Cees Black and White Challenge: Photographers

 

Thank you very much to Amy at “The World is a Book” for inviting me to join in the 5 day black and white challenge. Amy’s site has a great selection of beautiful photos taken from her travels around the world. She shares a great quote from Saint Augustine “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.”

There are two rules for this challenge. The first is to post a black and white image daily for 5 days and then to invite someone different to join each day. The first I can just about manage, but I’m going to do my own version of the second bit. Rather than invite someone to participate in the challenge, I will use each post to introduce a site, forum or challenge where I think that you will find some amazing black and white photos and photographers. Many will need no introduction and may be familiar to you already, but if you’re new to them and love monochrome, please follow the links and visit their sites.

Each week, Cee Neuner from Cee’s Photography, sets us a black and white challenge. I don’t know how she manages to think of so many different themes, but it is great that she does. Each week she features a selection of posts from the previous theme and gives us a list of upcoming themes, which is great as you can plan ahead. 🙂

This week’s theme is photographers and cameras. Sometimes I find that photographing people taking photos of an event is just as interesting as the event itself.

 

photographers-0522

 

 

After Before Friday: week 32

AfterBefore Friday is a weekly forum run by Stacy at Visual Venturing where participants get to show their editing skills with (unsurprisingly) an image after they have processed it and what it looked like before. The forum ranges from experts who know Photoshop like the back of their hand to beginners who are just discovering the delights of Lightroom (other programmes are available!). If you want to join in the fun visit Stacy’s blog for all the insider info!

Orchid-Before
Orchid-Before

This is one (of many) photos I took of this beautiful orchid plant. It was quite hard to get a good shot and really I needed a tripod and better lighting, to get a sharper image, but didn’t have either with me at the time. I took some with flash, which were clearer, but had distracting shadows. This was taken with the light from the window illuminating the flower from behind and no flash. I really like the potential this has, so I may well have to go and buy my own plant and experiment using flash or some form of light manipulation and a tripod.

Anyway, the original image was quite dark as I deliberately underexposed it so as to reduce camera movement, so the first thing I had to do was to increase the exposure. I wanted a high key image so the next step was to bring up the shadows and the black clipping to lighten the whole image.

This is a very simple post this week, but hopefully this will show that if the only option is to handhold the camera with very little available light, it is possible to purposefully underexpose by increasing shutter speed, therefore reducing any camera shake and then “rescue” the details in editing programs such as Lightroom .

 

Orchid-After
Orchid-After

I also converted to black and white using Lightroom and submitted this to Leanne and Laura’s Monochrome Madness. The black and white image can be seen here.

Here is a gallery of all three images. I’d love to know what you think.

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Why not go and have a look at the other ABFriday images on Stacy’s blog.

 

ABFriday Week 31: One Photo Focus

AfterBefore Friday is a weekly forum run by Stacy at Visual Venturing where participants get to show their editing skills with (unsurprisingly) an image after they have processed it and what it looked like before. The forum ranges from experts who know Photoshop like the back of their hand to beginners who are just discovering the delights of Lightroom (other programmes are available!).  After the success of the 6 month anniversary post, we decided that it would be really cool to all edit the same image once a month… enter the “One Photo Focus” If you want to join in the fun visit Stacy’s blog for all the insider info!

This month our original has been provided by the very talented Emilio at photos by Emilio. They are really interesting looking trucks, I love how they are all in some state of decay, but still lined up perfectly. There is such depth in the textures and the contrasty tones are great, so I wanted to take advantage of these.

 

vintage trucks-1
photo courtesy of Emilio Pasquale

 

 

Personally, I’m not sure about the colours, they seem too vivid to me, maybe its because we don’t get as much sun as they do in Nevada so I’m just not used to it! I converted the original to black and white and did some major changes to the contrast and highlight and shadows. Then I used the split toning on the shadows to give them a kind of sepia tone, I thought a vintage feel to the picture would fit in with the subject matter. I cropped it very slightly to remove the tyre marks in the bottom right, the orange rope lost itself in the black and white conversion. I played about with the grey levels to ensure contrast and detail in the sky and also to make the tone of the trucks in the B&W conversion more pleasing.

