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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 1:26 am 
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Looks like this hasn't been done at least in the last couple years. Any genre in BW. Selective coloring is allowed (as is griping about selective coloring). This idea was inspired by a first BW ever post by Buddy Bob, which reminded me of early conversions, which reminded me I am supposed to come up with an idea for a challenge. :)

It's quiet here so how about we go 3 max on number of images.
Go out and shoot and convert for extra consideration, but if you want to post oldies that's ok, but (** see below!)
If you're in a shooting slump, hit the archives and convert something you'd never dream of converting, or maybe see one you never considered.
If you don't do BW, never have, go to your editing software, go to BW and hit the auto button and post it. (** see below!) Tell us you did it, extra credit for bravery will be given.
If you hate BW, feel free to make snide comments about ours. If it's funny enough, I might choose you as the winner.
Any old conversions have special meaning to you? Post 'em and tell us about it. That's what I did in the case of my 3 below.
Runs to Friday, Aug 26, 23:59 GMT. (if I can figure out the time conversion here).

Start of anal disclaimer: It is important to me that y'all understand that I will be choosing a personal favorite for some reason, and it could be almost any reason. Not a winner, I'm not qualified to pick a winner. Way I see it, if you participate and have any fun doing it, you won. I won just getting to post these oldies and reminisce about them. End of anal disclaimer.

** Please tell me/us about the shot. When it was shot? Why did you choose to convert it? What is the meaning of life? Those sorts of things. And don't be afraid to comment on the posts of others. I may sleep through the week so don't count on me to do it.

For fun, to start the ball rolling, I'm going back in time.....

This is perhaps my first BW conversion that I took beyond whatever BW conversion plug in I was using at that time (that's how I used to convert). The colors were subdued (obviously) and I thought maybe BW would be fun. I tried my plugin and it just didn't cut it. It was in this image that I actually visualized the different tones of black/white/gray, and first tried to manipulate them without a plugin for some tonal impact. I think I fell in love with BW (beyond choosing a 'film type' in a conversion plugin) over this simple fog shot.

Image

This is a photo from probably 2005 or so. It was taken at a friend's house. He had a fly-in party in his backyard, and this is somebody taking off in his Cub. I was never satisfied with the color version. The red of the airplane was too vivid, the greens as well, all I saw was the visual contrast between the greens and reds, and I wanted more. Several years later (2009, it looks like) I found this in the archives and decided to convert it. It now speaks to me. The wingtip is in my face and the shadow is doing what it was supposed to do and all that stuff. It ain't perfect and I'd probably do some things differently now, but that's not the point.

Image

And this one because it is the first people-shot I remember converting, period. In the fume-room '70's, 90% of my prints were people shots. This is from a Cubs game in 2006, I believe. Not sure what made me convert it, but when I did it was like, "Whoa!, I forgot how much impact BW can have on people shots!"

Image

I'm not saying any of these are spectacular, nor shining examples of BW conversion technique, but each of them played a great part in my appreciation of BW in the digital era. It's funny, back in the '70's I shot Tri-x and printed because I couldn't justify a color enlarger. Did my color stuff via slides. I didn't really realize how cool BW was back then, it took about 30 some years and digital to make me 'see the light', both literally and figuratively, really.

Have fun with this, I hope!

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:27 am 
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I'll start with something from my archives.

The tiger is guarding the main entrance of Comerica Park, home of the Detroit Tigers baseball team. I shot this about 1 hour after a Friday night game, the gates were closed and the lights were still on inside the stadium because the maintenance crew was cleaning up after the Friday night fireworks. Because there are three different type of light sources I found BW was the route to take for this image. It looks good as a 16x20. :)


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EDIT: My second submission is the oldest photo I have hanging on my wall. A Bobolink (whitehead) circa 1975. I scanned the print several years back and I'm thinking that scanners have come a long way since then. This had to be with my Pentax K1000, Tri-x 400 film and my favorite 135mm prime.

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To keep in step with Greg here is an airshow photo.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:02 am 
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Great theme and examples Greg! Wow that Cub plane looks 3D to me....
Phil, awesome shot, that's a scary tiger lol!

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:26 am 
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One of my early conversion that I've just rediscovered too.


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Here's a link to the music that goes with it (my son Tim wrote and recorded this), hope you don't mind me posting it Greg..

http://miadelight.multiply.com/journal/item/1045

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 1:09 pm 
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Well I don't mind, cool track and well done for choosing a most excellent name for your son.

Oh nice conversion too ;)

Phil , that's a really interesting subject for conversion. It works really well.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 1:37 pm 
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OK, you sweet talked me into it :D

My third B&W conversion - this was done in LR which I know nothing about but it appears to have more options than Elements (but not using Layers, just the Enhance).

