Don and Jack, you aren't the first to comment about those images being B&W. I'm having trouble with my own psychology about where I want to work in color or in B&W, and if both, how and where to draw the line so that my overall portfolio doesn't start to become a mishmash of styles. Thoughts?
PS: Great images Bill!
Very hard for me to say when to use B&W. I don't normally go out with the intent to shoot B&W however there are times when I know I want to capture in (near) IR and will use the appropriate filter.
I generally let the image tell me what direction it wants to go; some prefer to remain in color while others just cry out for B&W while a very few look equally good either way.
I have both color and b&w on display in the gallery as well as stretched canvas (and one currently framed) and matte and framed paper.
Speaking strictly from a landscape artist point of view - there's no harm in showing your work in either color or b&w (I don't recommend showing the same image). I don't think it's a mishmash of styles regarding the color (or lack of). It's more a mishmash showing landscape with otherworldly goth type images...
Remember you asked for my thoughts - welcome to the inside of my head - scary very scary place to me in.
Getting back to the point. The series as is looks great however don't be afraid to listen to your image and experiment taking it to b&w.
It'll be interesting to hear Jack's side of this.
One final thought about B&W. I use a process where I use what I think is the best of IR and B&W and combine the two for a better look. Here's a good example
As for how I choose, I agree with Don --- I let the image drive the decision. So I tend to look at images different ways: if the image is all about color, say a bouquet of freshly-cut flowers or a dramatic sunset for example, then for sure it goes to color. However, if the image is a statement of shape and form, like a bouquet of dead roses or an ominous stormy sky, then I would process it out in monochrome. Clearly a huge advantage to digital is we have both versions at our fingertips.
Re images looking oversharpened...
The image attachment engine is forum software driven will downsize ANY file you upload to a maximum size of 900 pixels in any dimension AND it sharpens it aggressively as it assumes it should be a THUMBNAIL. this is not adjustable. So if you attach or upload a 1200 or 2000 pix image, it will get sized to 900 as a thumb view and oversharpened almost every time. The only viable workaround is to size your image to 900 pixels BEFORE attaching it. (This is now changed for our site's direct attachment option however, please see new edit below).
The better solution is to use your FREE gallery space right here on GetDPI. You can upload images of almost any size, and the engine automatically creates 3 files on upload; a full size verion, a thumb and a 900 pix "regular view" version. All three usually look great and you get a direct url to each version, including a linkable thumb BB code string so yo can post them anywhere, including using the simple "insert image" tool button in the forum software.
EDIT: Actually, this has been such a prevalent problem with our attachment option and I am tired of dealing with it, so I am changing the size of the attachment option thumbs to 300 Pix. This will insure that any image posted as an attachment instead of via a direct gallery link is obviously understood to be a linking thumb to a full sized image, and going forward it should be obvious that folks should click on them to see a reasonable size version...
Test: The first image is 900 pix wide as originally uploaded, and one click gets you to it. The second is huge, like 6000 pix wide original upload, but it got automatically downsized to the 300 pix thumb and a 2000 pix wide viewing option. If you click once, you may get an intermediate sized version resized automatically by your *web browser* to match your browser window size -- in this case a little magnifying glass with a "+" sign in it will show to indicate there is a larger version still, or the max size (2000 pix) version the forum upload software created. Since those larger versions were sized properly for *viewing* and not the thumb creation engine, they look fine --- YEAH!
HOPEFULLY you all like this new format as it eliminates to oversharpened look when attachments are used!
Okay, it works great, so now you can all attach to your heart's content
PS: I've also increased the number of attachments you can include in one post to 9, and increased the maximum file size to 1MB each. So knock yourselves out!
Can you clarify/reconfirm that it is now appropriate to attach a file of nearly any pixel count width (above 300px) and the original can be viewed via click-through? IOW, no need to prep a file differently for GetDPI as long as it's prepped for web. (?)
