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Old Jan 27, 2008, 10:03 PM   #1
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The last couple of days has found me taking snow pictures (I've already posted some of them). Yesterday there was a break in the storms so I went snowshoeing down the main road (no parking available so I was limited to where I could get to on my own power). At first I was really disappointed with them - I hadn't adjusted the Ev because I was using a circular polarizer and thought that would deal with most of the snow's reflected light confusing the light meter problem. However, they were still underexposed so I had to push them quite a bit. And it seemed like even then, the pictures were boring.

I've played a bit with black and white in the past, but hadn't been completely happy with the results. Since the weather today was lousy (it couldn't decide whether to rain or snow - it did both so it was wet, grey and cold) I played with some of them, using Lightroom to convert them to greyscale and playing with some of the various sliders/options the program has. While I was pretty happy with the results, I don't know what I'm doing - this is all completely beyond my usual type of thing. I have trouble judging my own stuff and would like any suggestions, opinions etc. All pictures were taken with the K10.

K10, DA 12-24:

K10, A*300 (exif says 100mm because I forgot to change it)

This was taken before dawn (notice the stars). I used a tripod and the 2 sec. mirror lock-up, which automatically turns off the SR. Taken out my upstairs window - K10, DA 12-24:

I wasn't sure I liked this picture - thought there might be way too much white on the right, so I cropped it. When I showed it to my husband, he preferred the full frame picture.

First the full frame version (K10, DA 12-24):

And now the cropped version. Which one is better?

To give you an idea of why I like the black and white pictures better - here's one of the color pictures (yawn!):

And the black and white conversion (K10, DA*50-135):

Finally, Friday's sunrise - not converted and only posted because I like the color. K10, DA 12-24.

Any suggestions/recommendations about converting to b&w or composition changes are always appreciated.
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Old Jan 27, 2008, 11:02 PM   #2
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I think you did very well. I really like your b&w conversions. as for the cropped versus uncropped. I prefer the uncropped one. I cannot see any room for improvement just keep doing what your doing.

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Old Jan 27, 2008, 11:18 PM   #3
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I like them all. I prefer the full frame version over the crop version as I find the fenceline too central in the crop version. That is just a matter of what I prefer between the two. Here is my version of black and white from the color version you posted.

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Old Jan 27, 2008, 11:47 PM   #4
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I also agree with your hubby, the full frame is better composed and the large white area plays well with the fence at left.

Generally these came out very well, your converting technique gives very punchy and contrasty pictures. I think those with clearly defined areas and fewer visual elements do best (#1, #4).

Very inspireing, Harriet. All I need now to try this myself is some snow!

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Old Jan 27, 2008, 11:50 PM   #5
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Hi Mtngal

Like all these B & Ws. Very dramatic compared to colour. Uncropped better - feeling of space.


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Old Jan 28, 2008, 3:57 AM   #6
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Hi Mtngal, nice pictures!

I agree with your husband. But I like this more ...
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Old Jan 28, 2008, 7:14 AM   #7
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You really must stop showing such pictures. They make us flatlanders jealous. Seriously though, the pictures are lovely. I don't know about you and others here, but I have been printing and saving my best shots, and am running out of wall space. I only cover the doors in my home office, and those only on one side. I have four doors. Most of the prints are 8.5 x 11 so I can see them all well when working.

I have considered using an album, but I don't relish the prospect. How do the rest of you handle this part of your photography. I would appreciate knowing, for it will help me resolve my paradox.

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Old Jan 28, 2008, 7:35 AM   #8
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Harriet, I really like the first one with its great DR with great detail in both the white and black areas.

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Old Jan 28, 2008, 9:15 AM   #9
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Magnificent conversions, guess I need to get out more and try some more snow shots. I really like the first image and I prefer the uncropped fence picture but the cropped version is a very strong composition as well.

Great work

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Old Jan 28, 2008, 2:19 PM   #10
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Ken - your crop is much better than mine, thanks for the suggestion/recommendation. It gives the picture exactly the feel I was looking for.

Tom - I sometimes find it hard to judge with my home monitor just how dark to make it. I've noticed before that it seems to be lighter than most others (though it has a calibrator on it) and from your suggestion I would imagine that I got my darks too dark.

Thanks, everyone for your compliments - I had lots of fun doing these, and was amazed at how cool b&w pictures can be (don't know why I should be, though, since I love Ansel Adam's pictures). I guess I was thinking that you couldn't do high contrast b&w with digital or something. I'm going to continue to play with it for a while.
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