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Author Topic: About Black and White - Alain Briot  (Read 8023 times)

Ray

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About Black and White - Alain Briot
« on: July 14, 2015, 10:48:02 pm »

There's no doubt that Alain Briot has presented some good examples of color images that look more dramatic when converted to B&W.

However, what immediately struck me when reading his article and looking at the examples, is that many of the B&W versions compared, are different in content. The B&W images have not only been changed with regard to contrast, but improved with regard to the removal of extraneous stuff in the corners.

I get a sense this is not an objective comparison. An objective comparison would be to first process the color image, using selective contrast, brightness and color adjustments, to get the maximum, desired effect, before comparing it with the B&W conversion.

The fact that Alain has not even bothered to remove extraneous stuff in the corners of some of the color images used for comparison, greatly weakens his argument or thesis, and raises the question as to what other enhancements of the color images he has not bothered to implement before comparison.
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amolitor

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Re: About Black and White - Alain Briot
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2015, 11:53:06 pm »

Also, 1970 called, and it wants its red filter back.
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JohnBrew

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Re: About Black and White - Alain Briot
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2015, 07:16:15 am »

Also, 1970 called, and it wants its red filter back.

Love it!

Otto Phocus

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Re: About Black and White - Alain Briot
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2015, 07:45:35 am »

There are some scenes that may look better rendered in B/W.  It should be considered an essential technique in the photographer's tool box... to be used properly at the right time for the right job.
I do not believe that a photographer should restrict his or herself to only shooting colour or B/W, but should be able to equally switch between as the scene and artistic intent dictate.
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I shoot with a Camera Obscura with an optical device attached that refracts and transmits light.

RobbieV

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Re: About Black and White - Alain Briot
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2015, 10:14:58 am »

It's not a science experiment, so I don't think comparing images in this way is all that important. I still got the point of the article.
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NancyP

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Re: About Black and White - Alain Briot
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2015, 10:27:57 am »

So is the 2000s hipster phone app equivalent: 2010 called, and it wants its split tones back?  ::)

I find that repetitive pattern and high contrast often turn out well in B & W. There seem to be a large number of possible techniques for B & W conversion, it is entertaining to play around with the techniques.
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Paulo Bizarro

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Re: About Black and White - Alain Briot
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2015, 10:30:58 am »

I find the more recent articles by Alain less interesting than the stuff he wrote a few years ago. Of course there are always interesting nuggets to take away, but to me, his articles now look more like a vehicle for promoting his workshops. I have nothing against it, but then the content of the articles is a bit "light".

For example, this B&W article is actually quite poor IMO, nothing new there, and it reads like a rush write up. And of course, it ends with "come to my workshops" to learn more...

Alan Klein

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Re: About Black and White - Alain Briot
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2015, 12:39:49 pm »

Where is the article?  Please provide link.

AreBee

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Re: About Black and White - Alain Briot
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2015, 01:05:21 pm »

Alan,

Quote
Where is the article?

Here it is.
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MarkL

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Re: About Black and White - Alain Briot
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2015, 05:16:46 pm »

I find the more recent articles by Alain less interesting than the stuff he wrote a few years ago. Of course there are always interesting nuggets to take away, but to me, his articles now look more like a vehicle for promoting his workshops. I have nothing against it, but then the content of the articles is a bit "light".

For example, this B&W article is actually quite poor IMO, nothing new there, and it reads like a rush write up. And of course, it ends with "come to my workshops" to learn more...

Unfortunately that is what I came away with; a bit of a lightweight article and in a run of them and really feels wanting against strong articles such as the recent one on wide angles by Hougaard Malan. The latter is the kind of content I come for, not a lightweight 'photography 101' article which this one feels like. Perhaps this is a symptom I've seen on creativeLIVE courses and many blogs where is often becomes clear there really is only so much unique/insightful info an individual can give.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2015, 05:18:20 pm by MarkL »
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ddolde

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Re: About Black and White - Alain Briot
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2015, 06:47:16 pm »

As usual Briot's article is self promotional.  "Attend my workshop" Nothing more besides some fancy rhetoric.
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Paulo Bizarro

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Re: About Black and White - Alain Briot
« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2015, 03:56:29 am »

Perhaps you know more than you did a few years ago :-)

Yes, that is correct. But from someone like Alain, I expect more than what is in the piece, which is very basic from the technical point (i.e. if you want to learn more about how he processes go to his workshops...), and complemented with a few artistic notes (that one can find elsewhere).

Again, it appears that as of late, his articles have a high self-promotional gist.

Alan Klein

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Re: About Black and White - Alain Briot
« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2015, 11:23:25 am »

I think his comments about converting simple compositions with higher graphic, shape etc and how these work better in BW confirms my own selection of what to convert for the most part.  https://www.flickr.com/photos/alanklein2000/sets/72157627487899061  This tells me there is an inherent preference for BW on particular pictures that  find a more universal acceptance among people.  

The other nice thing about converting, is that all or most all of these are P&S's.  Often, an off-the-cuff snapshot can be improved when converted to BW.

 
« Last Edit: July 16, 2015, 11:26:45 am by Alan Klein »
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MatthewCromer

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Re: About Black and White - Alain Briot
« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2015, 01:30:03 pm »

I think it's a worthwhile article - many color images are improved by a well-done B/W conversion, and Alain showed some examples.
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John Camp

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Re: About Black and White - Alain Briot
« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2015, 01:34:40 pm »

Even on this forum, not all articles are written for advanced photographers who have thought deeply about the possibilities of color vs. black-and-white. Alain's article may have some utility for people who started with digital, where virtually all images are in color, and who never really considered the aesthetics of B&W.

I think his examples over-emphasize certain aspects of black and white -- it's not only useful with graphic forms, but also for straight-aheasd portraits. On the other hand, this *is* a landscape forum.
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donbga

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Re: About Black and White - Alain Briot
« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2015, 02:11:05 pm »

Also, 1970 called, and it wants its red filter back.

Yuk, yuk.
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