum black" and a "paper based white", but you still want to have detail in them. you also want a nice contrast so that the image doesn't look flat.

i think you accomplished it nicely with both the images you posted actually. you've got nice shadows under the rocks (creating maximum black) that lead your eye to the ducks (which look like a paper based white). plus you still have detail in both areas.

i personally like the first one more though.. it seems like there's a little more contrast in the trees and water.

i hope that helps answer your q's!!!




  
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Robert_Lay
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Feb 26, 2009 22:46 |  #8

The second shot suffers from blown out highlights.


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yb98
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Feb 26, 2009 23:02 |  #9

Thanks everyone for the useful answers.
I have used B&W picture style in DPP to generate both pics. The difference is that I have used the DPP's green filter in the first one and the DPP's red filter in the second one.


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Feb 28, 2009 21:39 |  #10

I think I have become jaded to what my mind sees as B&W, I like the capture allot but it fells flat to me so I played around a bit with some dodging and burning and hit it with a few self made B&W actions. I hope you enjoy.


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yb98
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Mar 01, 2009 00:56 |  #11

Thanks chukw for the attempt. But it looks a little dark on my screen (too much black in the pic ?). Is it what you wanted to do or is it just my screen ?


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Robert_Lay
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Mar 01, 2009 14:28 |  #12

I still think the first image from yb98 is the best of the lot.


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What makes a Black & White shot a good one ?
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