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Discussion Thread for November Competition

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  #11  
Old 11-18-2007, 01:20 PM
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CJ Swartz CJ Swartz is offline
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Re: Discussion Thread for November Competition

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystical One View Post
Thanks CJ. Pardon me for forgetting the standard duck exemption clause LOL
It's OK, I know it's hard to read the fine print.

My Photography 101 class instructor made a rule "outlawing duck photos" because so many students went to the nearby parks and photographed ducks, but I love to see that "smile" on most ducks' faces.
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  #12  
Old 11-18-2007, 01:33 PM
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Re: Discussion Thread for November Competition

A few images have been entered in the competition, and most have remarked about "not usually doing much B/W photography" and not being sure whether their images are successful at showing the moment, etc.

Some of us are old enough to remember when most photos were done in black/white, while others may never have shot in black/white before in their life. When I took my first photography class, I discovered that "color" was a type of "crutch" for me -- that I didn't pay as much attention to exposure, focus, or even composition when I was shooting something that had strong color/colors because my attention was almost totally captured by the color(s). Some images are ALL about color, but most depend upon the other photographic elements as well, with color as "the dessert".

Anyone discover anything interesting about their reactions while they were shooting (or processing) in black/white for this competition?
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  #13  
Old 11-18-2007, 04:59 PM
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Re: Discussion Thread for November Competition

I actually found it quite difficult to start with, and still do.

I was looking on flickr for some inspiration and saw that there were quite a few flowers in b&w and thought I would have a go at taking some flower shots. I wasn't happy with the results on the LCD. I think maybe that might have been that I was used to taking flower shots in colour. They lacked something, besides colour.

Then I saw the old mining piece and thought that that would make a cool shot. I took a few shots and had a look in the LCD and thought that they looked pretty good. There was something about them that I liked, not sure what. I actually turned the camera back to colour mode and got a couple of shots in colour. I must say I prefer the black and white.

Taking photos in black and white is difficult and also interesting. It feels to me like I have stumbled into a new area of photography that I like and would like to learn more. As a result I have bookmarked a couple of sites on the web about B&W photography, to see if I can get my head around it and the challenges it presents.

I have added one of the b&w flowers that I took. I still can't work out why I don't like it. I have also put in the colour version of my entry.
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File Type: jpg bwflower.jpg (42.7 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg mining.jpg (99.4 KB, 7 views)
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  #14  
Old 11-18-2007, 05:59 PM
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Re: Discussion Thread for November Competition

I started using B&W film and developing the same in my dark room until the advent of digital. I'm still trying to get used to using a digital camera and love the immediacy of "instant images" as well as color. Printing color in the darkroom has always been a challenge. I'm an old fashioned photographer, and still think there is a difference in the quality of the print from each of these cameras.

liz

P.S.
I still need to learn how to size and upload an image correctly! :-0

Last edited by ejk; 11-18-2007 at 06:17 PM. Reason: P.S.
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  #15  
Old 11-19-2007, 03:25 PM
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Re: Discussion Thread for November Competition

One of the thing one looks for in the world of photography, is the clarity or rather sharpness of an image. For some reason, the images shown here are very muddy looking. At least this is so on my monitor. (with the exception of the duck image). If it were not for that one, I'd say that it may not be possible to upload a clear photograph.
How can one upload and show a better looking image?
I'm sure that all the photographs posted here were cleaner looking before they were turned over to the computer... :-)

liz
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  #16  
Old 11-21-2007, 03:31 PM
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Re: Discussion Thread for November Competition

The thing I find B&W captures better than Colour is a sense of atmosphere, and that for me was the real challenge, and also the real joy when I saw those who had got it right.

B&W focuses your attention much more on the composition and particularly the lighting.

There's a couple of the entry pics that for me really capture the mood of the moment, and others that although technically correct don't quite do it for me.
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  #17  
Old 11-22-2007, 09:57 AM
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Re: Discussion Thread for November Competition

ScubaMargie & MysticalOne, (as well as others, but I'm responding to their posts), you might be interested in reading/viewing the thoughts/images of a photography teacher from my area. I see him more of an inspiration rather than teacher, but that is what excellent teachers do - inspire.
A section on black/white photography (specifically aimed at travel) with thoughts about its limitations and strengths -
http://www.pbase.com/pnd1/black_and_white
From Phil Douglis' page (especially for ScubaMargie since you asked It's a point worth considering)
"One other point deserves mentioning: when we shoot digitally in color and convert later to black and white, we lose the advantage of actually “seeing” our subject in black and white as we shoot. Most digital cameras allow you to shoot in black and white. It might be worth doing so, just to train your eye to “see” in tones of black and white, instead of in color. However keep in mind that shooting in a black and mode discards color information, so you can’t change your mind later and have that picture in color as well. The answer: if possible, shoot in black and white and then re-shoot in color. You may not be able to capture exactly the same behavior, etc. the second time around, but at least you will have covered all of your bases, and learn more about the differences between the two mediums."

