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Image & Video Galleries => Black & White => Topic started by: Ivan Muller on July 04, 2012, 04:50:43 AM

Title: street photography...feedback please!
Post by: Ivan Muller on July 04, 2012, 04:50:43 AM
...many more images here at....http://www.ivanmuller.co.za/blog-item/street-photographs-fete-de-la-musique-melville-johannesburg (http://www.ivanmuller.co.za/blog-item/street-photographs-fete-de-la-musique-melville-johannesburg)


(http://i49.tinypic.com/51aq1f.jpg)

(http://i49.tinypic.com/vzggoi.jpg)
Title: Re: street photography...feedback please!
Post by: blaydese on July 09, 2012, 04:15:54 AM
I see you shot in color then converted to black and white, I'm looking for shooting in black and white from the get go, and trying to use my mind and "see" the world in black and white as I shoot, but I'm finding it difficult to imagine that.  My mentor stated he can do that sort of.  Have you ever heard of doing this?

Nice pictures by the way, the two chicks kissing was an eye opener at the end, great capture / timing. Congrats.

Peace! 8)
Title: Re: street photography...feedback please!
Post by: Kernuak on July 09, 2012, 04:19:24 PM
The best B&W photographers "see" in B&W. Part of the trick is looking for shapes, patterns and textures, but mood comes into it too. When it comes to digital, conversions often work better than actually shooting in B&W, as to get the best tones, you need the full tonal range to start with. Digital B&W settings tend to be too flat to get real impact, without alot of work (which you can't really do from a jpeg). Oversaturating before conversion can give some real impact. Of course black and white film is another story, as it has been designed differently.
Title: Re: street photography...feedback please!
Post by: Kamera Obscura on July 09, 2012, 07:16:46 PM
Banjo duel.

dario.
Title: Re: street photography...feedback please!
Post by: Ivan Muller on February 13, 2013, 06:58:57 AM
I see you shot in color then converted to black and white, I'm looking for shooting in black and white from the get go, and trying to use my mind and "see" the world in black and white as I shoot, but I'm finding it difficult to imagine that.  My mentor stated he can do that sort of.  Have you ever heard of doing this?

Nice pictures by the way, the two chicks kissing was an eye opener at the end, great capture / timing. Congrats.

Peace! 8)

Sorry for the late reply!

Seeing in B&W comes naturally if you shoot B&W all the time...when you mix it it becomes more difficult. Think about this.....in the days of film i shot almost exclusively b&w with my 4x5 field camera. the view on the ground glass was upside down...but I never noticed it, it becomes completely natural after a while...Ansel Adams talked about pre visualization..i o w you 'see' the final, in his case, print, before you trip the shutter....thus you teach yourself how the tones and contrast etc etc will look before you make the image... the mind can do anything, all it take s is a bit of practice!
Title: Re: street photography...feedback please!
Post by: tolusina on February 13, 2013, 06:46:34 PM
I see you shot in color then converted to black and white, I'm looking for shooting in black and white from the get go, and trying to use my mind and "see" the world in black and white as I shoot, but I'm finding it difficult to imagine that.  My mentor stated he can do that sort of.  Have you ever heard of doing this?....
The best B&W photographers "see" in B&W. Part of the trick is looking for shapes, patterns and textures, but mood comes into it too. When it comes to digital, conversions often work better than actually shooting in B&W, as to get the best tones, you need the full tonal range to start with. Digital B&W settings tend to be too flat to get real impact, without alot of work (which you can't really do from a jpeg). Oversaturating before conversion can give some real impact. Of course black and white film is another story, as it has been designed differently.
.........
Seeing in B&W comes naturally if you shoot B&W all the time...when you mix it it becomes more difficult. Think about this.....in the days of film i shot almost exclusively b&w with my 4x5 field camera. the view on the ground glass was upside down...but I never noticed it, it becomes completely natural after a while...Ansel Adams talked about pre visualization..i o w you 'see' the final, in his case, print, before you trip the shutter....thus you teach yourself how the tones and contrast etc etc will look before you make the image... the mind can do anything, all it take s is a bit of practice!
@blaydese;
Shoot in RAW + JPG, set your camera to shoot in B+W. Your review on the camera screen will be the embedded JPG in B+W, the JPG on your computer will also be B+W, the RAW will be in color.
In post, the color RAW will give you the most to work with to get to what you visualized as you shot.

Ansel was real big on visualization. He worked hard getting things just so in camera with his zone system, film and filter choices all the while visualizing what else he was going to do in post, both while developing and printing.
Ansel was well aware that digital imaging was in the fairly near future, I think he'd be delighted with what he could do with RAW and post.
 