Very critical C&C solicited and appreciated on this one. If the pre-conversion color one would help, let me know.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 2:41 pm 
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Phil, really great of you to jump in and get us going. Great to 'see' you!

Surely like that first one a lot. What a great example of BW. Love the subtle contrast in the whites of the tiger, and plenty of tonal range in the background. Great crispness overall. I can only imagine how great this must look at 16x20. Print it yourself? I wonder if you mainly converted it because of the various ambient WB issues or just visualized the BW? Many of my early conversions were due to wacked out ambient lighting, and sometimes they still are. :) This is one I'd be extremely proud of had I made it, for sure.

Thanks for sharing the circa '75 image. I can see why it's on your wall, and not just because it's a 'pretty picture'. Must bring a lot to mind when you actually look at it. Years passed, technology changes, experiences gained, all that stuff! I sure wish I had some of my old stuff, darn it. I don't miss the darkroom smells much, but I sometimes sorta miss that 'new box of film' smell. :)

Nice example of 'dating' a shot in post. That can be a lot of fun in BW. That's a good looking B-25, must ask my warbird-flying buddy if he's ever flown "9C". I found a shot of her presumably on a mission here..... http://www.warwingsart.com/12thAirForce/planes2.html

Hope you have some time to comment on the other stuff over the week, Phil. Again, so glad you decided to play!

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 2:52 pm 
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I will make an effort to shoot something new, but in the meantime here's one from the archives:

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 2:54 pm 
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Mia, thank you for taking the time to comment on the work already posted, and for participating!

I like your early conversion. It is so you, unconventional you. I love your approach to photography, and as I would expect there is nothing terribly conventional about this one, and it works great IMO. Flower BW's aren't easy, IMO. I really like the visual contrast between the relatively light foreground flower against the opposite background, yet you've maintained plenty of tonal range in the darks whilst not messing up the whites. You know all this stuff already, I'm just commenting. :) Another thing I find interesting is the image is sharp overall, not a lot of bokeh going on, and it really works for me that I can see sharpness and detail in the background on this one.

That music certainly does fit the image. I am so impressed with anyone who can somehow write a song. Tim obviously has talent, wonder where he got his artistic abilities and tendencies from? :)

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 3:00 pm 
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Larry, you get extra points for jumping in here. I was so hoping you would. And maybe you'll entice somebody else who as of now isn't all that turned on by BW.

For now I'm staying quiet in hopes others comment on yours. I'm just gonna say I rather like it for now and save the why's for a day or so down the line, ok? Should I forget, rattle my chain please.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 3:10 pm 
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Paul, I'm simply thrilled that you jumped in here whilst still in your slump. (but hopefully not for long!)

IMO this has all the making of a great BW. I almost can't visualize this one in color, or maybe it's that I don't want to. There are controlled lights, black blacks and tasty selection of lovely midtones in between. This one may be a wonderful example of an image that might have too much visual stimulation in color. The foreground rocks and their inherent detail anchor the shot so well, then the visual detail fades as we come to the near, but not quite silhouette portion which gives kind of a breaking point until the eye goes to the sky, again with ample but not overdone BW detail. Not sure what the structure is, almost looks like an old castle, but it adds a significant WOW factor here, and again, IMO the wow is arguably stronger than it would be in this case in BW.

Splendid example, thanks again. I would be thrilled if you go out and find a new image to make. No pressure, but it would be cool. I'm hoping to work up the oomph to do so myself within the week.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 5:16 pm 
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I pulled myself outta my armchair and went shooting around our city centre recently hoping to catch some reflected lights and stuff. I found this stairwell and waited for someone to walk down, no-one came, but i'm going back to hopefully catch someone's shadow :)

p.s. I hate selective colour, so forced myself to do it to see if it would work... :)

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 5:28 pm 
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Jamie, that much selective color is perfectly fine, IMO :D You need to check on what kind of office building it is and maybe that will clue you in when you can get your shadow casting person. Good idea - hope you make it work.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:30 pm 
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wow this one will be a busy one. Lovely shots so far!

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:31 pm 
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these are called 'indian pipes' or 'ghost plant'. they are flowers that grow deep in the forest and have no chlorophyll. They are rather rare and totally cool

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 1:41 am 
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Greg wrote:
Paul, I'm simply thrilled that you jumped in here whilst still in your slump.


....i think slump is a polite word to describe plain lazy. Come on Paul, time to dust off those lenses ;)

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 2:57 am 
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teaco wrote:
Greg wrote:
Paul, I'm simply thrilled that you jumped in here whilst still in your slump.


....i think slump is a polite word to describe plain lazy. Come on Paul, time to dust off those lenses ;)


:lol:

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 1:13 pm 
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Jamie, your image is certainly a great BW candidate. Plenty of geometry going on. Nice black blacks and you kept the whites under control. The conversion looks very good and quite natural to my eyes.

