/ Experimenting with Black and white Cairngorms

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John Burns - on 21 Mar 2013
Hopefully this will be less controversial than my last post. Trying my hand at black and white photography

What Goes Up on 21 Mar 2013 -
In reply to John Burns: I'm a real sucker for black and white. Do you do anything in processing? If you're just clicking the image over to b/w you're missing all sorts of opportunities. Equally, if you prefer to do it in-camera then using some filters (red would be good here) will make a huge difference. IMO these need some work to give them punch - make the blacks blacker and the whites whiter; they're very much grey at the moment (i.e snow in the first photo, the ice-covered trees), presumably because of the way the camera has metered for the scene? Also if shooting with black and white in mind you'll learn to look for specific things such as strong lines, patterns, contrasts, textures (you've demonstrated that by spotting the bark shot).

Definitely recommend you keep at it - black and white landscapes can look superb! Have fun.
John Burns - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to John Burns: Thanks for the advice. I'm just killing the colour saturation in photo shop to geththe photos into black and white. i know there must be a better way. Not sure if my camera has a black and white setting. I'll check it out. tried the Old fashioned photo option in photoshop, that seemed better. not sure how to apply the red filter?
What Goes Up on 21 Mar 2013 -
In reply to John Burns: Can't really advise on Photoshop - I use Lightroom for most of my stuff so PS just confuses me, but you'll definitely have the tools in there to do it. There'll be plenty of PS users on here who'll know, I'm sure. Dropping out the saturation definitely isn't the way though. Have a hunt around for a button to do a black and white conversion to the image instead - should make the images much stronger straight away. I'm sure your camera will have a black and white option - if you're shooting in Jpeg then that's worth doing. If you shoot in RAW then might as well do it afterwards - don't know what camera you're using but I'd be pretty sure even the most basic point-and-shoot will still have it as a setting. On the filter front, there is probably a function available to you to apply different effects which should feature various filters, so if you find it slap some different ones onto the photo and see what happens - go with what you like (yellow, orange, green... will all do different things depending on the colours and subject matter in the photo). Actually using a real filter on the camera tends to be rarer these days, but it's still out there.

A quick google for something like 'convert colour to black and white photoshop' will give you loads to play around with, and you'll be amazed what you can acheive very quickly. It's worth considering what the shot will look like in black and white when you're taking it as well though.
mr rob - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to John Burns:

When it comes to B&W in winter dont forget that snow is White, not grey

You get a very small tonal range in winter with objects that tend to either zone 0-2 and from 9-10

It does make it tough on the exposure and when printing
johncoxmysteriously - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to John Burns:

Lovely pictures.

Just a bhoy - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to John Burns:

Nice stuff John. They probaby need a bit more contrast and get those whites white. I use Nik Silver eFex Pro and it really is fabulous for B&W. If you are serious then it's a bit on dear side but for the Photoshop lazy like me a very quick and effective package.

all the best with this, mono does add something to mountain shots I think.
John Clinch (Ampthill) - on 22 Mar 2013
In reply to Just a bhoy:

Don't set B&W in camera do it later even from a jpg

Lightroom gives good results. Try hitting Black and white then play with the curve and colour sliders. I usually find I need the virtual neutral density filter and or adjustment brush to get the exposure correct in all part of the image. Clarity often helps as well. I should do a video at some point

In reply to John Burns: Nice shots, but I agree with most other comments, they lack punch.

If you have photoshop, I'd recomend doing a white point marker for you contrast curves first, then using the B&W layer to adjust individual colours. (Normally lightening greens/yellows and darkening blues/reds.)

There's a few very good youtube tutorials on this.

Here's some of my efforts, but like you I'm just starting.



John Burns - on 24 Mar 2013
In reply to John Burns: Thanks for all the advice. loved your shots srtoppy. I can see the lack of contrast in mine. I'm a bit lost i all the techy stuff right now but I'm sure i'll get there in the the end. Are there any good books out there? (not too expensive theat is!)
Nadir khan - on 24 Mar 2013
In reply to John Burns: generally in b+ w shots , you would want to make sure that in processing there is white somewhere in the shot and black somewhere , and you should then get all the zones in between by adjusting your curves. Also , if you're shooting in snowy conditions , dial in +1 EV so you get the most digital information on your image . That way your snow will be white and not grey.

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