Ad
Ad
Ad
Pages: [1]   Bottom of Page
Print
Author Topic: few b&w's  (Read 1409 times)
SJ.Butel
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 36


« on: August 03, 2010, 08:30:13 PM »
ReplyReply

Hey,
Here are some B&W trees.  Two from the last two weekends, third is a bit older.  

If you have any suggestions, perhaps on what you would of done differently or improvements to my b&w conversion feel free to add them.  I relies they won't be to everyone's taste but i would still like to hear opinions on different ways of doing things.

btw i would also quickly like to again thank LL, it's article contributers and the forum members.  It's looking like i might have my first landscape gallery (in a small town though) in october and nothing has helped me improve more than reading this site  over the past few years (and more recently posting) . Cheers!    

Logged
wolfnowl
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5698



WWW
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2010, 01:07:42 AM »
ReplyReply

I like the first one, but if it was me I'd be tempted to increase the brightness a tad.  I think I can see what you were trying to achieve with the second one, but to me the result is too lop-sided.  All of the 'weight' of the image is on the right edge.  I would have photographed the entire tree, if possible.  The third one is interesting, but I can't get past trying to figure out what's in the field beside that dead tree...

Mike.
Logged

If your mind is attuned to beauty, you find beauty in everything.
~ Jean Cooke ~


My Flickr site / Random Thoughts and Other Meanderings at M&M's Musings
John R Smith
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1357


Still crazy, after all these years


« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2010, 02:37:32 AM »
ReplyReply

Steve

Mike, as usual, is a perceptive critic. What you have here is one OK-ish picture, one quite nice picture, and one which could be an absolute cracker. So, #2 is just never going to work because the composition is not happening. #3 is quite nice, but as Mike says the stump beside the tree is distracting (nothing you could do about that) and the shot is a bit routine (the "solitary tree" pic).

However, #1 is very "Ansel", and no harm in that. There is a somewhat similar picture of his of a dust storm at Manzanar. But it also needs an Ansel treatment with some cunning burns and dodges, so that the tonal values start to work better. In particular, the mist through the centre needs to come up in value, without losing the dark values in the trees. This could be quite bright. Then, I would think a little more about the sky. It would be nice to have a little more cloud detail if possible, and only then grad the top of the frame quite dark. A more gradual tonal transition here would be good. Last, I would think about the foreground. It does need to be quite low in value, as you have it, but I would be tempted to increase the contrast there so that the dark lines (hedges? fences?) really separate and become useful leading lines and a functional part of the composition. Then you can think about the finer points and detail stuff, like perhaps a bit more contrast in the mountain range, some corner burns, etc.

John
« Last Edit: August 04, 2010, 02:45:12 AM by John R Smith » Logged

Hasselblad 500 C/M, SWC and CFV-39 DB
and a case full of (very old) lenses and other bits
Chairman Bill
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1434


« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2010, 03:27:27 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: John R Smith
... it also needs an Ansel treatment with some cunning burns and dodges, so that the tonal values start to work better ...

Took the words right out of my mouth. A too limited palette of tones is the problem. Otherwise, a very nice shot.
Logged
Eric Myrvaagnes
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 7789



WWW
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2010, 09:30:12 AM »
ReplyReply

The other critics covered it very well. I'll just add a suggestion that you look at Mitch Dobrowner's website (here) to get a good idea of the kinds of tones to try for in your first shot, which I agree is a first rate image. In the third, you might be able to get rid of the stump in CS5 with the "content-aware fill." I think the shot has potential, but not as much as the first.

Eric

Logged

-Eric Myrvaagnes

http://myrvaagnes.com  Visit my website. New images each season.
SJ.Butel
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 36


« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2010, 11:00:59 PM »
ReplyReply

Very helpful, thanks everyone for taking the time to reply.

About the first one,
yes i seem have trouble with getting the tones correct when it comes to fog (for instance I was advised in this thread by tokengirl as well).

After having a look at the link supplied by Eric and trying to follow advice given, this is what i came up with.

From the first post image i

In lightroom I
Increased overall brightness slightly
Increased contrast and decreased exposure slightly on the adjustment brush i had made on the sheep track & hill to right
Decreased brightness alittle further on the adj brush in bottom corners
Added some contrast adj brushes with low flow to hills & lower sky
Added another smaller grad filter with darker grad
Used the curves dropper to select the fog and increased exposure slightly (in hopes of  increasing patchy fog)

exported to PS
using highlights dodged in the fog around the trees
Dodged in areas of the lower clouds in mid tonnes & high
Burned in the thistles that run across the center of the image

Back in LR
Added large Adj brush to increase exposure slightly to the upper center of sky



If anyone has any suggestions on areas that they think i overdone/underdone or just plain screwd, i would appreciate if you let me know.