 
 
 
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Title: Re: street photography...feedback please!
Post by: Stubi on March 15, 2013, 05:53:33 AM
Your pics are good but too busy.
Try being more specific on which subject catches your eye and frame that as your main focus.
Title: Re: street photography...feedback please!
Post by: sandymandy on March 17, 2013, 11:57:10 AM
Set your camera style to "monochrome" and shoot in RAW. Easy peasy.
Title: Re: street photography...feedback please!
Post by: Zv on March 17, 2013, 12:24:51 PM
In my experience high contrast scenes are always going to work well, look for deep shadows next to bright highlights. Sharp, clearly defined edges. Texture such as stones, rocks and brickwork all work well too. For skies look for storm clouds or clouds with definition. Portraits can work well if you know how to light them in a dramatic way.

For post processing I use Nik Software Silver Efex pro. The high structure preset really brings out the detail. A quick n dirty method I use in LR is to convert to black and white in the basic tab then crank up the blacks and overexpose until the whites are almost blown. Then add clarity and contrast to taste.

I used to convert almost half my pics to black n white simply because of ugly lighting and color that i wanted to hide. I now try and work on my composition and lighting. I only convert to black and white now if I have a specific reason to. It's too easy to fall into that "oh it looks crap in color so I'll just do it black n white" routine.

Most color shots with good lighting also work well as a B&W.

Title: Re: street photography...feedback please!
Post by: RS2021 on March 17, 2013, 12:48:51 PM
Similar "general" guidelines that apply to photojournalism also apply to street work though the priority in the former is to get the shot (artistry counts, but the documentation counts even more and could mean the difference between a check and a smile from the desk editor)...street photography though based on similar ideals is somewhat less deadline oriented and more condusive to atristic experimentation...having started out in the former and a practioner of the latter, I can say converting from color is fine in the digital era... there is nothing inherently wrong with shooting in color and converting in post.

I do agree "seeing in B&W" is important. The street photographers and photojournalist I admire see in "tones" first even before they frame the shots.

Here are a few I posted under 35L thread that rely on contrast and gradation and not on color.
 
Title: Re: street photography...feedback please!
Post by: distant.star on March 17, 2013, 04:29:08 PM
.
Here's my little mental checklist when I'm thinking B & W:

Light & shadow

Dark & bright

Shape & form

Pattern & repetition

Line & space


The world definitely looks different when you look at it that way.
Title: Re: street photography...feedback please!
Post by: RS2021 on March 17, 2013, 05:08:28 PM
.
Here's my little mental checklist when I'm thinking B & W:

Light & shadow

Dark & bright

Shape & form

Pattern & repetition

Line & space


The world definitely looks different when you look at it that way.

Great summary!

In color limited artistic space, pattern and repetition is one of the most powerful tools to bring emphasis.

Title: Re: street photography...feedback please!
Post by: RS2021 on March 17, 2013, 05:33:48 PM
Here's my little mental checklist when I'm thinking B & W:

Here is an event shot from me relating to lines, shapes, and repetition...with the humble 24-105 at 24mm.

While it is not "street", we have segued into B&W there, and I think street rules can be effectively applied to non ceremonial events.

Note to pixel peepers: don't! :)

Title: Re: street photography...feedback please!
Post by: unfocused on March 17, 2013, 05:41:00 PM
Some photographers love to talk about "seeing in black and white." Most of the time it's total b.s. What matters is the final product. Doesn't matter if you originally "saw" it in black and white or if you only saw it that way during processing. Use whatever works for the image.

I shot in black and white almost all my life. I grew up in the era when "serious" photographers never shot color. Now I love color. Too many photographers use black and white as an affectation to make mediocre pictures seem serious.

However, that's not the case with these images by Ivan. They are wonderful in black and white and work much better than they did in color. Fantastic images.

Your pics are good but too busy.
Try being more specific on which subject catches your eye and frame that as your main focus.

As a fellow photographer and friend of mine used to say: some people's taste is all in their mouth. There is a difference between an image that is "busy" and an image that has a lot going on in it. These images are not "busy" but they certainly have a lot going on in them.
Title: Re: street photography...feedback please!
Post by: paul13walnut5 on March 17, 2013, 07:10:51 PM
On the two you've posted: too much motion blur going on.  Need a faster shutter, enough to get very slight motion blur, not as much as you have here.

First picture is great, I feel like i'm observing a scene, I love the seated womans experession and depth of layers to this image. 

