Walk in the Park: Dead Trees

by Shane Coleman March. 26, 2018 633 views

Here are a few dead trees that caught my eye, the way they stood out. Some gave me an eerie feeling and others portrayed a sense of wisdom.

I decided to play with some black and white with the first photo. I usually don’t do black and white but would like to start experimenting. I like color but I have seen some B&W photos that I couldn’t imagine any other way. In your opinion, what makes a good B&W photo or what traits do you look for??? I would really like to get input from experienced people on this. Please share in the comments.

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Sigrid Strohschneider-Laue 1 year, 7 months ago

#3 - it's a picture I would like to see as wallpaper on a door, which leads outside .
B&W - Peter wrote already a lot hard facts about it - and he has really good B&W pictures in his photoblog.
I'm not so fond about B&W - but some places and faces don't beg but cry for it.
I like very harsh B&W contrasts to enhance the structures.
I think this is the best I ever shot in B&W - but in the end its always a point of view.
https://www.photoblog.com/strohschneider-laue/2017/11/02/destruction/
Some structures get this abstract touch in B&W
https://www.photoblog.com/strohschneider-laue/2018/01/15/western-railway-weekly-theme-shape-and-form/

1 year, 7 months ago Edited
Shane Coleman Replied to Sigrid Strohschneider-Laue 1 year, 7 months ago

Thank you... Your statement about some situations “cry for it” is spot on. I’ve seen this many times. I like color but some photos seem to really benefit from B&W. I think after the great advice from Andi and Peter, I have a little better understanding of what situation makes a good candidate. 

I love the photos of the house in Croatia. To me, these photos are great examples of what makes a great B&W photo. Certainly it adds a different feeling to them... one that it seems to me you were wanting to capture.

1 year, 7 months ago Edited
Sigrid Strohschneider-Laue Replied to Shane Coleman 1 year, 7 months ago

Sometimes it's the "salt" or better an "addition of feelings": sad or scary or ancient (like traveling through time).
I used B&W for documentation. I always shot  with two cameras (reverse films ...) for color (fuji) and B&W to document the different situations on a excavation. It was very interesting to see, that there is indeed a big difference and enhancement of structures. Earth isn't exact the same in every spot of a clean surfaces of  a grave or the remains of an ancient wooden building (because the wood is gone since thousends of years.
B&W will enhance different aspects of an object and carve out different aspects of a subject (especially faces).

1 year, 7 months ago Edited
Berckmans Peter 1 year, 7 months ago

Hey Peter here, "And I saw" asked me to take a look at your post and that you want some tips on B&W photos. Well I am not a pro but love monochrome, I did a 100 day of B&W. Learned a lot of that. In the beginning it was hard, more misses than hits, but more and more it came together.
1. Why use B&W
- it calms a picture down
- details and texture come more out
- it is a bit more artistic
- because I like it

2. For what to use
- architecture leans itself very good for B&W
- portraits
- street
- landscape
and more

3. what to look for
in my case it is mostly light and shadows, 

4 Look out for
-a clear blue sky, it will turn white or gray, like in #1 of your post. A few clouds make a world of difference.Composition stays the same in color as in B&W.
- strong light it will turn white and the details will burn out.
- subject should stand out from the background, you only have 256 shades of gray, or you should work in RAW than you have a much bigger margin to get details out.

If you shoot straight in B&W check if your camera has the build in filters green, red ,yellow and blue, they give more contrast. Also with our modern cameras we can see in one time ( liveview ) if a photo will look good in B&W, just move between color and B&W.
After a while in my 100 days I was thinking more in B&W than in color. Also I find it more easy to create a mood in B&w than in color. What I did on a daily base was looking to other pictures from pro's and hobby photographers. steel with your eyes.Nature is a difficult one to get good in monochrome.
I would say stick to it and put yourself a challenge, you will see the change.Now after the challenge I still take a lot of B&W photos.
For edit ,I took for every photo the same edit, that created an own style.It is about four or five clicks with the mouse.

www.photoblog.com/peterphotowalks/2018/02/04/bw-day-71/
www.photoblog.com/peterphotowalks/2018/01/07/bw-day-43/

1 year, 7 months ago Edited
Shane Coleman Replied to Berckmans Peter 1 year, 7 months ago

Peter, I really appreciate you taking the time to give advice and I know it will be useful in my journey. 

I will take these things and try to put them into practice. It probably will take a lot of trial and error but I’m sure it will pay off in the long run. Certainly, I can see the importance of what both you and Andi have said. 

Thanks again! I’ll play around with it for a while and then maybe I’ll start a challenge. 

Oh, and by the way... the wagon cart is a great photo!

1 year, 7 months ago Edited
Berckmans Peter Replied to Shane Coleman 1 year, 7 months ago

Thanks for liking my photos. Keep in there,results will come

1 year, 7 months ago Edited
Antonio Gil 1 year, 7 months ago

I also prefer the B&W one. I only know if a picture should be in B&W when I'm working it in post-production, never before. But that's me smile

1 year, 7 months ago Edited
Shane Coleman Replied to Antonio Gil 1 year, 7 months ago

I’ve often heard this. They say it’s because you can always go color to b&w in post production but never the other way around. Thanks for your input.

1 year, 7 months ago Edited
Sigrid Strohschneider-Laue Replied to Antonio Gil 1 year, 7 months ago

I heard, it would be better to change pictures into B&W in post-production, instead of shooting B&W right from the beginning. I don't know, if it's true, but it would be wise, because you can't go back to color, when you have the pictures only in B&W.

1 year, 7 months ago Edited
Andi Saw 1 year, 7 months ago
Comment was removed by admin
1 year, 7 months ago Edited
Shane Coleman Replied to Andi Saw 1 year, 7 months ago

Thank you Andi, your input is much appreciated. The photo in the link is amazing!

I see what you are saying and you have given me ideas/guidelines to play with next time I attempt this. Is there such a thing as a photo that would be better or at least favor being in B&W?

I did try #2 in B&W but to be honest, I didn’t like it. It seemed to be too busy with everything in the background and what I was trying to focus on got lost. However, I will play with the other photos you mentioned to see what I can come up with.

Anyway, thanks again and I will be exploring the things you mentioned.

1 year, 7 months ago Edited
Andi Saw Replied to Shane Coleman 1 year, 7 months ago
Comment was removed by admin
1 year, 7 months ago Edited
Shane Coleman Replied to Andi Saw 1 year, 7 months ago

Thanks! You helped to clarify things. I’ll give the thoughts a try in the future.

1 year, 7 months ago Edited
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