The portal to all his instructional galleries:
From Phil Douglis' PBase website: http://www.pbase.com/pnd1

"Most travel photographers start out by making pictures of things to simply describe what they see. I call this the literal travel snapshot. Most travel snapshots are made to preserve private meanings. Many photographers will eventually move on to a second phase – making aesthetically pleasing pictures that enhance what they saw. I call this the “artistic” snapshot - essentially the same as a lovely picture post card or a calendar illustration. This cyberbook does not concern itself with either of these phases. Instead, I demonstrate what goes into a third phase – interpreting the things you see on your travels to express meaning to others. I call these pictures “expressive” images. They are images made for public, rather than private meanings. Expressive photography, like all art, offers universal, and often metaphorical, statements.

What is expressive imagery? It is photography that interprets, rather than describes, what we see to others. It tells a story, going beyond conveying information for its own sake. It becomes metaphorical. One of my most influential teachers, photographer Minor White, taught us that "photographs can be outward expressions of inward states. They are about not just what some thing is, but rather, what else it is." By expressing our own metaphorical point of view about what we see, we can communicate ideas to others, triggering emotional, intellectual, and imaginative responses.

In my view, expressive photography is based upon the three principles I demonstrate in the first three galleries of this cyberbook: Abstraction, Incongruity, and Human Values. Abstraction removes literal, descriptive clutter and hones an image down to its essence and encourages unlimited thinking. Incongruity presents elements that seem to be at odds with their context and creates contrasts and juxtapositions that stimulate both the emotions and the imagination. Human values convey the emotions, beliefs, traditions and knowledge that we understand and share as humans. I suggest that anyone using this cyberbook as a learning tool, study these three galleries before going on to the rest of them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScubaMargie View Post
I actually found it quite difficult to start with, and still do. ...

Then I saw the old mining piece and thought that that would make a cool shot. I took a few shots and had a look in the LCD and thought that they looked pretty good. There was something about them that I liked, not sure what. I actually turned the camera back to colour mode and got a couple of shots in colour. I must say I prefer the black and white.

Taking photos in black and white is difficult and also interesting. It feels to me like I have stumbled into a new area of photography that I like and would like to learn more. As a result I have bookmarked a couple of sites on the web about B&W photography, to see if I can get my head around it and the challenges it presents....
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystical One View Post
When I first started taking photo's b&w processing was far cheaper than colour, so that was the medium of choice. Then again, I was only a kid.

When I went to uni, it would have been great to have decided on something a little more artistic than my eventual decision, but I was supposed to be a practical one at the time. Hence, no photography course for me. Most way throughout my life though, I have always found myself looking at images that I felt would make great photographs. Funnily enough, most of these imagined images, were b&w, concentrating on the interplay of light, shadow, & texture. I still have one of those images held very strongly in my mind, a shadow cast by a barred gate on a solid (old) brick wall, topped with razor wire. Unfortunately, the image cannot be captured due to security in the place where it happens forbidding cameras....

I still find myself looking at things and searching for the kind of images that I considered in days of old, thinking how would certain scenes look in monochrome, and sometimes I do shoot b&w, hoping to capture something of the style that I used to only photograph in my mind. I think, though, that the wilderness we are surrounded by, almost demands the use of colour.

On a more base level, I am hoping that maybe I can eke a small living through photography one day, and, again, the market that I would be targeting demands the use of colour, particularly when capturing wilderness scenes. B&w is seen by many as "arty" and whilst it may be appreciated in a gallery setting, one has to develop a reputation first, and, in this area, that demands the use of colour.

Here endeth my rant.

Last edited by CJ Swartz; 11-22-2007 at 11:12 AM. Reason: added quote
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  #18  
Old 11-23-2007, 10:25 AM
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Re: Discussion Thread for November Competition

For inspiration regarding B/W work, here's a link to a contemporary photographer that I just noticed on the internet --

http://www.romanloranc.com/index.html

Sometimes looking at someone's work inspires, sometimes it deflates hope of matching it -- hopefully we are still capable of being inspired....
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  #19  
Old 11-25-2007, 04:12 PM
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ScubaMargie ScubaMargie is offline
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Re: Discussion Thread for November Competition

Thanks CJ for the links will check them out. Cool pic Anna :-)
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