First attempts at digital B&W

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by jake.f, Sep 4, 2009.

  1. jake.f macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    Location:
    NSW, Australia
    #1
    Hi all,
    Today I decided to shoot some RAW images in my backyard because the 450D's jpegs leave much to be desired. I decided to also do a full PP in adobe camera RAW and thought some might look good as Black and White. So after spending hours this week developing B&W pics in the darkroom at school I had a go at digital. Let me know what you think.

    1. Used flash on this so I could get proper exposure.
    [​IMG]

    2. Dropped the saturation down a bit to get a faint colour.
    [​IMG]

    3. Lucky this was RAW because the stairs were almost black
    [​IMG]

    4. This turned out better then i thought because it was shot blind
    [​IMG]

    5.
    [​IMG]

    6.
    [​IMG]

    Anyway hope you can give me some opinions no matter how critical and edits are also ok.
    Thanks
     
  2. PimpDaddy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 9, 2007
    #2
    First of all I would recommend that you take some pictures of stuff just a little bit more interesting.

    These are just a bunch of B&W pictures? Were you going for a special B&W look or anything like that?


    IMO right now you should work more on improving your overall photography skills than using too much time on PP. Not saying that you shouldn't learn to PP at all but PP can't save a picture that hasn't got 'it' from the beginning.

    Just my 2 cents.
     
  3. Acsom macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2009
    #3
    My opinion:

    I am captivated by the textures in the first two. I'm not sure about the composition in the first one, it seems off and my eye gets pulled in different directions, but I find it interesting anyhow. The second one, my opinion is that everything is right. The desaturation, great choice; better than going all out monochrome. That plus the low contrast bring out the weathered and worn aspects of the subject.

    The lines and angles do nothing for me, sorry. They don't go anywhere, they don't do anything, they're just lines and angles.

    ALL of the shots were worth it to get the second one, which to me is an outstanding photograph. Such is the nature of photography.


    Regarding anything I write... remember, I'm not qualified to do anything more than point a camera and type on a keyboard. But I really like that second shot, a lot.
     
  4. Doylem macrumors 68040

    Doylem

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    Location:
    Wherever I hang my hat...
  5. luminosity macrumors 65816

    luminosity

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    Location:
    Arizona
    #5
    Digital black and white can be very compelling. As always, though, you just have to have good subjects.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. qpawn macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2003
    Location:
    California
    #6
    You cut off too much of Brad Pitt's head. :p
     
  7. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Location:
    Over there------->
    #7
    To me B&W treatments demand a lot more of a photograph because they are so reductive. Contrast, tonality, and texture become all the more important, as does composition. These qualities can make your subjects a lot more interesting.

    And as with color photographs, good light is what you want to capture (your #2 really suffers from bad light--try it again at a different time of day when there's some light there).

    I think the old car holds lots of potential for a B&W photo, but you really need to work on what you want us to see about the car (which probably isn't the distracting fence beyond it), and then find a composition that gives your idea the most visual energy. Decide where you want the eye to call "home base" in the frame, and make sure all other elements play a supporting role (without competing or distracting). If there is a time of day when your composition would be getting better light, shoot then. Use flash when there simply is no way to get better natural light.

    When you've done all of that, ask yourself if this photo really needs to be in B&W. Is it stronger that way? Is the color itself distracting? Sometimes dumping the color takes the power out of a distracting element and therefore improves a photograph. But if the photo has some rich hues that all work well together, keep the color!
     
  8. TH3D4RKKN1GH7 macrumors 6502a

    TH3D4RKKN1GH7

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    #8
    Sometimes I shoot entirely in black and white with my camcorder. I love B&W so much more powerful than color.

    This is a black and white I took of myself.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. FrankieTDouglas macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2005
    #9
    In what way do the jpg images leave something to be desired? Straight out of the camera, often jpg looks better than raw files. You seem hung up on the boring, basic elements of camera operation and not enough about what you're wanting to photograph. Focus on content, then later on consider black and white vs color.
     
  10. luminosity macrumors 65816

    luminosity

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    Location:
    Arizona
    #10
    I completely fail to see any reason to ever use jpeg unless speed is absolutely of the essence, along with space. Compared to 14 bit RAW, jpeg just doesn't measure up.
     
  11. Acsom macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2009
    #11
    Although I also shoot in RAW, there is absolutely no reason to draw lines or make rules about it. A photograph is either successful, or it is not. How it got there is immaterial.
     
  12. jake.f thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    Location:
    NSW, Australia
    #12
    First thanks everyone for the opinions ill keep them in mind. It may be something up with my camera but when i use jpg on P mode, evaluative metering, most shots turn out overexposed and i find i could have got better results with my $150 point and shoot.
     
  13. FrankieTDouglas macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2005
    #13
    Shoot raw+jpg. Open raw in default settings. See if there is still an overexposure issue between the two.
     
  14. someoldguy macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2009
    Location:
    usa
    #14
    Try to find a copy of ADVANCED DIGITAL BLACK & WHITE PHOTOGRAPHY by John Beardsworth . ISBN-13: 978-1-60059-210-2
     

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