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Author Topic: B&W or Color  (Read 1889 times)

RSL

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B&W or Color
« on: September 06, 2012, 05:50:09 PM »

I tend toward the B&W, but. . .

WalterEG

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Re: B&W or Color
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2012, 06:49:54 PM »

Hard to say Russ,

The B&W is more forgiving of the quasi-industrial detritus in the background, but the colour is kinder to the skin of the diner.

Maybe if you did something to minimise the intrusion of the detail outside the window the colour would be best.  It certainly conveys more about the season and time of day.

Just my 20 worth.

W
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: B&W or Color
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2012, 06:54:14 PM »

Color. It makes the shot. Orange and turquoise (teal?) go well together in this shot, and the rest of colors are quite harmonious.

RSL

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Re: B&W or Color
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2012, 09:44:11 PM »

You're right, Slobodan. I'm usually partial to B&W, partly because color often destroys the geometry in a picture, but after looking at the two of them side by side I have to agree that color is the way to go. In this case, color also captures the play of the light better than the B&W does.

That's not industrial stuff in the background, Walter. It's an outdoor part of the restaurant with flowers and plants near the building.

wolfnowl

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Re: B&W or Color
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2012, 02:03:15 AM »

My first thought was for the B&W, but after looking at them both side by side I agree with Slobodan: colour for this one.

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Rob C

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Re: B&W or Color
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2012, 03:13:58 AM »

A little judicious retouching under the right thigh wouldn't do any harm, either, colour or black/white...

I get the feeling that the b/white shot looks just too crisp for comfort; maybe it was no bad thing that the olde guard was limited to slower ASAs - provided a kinder picture of life in the day. Too much of a good thing today?

;-)

Rob C

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Re: B&W or Color
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2012, 09:47:53 AM »

This particular b&w conversion does a better job of emphasizing and clarifying the reflection than the color does, and I think the reflection is such an essential element of the image that I have to go with b&w here.
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Chris Calohan

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Re: B&W or Color
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2012, 02:08:48 PM »

I like both but feel both need more depth than as presented. I would go with the color version though as I've demonstrated here, give the background through the second window more vibrancy and also give a equalization of vibrancy through the first window.

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Rob C

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Re: B&W or Color
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2012, 02:34:13 PM »

Hell, no! You lose the girl against the confusion of colour outside the window if you jack it up!

People ain't landscape.

;-)

Rob C

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Re: B&W or Color
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2012, 02:45:19 PM »

Hell Yes! I Disagree. It's three completely different planes of viewing interest. Yes, the girl is the primary focus, but she is not the only thing of interest in the overall scene. It does take a more conscious eye to see it on the level I see it, but having the washed out background treats the scene too lightly, too frivilously, not giving it its full due.

Amping up the foreground also "forces" the eye to realize you are looking through a window at a girl looking out a window - she's looking at something and whatever has caught her eye certainly wasn't washed out. You say tomawto, I say tomayto.
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Rob C

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Re: B&W or Color
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2012, 03:06:21 PM »

Hell Yes! I Disagree. It's three completely different planes of viewing interest. Yes, the girl is the primary focus, but she is not the only thing of interest in the overall scene. It does take a more conscious eye to see it on the level I see it, but having the washed out background treats the scene too lightly, too frivilously, not giving it its full due.

Amping up the foreground also "forces" the eye to realize you are looking through a window at a girl looking out a window - she's looking at something and whatever has caught her eye certainly wasn't washed out. You say tomawto, I say tomayto.

Can't agree: you're still seeing it through landscape concepts; people stand (or sit) on their own in people photography, which this is all about; background is a minimal foil to give them place but not too much context, because context can steal the soul of the person - as here in the juiced up version. I understand that it takes a certain time shooting people and their clothes to get this idea as being a valid one; that's the reason for the use of the shallow depth of field of a long lens that so many fashionistas love for that same, isolating function. Much location fashion uses backlighting and highly bleached out scenes - such as city streets - behind the subject; this is more of the same. The interest is the woman.

At least, that's my take on the sense of the shot. I've mentioned before that Russ has some of the vision of a fashion shooter, though I'm sure it never crossed his mind.

Rob C

Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: B&W or Color
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2012, 03:18:49 PM »

Hell, no!...

+1  ;D

It is good as-is.

The original shot has that beautiful, subtle, pastel tonality, which made the shot for me. It has that certain "misty" feel, indicating (to me) that it is not about details, not even girl, but about the whole scene and atmosphere. Jacking up contrast and clarity brings everything in that scene into sharp focus, thus making everything equally important and competing for attention. I want that garden in the background to fade out, to be a hint, rather than dominating factor. The very low contrast in OP and pastel tonality indicates, if only on a subconscious level, that it was shot through the glass. Increasing contrast and clarity kills that effect.

Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: B&W or Color
« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2012, 03:36:32 PM »

Normal Rockwell was mentioned in another Russ' thread of today.