Was an interesting exercise in looking but not seeing for me. I looked at this for a while before I even saw the stairs. Yikes, sometimes I scare myself. :)

I agree that it would be quite powerful to catch a person silhouetted climbing or ascending.

Color me confused re the lettering. <and please excuse the bad pun> Can't figure out what it is. A sign in the window? What does it say? Sorry, I just can't quite figure it out.

Glad you jumped in!

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 1:18 pm 
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Bambi, now that's an interesting plant.

The conversion seems to add to the 'ghostliness', as do the cobwebs. Almost like a haunted plant. :)

Looks like a good conversion to me. Not a lot of black blacks here but those that are there are properly black and there is plenty of tonal range here.

Thanks for joining in!

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 1:28 pm 
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Larry, nobody opined on yours yet so I'm jumping in.

I think these plants are a great BW candidate. What I find appealing is the white of the wispy growths (that's a technical term that only we botanist's understand (kidding, I don't know diddly about plants). against your black background. I notice that the lighter tones of gray are pretty much in the OOF portions, and I think that adds to this as well. I don't know Lightroom but can say I don't see anything in particular I'd handle differently in the conversion. Looks pretty much spot on to me.

IMO, this shot would probably be quite flat and boring without the DOF you chose. Between the conversion and the DOF, this has quite a bit of depth and interest as is. Lastly, IMO the conversion to BW really made the delicate details pop!

You should pursue BW when you feel like it, I sense talent.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 12:17 am 
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"WOW"....I feel an "inferiority complex" coming on. :lol: I didn't know B&W's could be so mesmerizing. Since Greg has been so gracious as to allow 3 posts, I'll go ahead and post my "re-do". I can hunt for a better subject this weekend. I kind of feel sorry for ya Greg. :roll:

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 1:58 am 
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Way to go, BOB! So glad you jumped in here, I'm grinning ear to ear.

Nice job on the re-do. I can see you used some things that Al, Scott, and even I mentioned. I see you've really made that pollen pop, can tell you played with the color-adjustment sliders (so very important and don't expect to feel comfortable overnight (or ever for that matter :) )), and you achieved the overall soft look you were shooting for very well, IMO.

I like this image for it's nice, soft feel, and by that I don't mean it is 'needs to be sharpened' soft, I mean a nice, soft, delicate flower. I think it does well as a BW. The stem and stuff left anchors it well, and I think you made the center light up just right. If this were my first BW conversion, I'd be too excited to sleep. Well done.

I love your word describing BW, "mesmerizing". Aren't they, though?

It would be outstanding if you went out shooting this weekend with BW in mind. Remember, everybody, extra credit for new work so be sure to mention it when you post!

Don't feel sorry for me, I'm having fun with this. A bit uneasy about having to choose a 'winner' or whatever, but it will all work out.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 2:17 am 
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I made an image tonight and I've been in a slump. Ah, I mean I've been lazy. :)

Story on the shot: Been thinking about getting myself moving and shooting something new to convert for this thread. I was in the mood today, but ran out of time. Tonight after getting home late, I just looked around the house for something to shoot, and eyed the wooden bowl of fake fruit. Never shot fruit before, don't do a lot of still lifes (or is it lives???), and wasn't sure how it would convert. So I just gave it a go.

Image

Thanks for inspiring me to get off my butt, folks. Not sure I'll even like the image in the morning, but that isn't the point.

BTW, You may exceed the 3 shot rule if you make a new image (or images) for this challenge. I just did.

Edit: Just for fun, here's my hi-tech studio-quality setup for this still. For my studio-quality lighting, I flipped light switches on and off 'til I found a balance that looked ok and didn't glare back at the camera too badly and cast shadows I didn't hate. I hope I didn't lose the brollies and stands in the domestic reorganization, now that I think of it.

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Those pieces of foamboard make the setup look like some sort of convoluted, over-sized fake fruit laptop, no?

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 9:32 am 
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Well some great stuff here already. It's been ages since I posted anything so thought it was about time I did. Unfortunately I'm not as inspired as Greg currently, so had to dig something up from my archives to convert.

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Ugly Duckling by timmygstyle, on Flickr

I better stop being lazy and get out and shoot something specifically!

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 2:47 pm 
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OK - Greg said he would give me his new 14 -24 mm, f 2.8 Nikkor if I won this challenge so I am trying. And no, nobody else gets that prize if they come out #1 :D He just really wants me to explore B&W so he is offering a big carrot..........................

This is an exercise to see if I can "see" in B&W. i.e., can I see an scene in color and expect it to have the attributes necessary to "make" a good B&W image?

So, please chime in and let me know..............

In addition, I processed this in LR3 to which I am an absolute newbie so if anyone out there uses LR, please be critical and tell me what I might have done right or done wrong (or should have left alone)

Any and all critiques always welcome and appreciated. TIA

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