Logged
wolfnowl
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5698



WWW
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2010, 11:44:11 PM »
ReplyReply

It definitely has more of an ethereal quality now and I like it much better, but I'd be tempted to tone it down a little bit.  What the B&W equivalent of 'neon'?    

Mike.
Logged

If your mind is attuned to beauty, you find beauty in everything.
~ Jean Cooke ~


My Flickr site / Random Thoughts and Other Meanderings at M&M's Musings
SJ.Butel
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 36


« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2010, 12:08:53 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: wolfnowl
It definitely has more of an ethereal quality now and I like it much better, but I'd be tempted to tone it down a little bit.  What the B&W equivalent of 'neon'?    

Mike.
Thanks Mike,
Just to clarify, do you mean tone down the overall adjustments i made or a certain area, like the fog?
Logged
John R Smith
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1357


Still crazy, after all these years


« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2010, 02:39:26 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: SteveButel
Just to clarify, do you mean tone down the overall adjustments i made or a certain area, like the fog?

Steve

You are doing really well, IMHO, but not quite there. What you need to do now is back off on the luminance of the mist layer, which is too high now (I know I did say it could be quite bright, but I didn't mean quite that bright), and bring up the brightness level of the rest of the image just a touch. Particularly in the foreground, if this were lighter then the leading lines could be darker and hence more effective. But less is more, remember. Your sky is greatly improved, I had a feeling that there was more to come in the clouds. But why have you lost the two lighter clouds just above the horizon line? They were crucial to your original print. All of this is a matter of personal taste and opinion, of course. There is no absolute right and wrong in this game, just choices.

Something that I find very helpful is that at the end of my evening editing session I will print out a little workprint of the stage which I have reached (say 6x4 ins or A6). I take this downstairs, and just leave it propped up on the kitchen table. Then during the course of the next day I can just consider it while having a cup of coffee, eating lunch etc. It is surprising how many faults I see when I am not welded to the computer screen.

If you enjoy this sort of landscape work you cannot do better than to read (or re-read) Ansel Adam's "The Print". Of course this is all about wet darkroom work, but the basic principles of of good B/W printing have not changed, and his insights and advice regarding tonal values are just as valid now as they ever were.

While I'm here, perhaps I could mention another point or two. Firstly, stay in LR if you can unless you absolutely have to do something in PS. Then, as you know, you can alter any of these edits without affecting the rest of your work, so you can always go back and change your mind. This is the huge benefit of parametric editing. Secondly, you are obviously skilled and comfortable with the use of the editing functions in the software, so that is not your problem. I suspect that the reason for your difficulty with this image is that you had no clear concept at the start of your editing of how you wanted the picture to look. This is what Ansel called "pre-visualisation". This is something which you have to develop, and that only comes with time, but is really essential. It begins before the moment of exposure, when you see the light, the subject, and the composition. And it is something which you have to carry all the way through the process, so that the final print does indeed represent what you "saw and felt".

Well, I didn't really mean to come on like some aged guru with a long white beard. It is all too easy for me to pontificate about the weaknesses in other people's work, and be completely blind to the crap that I myself turn out all too often. I would not like to count the long hours I have spent in the darkroom or in front of a PC doing yet another dodge or burn in the hope that something would come out great, when all I was doing was polishing a turd. Your picture is certainly not a turd, it is a lovely shot, so take heart and you will get there.  

John
« Last Edit: August 05, 2010, 09:00:40 AM by John R Smith » Logged

Hasselblad 500 C/M, SWC and CFV-39 DB
and a case full of (very old) lenses and other bits
Eric Myrvaagnes
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 7789



WWW
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2010, 09:42:07 AM »
ReplyReply

I'll second everything that John has said, especially about having a small print lying around for a while. Sometimes it takes me a month or more to figure out what a print really needs. One day I look at it again and suddenly it becomes obvious.

Even Ansel sometimes reprinted old images years later, and usually the newer prints were better than the originals (but not always).

Your image is worth coming back to many times. Give it a week and then show us another version.

Eric

Logged

-Eric Myrvaagnes

http://myrvaagnes.com  Visit my website. New images each season.
SJ.Butel
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 36


« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2010, 05:49:28 PM »
ReplyReply

Thanks guys, can't say how much i appreciate the help.   All the suggestions listed(and more) in the image now stick out to me like a sore thumb when i look at it this morning.

I think the idea behind the fog looking quite bright and glowing in parts came from the picture "center dome" 14/30 of Mitch Dobrowers but I see that i need to get my own vision for the overall picture and that it needs to be more consistent with the rest of the dodging/burning i do thought the image.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2010, 06:32:57 PM by SteveButel » Logged
Pages: [1]   Top of Page
Print
Jump to:  

Ad
Ad
Ad