Here is my final version of Emilio’s trucks, check out the ABFriday One Photo Focus for many more variations, it will be interesting to see what has been created.

vintage trucks-1-2

 

 

 

After Before Friday: week 30

AfterBefore Friday is a weekly forum run by Stacy at Visual Venturing where participants get to show their editing skills with (unsurprisingly) an image after they have processed it and what it looked like before. The forum ranges from experts who know Photoshop like the back of their hand to beginners who are just discovering the delights of Lightroom (other programmes are available!). If you want to join in the fun visit Stacy’s blog for all the insider info!

“I took this photo in a dark area of the wood, where fungi like to grow, so the light was not great. I didn’t have my tripod with me so the shots were dark and perhaps not as sharp as I had wanted. I sharpened it, just a little, and tried to bring out the delicate white colouring of the little mushrooms. “

Before
Before

 

This week, I didn’t do much to the image, just some subtle changes. The main aim was to make the fungi stand out more against the background, so I cropped it to try to create a more dynamic image. I sharpened the image, but only a little, the depth of field is very shallow and I didn’t want to loose the blurriness of the background. I brought up the whites and the shadows and increased the contrast and added a post crop vignette.

 

After
After

This is the last ABFriday of 2014, we are having a Christmas holiday! We’ll be back on 9th January, in the meantime, why not visit some of the other ABFriday posts?

 

After Before Friday: week 28

AfterBefore Friday is a weekly forum run by Stacy at Visual Venturing where participants get to show their editing skills with (unsurprisingly) an image after they have processed it and what it looked like before. The forum ranges from experts who know Photoshop like the back of their hand to beginners who are just discovering the delights of Lightroom (other programmes are available!). If you want to join in the fun visit Stacy’s blog for all the insider info!

I didn’t think I’d get an image in for this week, but today has been a beautiful, if a bit cold, frosty day and I managed to get a few shots in our back garden. I was working handheld to start with, but when I looked at the images on the computer, I soon realised that I would have to go and fetch the tripod out. At least this gave me the chance to use my 10x close-up filter, so I could get further into the shot and create a sort of macro.

Here is the original. At first I thought I wouldn’t change it at all, but after looking at it a while, decided that it wasn’t really the image I was after and it has quite a bit of fringing around the bud, which you often get with close-up lenses.

katieprior-before-wk28-0249

In Lightroom, I decreased the temperature, vibrance and saturation and increased the clarity and contrast. I experimented with black and white, but it didn’t really work at all. When I had the “look” I wanted, I realised that there was a fair amount of fringing around the edge of the leaf bud, I had a bit of an explore about Lightroom and sure enough, there is a tool for removing chromatic aberration. Lightroom, the Swiss Army Knife of editing programmes! Chromatic aberration (or fringing) occurs when a lens is unable to bring all the wavelengths of colour to the same focus on a focal plane. It happens to a certain extent with most lens, but especially with the cheaper lenses. My 10x close up filter probably didn’t stand a chance! It can be easily removed in programmes such as Lightroom under the lens correction tools.

 

After this I added the good old post crop vignette and got my final image.  I still like the original, there is nothing really wrong with it, but I prefer the edited version in the sense that to me, it is has more about it, more atmosphere.

Thank you for reading so far, here is the final image (finally!)

katieprior-after-wk28-0249

After Before Friday – week 20

I’ve gone all black and white this week. I thought I would seize the opportunity to get a few shots of the scaffolding adorning our house with its rusty, dull metal and wonderfully aged texture. I like the colour of the rust, but I wanted the image to focus more on the contrasts of the light and dark and the textures and I hope this comes through better in black and white.

As I knew I wanted a monochrome image, the first thing I did was convert to black and white. I do this in the develop module in Lightroom. Next I cropped the image to get rid of the distracting bits of metal at the top and make the bolt in focus the point of interest with the silhouetted bolt kind of mirroring this.

I wanted lots of dark and light to create a bleaker, more industrial image, so I increased contrast and clarity to try to achieve this effect. It was not quite enough, so I boosted the whites and highlights and brought down the shadows and blacks. To finally get where I wanted I chose the medium contrast on the point curve to further boost contrast.

Although there is a bit of sharpening on import, I increased it a bit further and the luminance with it to avoid too much grain. I then added a slight vignette and finally using the spot removal heal tool, I cleaned up a distracting blemish on the top left of the picture.

I have done all the editing in Lightroom, but I would be interested to hear your views on converting to B&W in a separate program then finishing in LR.

To see more AfterBefore images, please visit Stacy’s ABFriday forum.