Archive for the 'black and white' Category

13
Feb
11

2/13/2011: Who Goes There

Happy Sunday!

Snow had fallen heavily the day before, but people had already cross-country skied and snow-showed the trails at Rachel Carson NWR, so, with care, a booted photographer could get back pretty far in the woods. These tracks must have been made just before the snow ended. Though I thought I was capturing the tracks, it turns out this is mostly about what the light is doing with the texture of the snow. A Black and White conversion brings that to the forefront.

Canon SX20IS at about 285mm equivalent field of view, f5 @ 1/1250th @ ISO 80. Snow Mode.

Processed in Lightroom for clarity and sharpness. Converted to B&W using the Green filter effect.

And, being Sunday: Like the image itself, our spiritual journey is often more about what the light does with the snow than it is about the tracks we, or others, leave. And yet, without the tracks, what is there to draw another’s eye? We are much more likely to stop to see the light on the snow if someone has laid a track across it. That seems to be a part of what it means to be human. “Who goes there” is our first question. But it eventually leads to the realization that there is a there to go and a going…and that every step, to the eye of the spirit, is through textured light!

17
Jan
11

1/17/2011: Mountains for Carol

My wife Carol asked for pics of mountains from my trip to Vegas…but the views from Vegas are not so much…so this is truly a snapshot, with the iPhone 4, out the window of the airplane. But it is mountains…and it is for Carol. 😉

I am not even sure what mountains these are…somewhere about 45 minutes short of Vegas. You can see the stripes of my shirt reflected in the window. Color is always problematic out the window of a plane, as the mulitple layers of Plexiglas do strange things. This is B&W conversion using the high-contrast blue filter effect.

iPhone 4.

Processed in Lightroom for intensity and clarity, and converted to B&W.

11
Jan
11

1/11/2011: Light in the Forest

After church on Sunday, my daughter and I stopped at Saco Heath again, just to see what it looked like in winter. She was impressed with the beauty of the light under the tall fur trees where the trail works its way toward the bog, and we were discussing how difficult it is to catch that particular (and undeniable) beauty in a photograph…how the eye and the brain…the mind…absorbs the impression of beauty without needing any center of focus, as we move through the landscape, but how in an image, once you place a frame around it, without that center of focus, the result is, most of the time, just a clutter from which we fail to recapture the original impression.

So I took a few shots to demonstrate the limits of what can be done. I explained as I worked and showed her the results that I was also visualizing the image in B&W, using a green filter effect, which lead us to discussions of how B&W photographers used to tailor the light and the response of the film with a whole bag full of different colored filters…how it was, in a very real sense, the one control they had over the image once basic exposure decisions were made. I told her that often, in situations where it is really the light you are photographing, B&W can be more effective, or at least, just as effective as color.

So here is the same image processed in Lightroom using the green filter B&W effect. This treatment brings the little fur into some prominence and is perhaps better focused as an image than the color version.

I am not sure which I like better, or, even if I like one better. Of their kind, and given the limitations of forest photography, they are both satisfying. Just. Unfortunately the experience is fresh enough so I still remember the impression I was attempting to catch!

Canon SX20IS at about 110mm, f4.5 @ 1/160th @ ISO 80. Snow Mode.

Processed for light, intensity, and clarity in Lightroom. Cropped for composition. Green filter B&W effect.

24
Dec
10

12/24/2010: Snow Fall!

A small pond, falling snow, burdened evergreens…a classic winter shot for this, the day before Christmas. Even the patterns on the snow and ice seem to be saying something extra here. I have this shot in both color and b&w, and, honestly, you can’t tell which is which without close study. It was just that kind of day (and I have been waiting for one for what seems like forever this year).

Canon SX20IS at 170mm equivalent, f4.5 @ 1/125th @ ISO 200. Landscape mode.

Processed for intensity and clarity in Lightroom. It took much more than usual Fill Light, and then I converted it to b&w using the “look 3” filter.

This is the color version.

It will repay (they both will) a look at a lager size by clicking the image to open my WideEyedInWonder gallery and adjusting the size to your monitor if necessary. For this version I used the selective HSL controls to boost both the saturation and the luminance of the green, yellow, and aqua channels. You can’t see the result much here, but in larger views it does bring up the evergreens so you can actually tell it is a color image. 🙂

23
Dec
10

12/23/2010: Snow on the Marsh 2

Another shot from my snowy morning walk. You might recognize this unnamed creek from previous views, in other seasons. Here the tide is at flood, the marsh is lightly snowed, and we even have some floating ice. It is the leaves in the water in the foreground that adds a dimension for me. You can see the streaks of the close snow that was still falling, and the white dots in the air further out.

Canon SX20IS at 28mm equivalent. f3.5 @ 1/60th @ ISO 80. Landscape mode.

Processed in Lightroom for intensity and clarity. This shot took more than usual fill light to bring up the green in the trees.

And, in the spirit of experimentation, here is a B&W treatment, using the green filter effect in Lightroom. I quite like, for this kind of shot at least, what the green filter does for B&W.

22
Dec
10

12/22/2010: first snow on the marsh

As I mentioned in a previous post, it has been a long dull season between fall foliage and first snow this year in Maine, so, of course, I had to run out at the first actual snow on the ground and get a few shots. This snow was gone by noon, melted back into a relatively warm earth (though we are promised more flurries today and tomorrow, and maybe a significant storm on the weekend).

This is a three exposure HDR. I am backing off a bit on HDR, but here it works to bring up the detail and extend the range in what is still dull light (it was still snowing). Canon SX20IS at 28mm equivalent, three exposures, auto bracketed at –2/3rds EV. Assembled and custom tone-mapped in Photomatix Pro, and processed for intensity and clarity in Lightroom.

And, for interest, here is the same shot, processed in Lightroom to Black and White, using the Green Filter preset. It has a strength and beauty of its own.