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Old Nov 9, 2003, 7:58 AM   #1
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Default Black and white again after all these years

It's years since I played with black and white - back in the days of smelly baths of chemicals in the darkroom. These seemed to need it - both taken last month in northern Portugal.





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Old Nov 9, 2003, 8:49 AM   #2
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awww. I love them!
Especially the second one.
How did you get the person in front of the fountain so underexposed, while the fountain itself is really good exposed?
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Old Nov 9, 2003, 9:27 AM   #3
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The fountain was backlit and so bright it was almost painful to look at. I shot at 1/400 at f9 on aperture priority - one stop underexposure, if I remember correctly. I waited for some time for a suitable person to pass in front of the fountain while nobody else was in shot. This was one of those rare occasions when I knew what I was going to do with the image - it had to be under-exposed and it was always going to be mono.

I used Paintshop Pro 8.1 for the retouching. I cropped, cloned out an annoying crane, increased the contrast, converted to black and white with Nik Color Efex Pro and killed some noise in the sky with Nik Dfine. Finally, I applied quite a lot of sharpening with Nik Sharpener - I always shoot on the camera's softest setting.

BTW, I think the passer by HAD to be wearing the hat. If he hadn't I'd have had to add it.

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Old Nov 9, 2003, 12:31 PM   #4
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What a couple of divine Photos fenlander, very very difficult to decide whic on is the best.

I like them both, but, if I really have to choose, I would say that the first one : simple and sophisticated at once.

Well done !!!
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Old Nov 9, 2003, 1:18 PM   #5
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Yes brtsergio, and it's so clear and sharp!
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Old Nov 9, 2003, 6:25 PM   #6
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There's nothing, nothing at all, like a well-done black & white. You've got two of them. Hope you'll be printing and hanging them and then puffing up with pride as you truly deserve to.
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Old Nov 10, 2003, 7:58 PM   #7
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I like them both, but the second one is particularly amazing.
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Old Nov 11, 2003, 2:21 PM   #8
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Thanks, everyone, for the kind comments. I don't really know which one I prefer either.

I was very lucky with the second pic - there were so many things that could have been wrong. The fountain kept changing its pattern of water jets and different combinations of people kept passing in front of it. I took several exposures and this was the best combination.

The first one was a much more static subject. I was struck by the brilliance of the light reflecting off the stepping stones against the darkness of the water and underexposed to keep the detail in the stones.

At the moment I'm having trouble getting good black and white prints from my Epson 870 as they all have a magenta tinge. I see from other threads on this site that I'm not alone in this. I would certainly like to get some good quality prints from these pictures.

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Old Nov 11, 2003, 5:12 PM   #9
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I have an Epson 1270, which is essentially the same as the 870, and when I print a b&w, I simply turn off color printing. Have you tried that?
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Old Nov 12, 2003, 1:59 AM   #10
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Yes, I tried that. It results in blotchy greys and loss of definition. It seems that some of the fine detail is being printed with the magenta ink and turning off colour just suppresses that detail.

Normally I print from Qimage. However, if I print from PSP I can specify mono printing. If I also turn off colour on the Epson I get a better result, but still lacking the quality of the printing with colour enabled.
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