Strange, but I see it in this shot too. While Rockwell captured idyllic, bygone Americana, this shot speaks (again, to me) about contemporary America: a single girl, eating alone, no wine or cigarettes, with totally utilitarian, yet totally un-sexy footwear, hairdo and wardrobe, focused not on the food or (non-existing) drinks or (non-existing) company, but on a computer/tablet/phone in front of her and, most likely, (anti) social media. On the other side of that "connection," as I imagine it, someone equally lonely and bored reads her "tweets" about that "fabulous cafe she recently discovered, with fantastic cuisine she is enjoying" and totally envies her.

End of story. Good catch, Russ.

Rob C

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Re: B&W or Color
« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2012, 05:58:10 PM »

Normal Rockwell was mentioned in another Russ' thread of today.

Strange, but I see it in this shot too. While Rockwell captured idyllic, bygone Americana, this shot speaks (again, to me) about contemporary America: a single girl, eating alone, no wine or cigarettes, with totally utilitarian, yet totally un-sexy footwear, hairdo and wardrobe, focused not on the food or (non-existing) drinks or (non-existing) company, but on a computer/tablet/phone in front of her and, most likely, (anti) social media. On the other side of that "connection," as I imagine it, someone equally lonely and bored reads her "tweets" about that "fabulous cafe she recently discovered, with fantastic cuisine she is enjoying" and totally envies her.

End of story. Good catch, Russ.



Heysoos, Slobdan, you've just described the Internet Experience.

I'm so effin' depressed I'm going to bed.

;-(

Rob C

RSL

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Re: B&W or Color
« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2012, 06:24:17 PM »

Thanks, Slobodan, and everybody else who commented. My final conclusions are that. (1) The color version is superior to the B&W, mainly for the reasons Slobodan put forth: the colors are harmonious. In fact, if I'd painted this scene I wouldn't have been able to improve the color relationships. (2) Outdoors needs to stay outside. Chris's color saturation boost (it was more than vibrancy) brings outdoors inside. (3) The light was what caught my eye and made me lift the camera. Looking at the picture I can see my first impression was the right one. (4) Rob, I see what you're saying about a bit of retouching under the right thigh, so maybe I ought to get one of those plugins that can turn a picture of a human being into a picture of a store dummy with one click. If I were doing portraits of women I'd probably need it.

WalterEG

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Re: B&W or Color
« Reply #15 on: September 07, 2012, 06:53:41 PM »

Wonderfully succinct summation of affairs Russel. I concur totally.

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Rob C

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Re: B&W or Color
« Reply #16 on: September 08, 2012, 04:26:52 AM »

Thanks, Slobodan, and everybody else who commented. My final conclusions are that. (1) The color version is superior to the B&W, mainly for the reasons Slobodan put forth: the colors are harmonious. In fact, if I'd painted this scene I wouldn't have been able to improve the color relationships. (2) Outdoors needs to stay outside. Chris's color saturation boost (it was more than vibrancy) brings outdoors inside. (3) The light was what caught my eye and made me lift the camera. Looking at the picture I can see my first impression was the right one. (4) Rob, I see what you're saying about a bit of retouching under the right thigh, so maybe I ought to get one of those plugins that can turn a picture of a human being into a picture of a store dummy with one click. If I were doing portraits of women I'd probably need it.


I got news: it is a portrait of a woman.

;-)

Rob C

WalterEG

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Re: B&W or Color
« Reply #17 on: September 08, 2012, 05:20:41 AM »

I got news: it is a portrait of a woman.

I beg to differ, Rob.  I see it as a moment with a woman in it.

I know all too well how hard it is to let go of wanting to optimise, if not perfect, women in pictures.  But once done the world changes and I now find such attention to falsifying detail total anathema.

There's enough plastic fantastic about, let's celebrate humanity, warts and all.

Cheers,

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Chris Calohan

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Re: B&W or Color
« Reply #18 on: September 08, 2012, 08:26:49 AM »

I beg to differ, Rob.  I see it as a moment with a woman in it.

I know all too well how hard it is to let go of wanting to optimise, if not perfect, women in pictures.  But once done the world changes and I now find such attention to falsifying detail total anathema.

There's enough plastic fantastic about, let's celebrate humanity, warts and all.

Cheers,



Thus, each plane according to this description must enjoy the same amount of relevancy within that moment. We don't live outside ourselves. Regardless of how we focus to compose a shot, within that shot everything holds a balance. I understand the outside light not having as much emphasis if it is indeed a portrait of a woman, but if it is a portrait of a woman in a moment, this light must hold the same weight. I am certainly not trying to be contrary for the sake of being contrary, but trying to understand how others see.
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WalterEG

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Re: B&W or Color
« Reply #19 on: September 08, 2012, 08:32:55 AM »

Gee Chris, you've drawn a long bow on that one in order to justify something I would not agree in the slightest with.

The moment resides in the glass and the difference in brightness and contrast between interior and exterior.

As I suggested earlier, the exterior is unattractive but your treatment made it miles worse in my estimation.

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