2nd one, not so sure about, the direct eye contact makes it look more like a portrait.  I don't like this so much when I'm in voyeur mode, as I like my street photography to be.

Contrast is funny as well.  The first image has tonality nailed, look at the ethnicities and the textures etc, 2nd one looks burned out.

I used to love shooting B+W on chromagenic film and would use a red or orange filter to help me see without colour.  It's more difficult with SLR's because this screws up the bayer and the amount of detail.  Better to shoot colour and channel mix the RAW before conversion.  I wish there was a way to filter the viewfinder only, I know you can put on RAW+JPEG and the mono conversion, but this is only any use for live view, maybe not a bad thing if you are confident zone focusing, which after a bit of practise is probably the best way for street.
Title: Re: street photography...feedback please!
Post by: RS2021 on March 17, 2013, 07:45:34 PM
Also look at the other pictures he posts in the link, not just the two B&W transforms here...

Some of that works even better in color IMHO.

Cools shots and the processing is intriguing.
Title: Re: street photography...feedback please!
Post by: Ivan Muller on May 03, 2013, 09:01:10 AM
Also look at the other pictures he posts in the link, not just the two B&W transforms here...

Some of that works even better in color IMHO.

Cools shots and the processing is intriguing.

Thanks! I always have a problem deciding between B&W & colour....
Title: Re: street photography...feedback please!
Post by: cayenne on May 03, 2013, 10:10:56 AM
I see you shot in color then converted to black and white, I'm looking for shooting in black and white from the get go, and trying to use my mind and "see" the world in black and white as I shoot, but I'm finding it difficult to imagine that.  My mentor stated he can do that sort of.  Have you ever heard of doing this?

Nice pictures by the way, the two chicks kissing was an eye opener at the end, great capture / timing. Congrats.

Peace! 8)

Well, if you're shooting in RAW....everything is in color...as that you get what the sensor sees. So, there is no such thing as "shooting black and white" really anymore. I guess if you're shooting jpg and use the styles, then, yes, you only get B&W, but no one should really only be shooting in jpg these days, you want RAW so you can have more leeway for post processing.

cayenne
Title: Re: street photography...feedback please!
Post by: Plato the Wise on May 03, 2013, 11:09:48 AM
The same rules apply to color or black and white. Composition, line and form, pattern and juxtaposition of visual elements all play a critical roll in making something visually interesting.

I agree that seeing in Black and white is BS. Everyone sees in color unless you are colorblind. Envisioning what something will look like reproduced in black and white is a skill that is learned through practice and patience.

As an artist who works in a wide range of mediums in addition to photography I have learned to do this. When you have to draw something in black and white, you learn to interpret color as values and through trial and error learn what works and what renders flat.

With that said, your first images looks like street photography to me. The second violates the rule of observation. The subject should be involved in their activity and not the photographer.
Title: Re: street photography...feedback please!
Post by: Dantana on May 03, 2013, 12:58:01 PM
"Seeing in Black and White" is not BS, but you shouldn't take it literally. It's the ability to see the contrast in a color scene the way it would be represented in black and white. It's an acquired skill. Yes, you can make good black and white images from your RAW files if you don't work on seeing this way, but it will take you longer in post and you will have less black and white keepers.
Title: Re: street photography...feedback please!
Post by: petach on September 18, 2013, 03:00:00 AM
I have only been street shooting (and other I guess) since 2011.  My main aim when I go out to shoot is to have NO  AIM other than to have my camera set for the conditions prevailing. 

Opportunity meeting preparation gets the shot.

I don't see in B&W nor in colour.  I just see, observe, look for an expression, a nuance, an ironic juxta, context, several different lives happening at once in a confined area.  I shoot then process to get the best (of my limited abilities) out of what I have.

if you ever suffer a lack of confidence in your abilities, look at Bruce Gilden's street stuff.  Same old schtick......but he is a Magnum 'tog....and all he does is stick a Leica and flash gun under the noses of his ambush victims.  (But to be fair.....look at his Yakusa and other photo documentary stuff and you see how brilliant he is as a camersmith)

I have seen stuff produced here by keen amatuers that I would say is way more interesting and skilfully carried out than some really well known street shooters.

I see, I shoot, I move on....I am not precious about it, I don't  go in for pseudo mumbo jumbo.  To be honest, having Parkinsons tremor, it is all I can do to hold a bloody camera still enough and for long enough to get the shot.

I see wonderful stuff in these forums, wonderful and wonder why they are not exhibited elsewhere.