That looks like Guy with a black M8 and a 75 Cron. Old photo
Ok gents, I reprocessed this series into toned B&W. Thoughts? (I added one to the series)
Given what a B&W freak I am, I am surprised to find that I do believe I prefer the colour versions of these. Perhaps if the B&W conversion was slightly less contrasty it would be the other way... I am not sure.
Interesting -- I definitely prefer the B&W versions, though I might back off a little on the vignette with the B&W...
Following Jack's advice I went ahead and got a copy of Helicon Focus and after a somewhat rocky start I am now up and running - at least enough to run a simple comparison of the output between Helicon Focus and CS4 auto-blend layers.
Here's my general workflow following CS4:
Open in C1 run LCC and save
Open in CS4 and run images directly from Bridge in 16bit when in turn
opens in CS4.
Run Auto-Align Layers
Run Auto-Blend Layers
Then proceed to finish processing.
It looks like I'll be doing this for Helicon Focusing:
Open in C1 run LCC and save
Open Helicon Focusing run and save (saves in Jpeg only?)
Open in CS4 and finish processing.
I've attached four images. One full size image each processed either in CS4 or Helicon then 100% crops from each.
Based on this very simple and somewhat crude test I can see Helicon wins. And all this time I was satisfied with CS4. Thanks (again) Jack!
From L - R CS4,Helicon,CS4 Crop, Helicon Crop
Also decided to test the new improved method of attaching images
My basic workflow is as follows:
1) Process all images in C1 to identical process settings, whatever works best for the group to keep as much image data in tact as possible. This generally means the file is a bit flat coming out of C1.
2) Pull those tiffs into Helicon and autoblend them. Here you can play with the settings, but the defaults are good place to start.
3) Edit the blend mask in HF if necessary (and for my images it usually isn't required). Here you choose a desired single source image from the group, then copy or clone source sections from it onto the composite. Repeat for each source image as necessary to get all parts of the final the way you want it. You can adjust the brush parameters as well.
4) Output. I choose 16bit tiff then uncompressed underneath that, but there are multiple file format and compression options to choose from, then save the composite to my image drive.
5) Next I pull that composite into CS for final editing to desired contrast, tone, etc as well as any local edits, then save it as the final.
Hmmm okay let me try this new setup
Kind of like this setup
OK, I'm trying a new upload to see if I understand....
I'm not an architectural expert, but these old grain elevators (the bit on the left) have nearly all disappeared, especially the bright red and yellow ones, so I shoot'em as historical records.
This was done as a vertical with the Mamy 28 mm - the subject was placed in the top half of the picture so the lens was horizontal to avoid converging verticals. (Yeah, I know I could have corrected in PS! This was more fun!)
Another image from Lake Superior. I just can't resist reflections!
Well, Don, perhaps you get mirages instead?!
Looks like 1200 pixels wide is nice
Let me try 3000 pixels wide. Looks like Pano's work really nice at this setting
Yea seems like a perfect size for 17 and above. Starting to like this feature since the images can be processed like we normally do with some sharpening , not crunching up.
Yes Don I had 10 minutes to shoot before the guard locked me in.
2 frame pano with moire
Jennifer from last Friday's shoot
just got back from a family cruise (Alaska). My wife's grandparents were celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary (they're in their mid-90's), and they took their family (35 of us) on a week long cruise.
These were taken from the deck of the ship, Mamiya 645AFDII, Aptus 75s (handheld)
From Seattle, before we embarked
Last edited by JimCollum; 29th June 2009 at 02:51.
These are wonderful Jim!
When I first started to look at these I tilted my head and said Jim on a cruise but then I read the post. 70 years. WOW.
Now to the pictures. The last one in the first post is awesome with the clouds at the same slope as the mountains descending to the valley. Also, I can't believe the water is that smooth with the ship sitting there. I don't think I've even seen a boat that big in such still water. Is that Ghery building made with different materials than he normally uses. Not used to seeing those colors, which are wonderful.
Hope you had fun and didn't need a vacation from your vacation when you got back .