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Hoping to enjoy photography again...

Discussion in 'Photography' started by JohnRice, May 28, 2014.

  1. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Well-Known Member

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    Are you sure that's supposed to be using HDR?

    Looks more like some sort of stylized "art filter" or some such applied in PS.

    _Man_
     
  2. JohnRice

    JohnRice Well-Known Member

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    I was thinking the same thing. The shot I posted just before that is HDR, done to (try to) look fairly natural. A lot of things are labeled as HDR that really aren't. If it's from a single exposure, its not really HDR, no matter how much you screw with the curves.

    Since we're on that topic, I see a lot of single exposures called HDR, but I've also seen some people who take a single exposure and "make" three exposures out of it to manipulate as a bracketed HDR. Maybe there's something I'm missing, but do these people have a clue? You can't actually "make" different exposures. Anything that's in a single exposure is all that's there. Is there any possible way to gain anything from doing this, other than deteriorating the image by doing a bunch more processing?

    I suspect a LOT of people think they are doing HDR, but have absolutely no idea what that means.
     
  3. JohnRice

    JohnRice Well-Known Member

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    _DSC1243-2_tone.png

    Believe it or not, I've never used digital for B&W. Here's my first one.
     
    andySu, ManW_TheUncool and DaveF like this.
  4. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    I dunno, John, but to me it looks like you are having some fun again! :D

    And doing great work to boot! Thanks for sharing!
     
    Scott Merryfield and Cameron Yee like this.
  5. JohnRice

    JohnRice Well-Known Member

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    Yeah Mike, I am. Thanks.
     
  6. JohnRice

    JohnRice Well-Known Member

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    OK, seriously, I think the favorite thing I'm finding with what can be done with digital these days is for B&W. I always loved shooting B&W and all the filters involved. What an amazing thing that now you can customize and apply the filter after taking the shot!

    One thing I'm not very adept at is duotones. I've done it in the past and get the basic idea, and like most PS things, there's probably many ways to do the same thing. So, I'm hoping some of you have some suggestions. I generally don't want to produce sepia like results, but just a slight tone. Is there a non-destructive way to do this, like can be done with the B&W filters with a B&W layer?
     
    Sam Posten likes this.
  7. Scott Merryfield

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    John,

    I have not done much with B&W in digital (mostly trying to save shots that just didn't work in color), but I assume you are shooting in color (via RAW) and then converting in post processing? From everything I have read that is the recommended method. If so, you should be able accomplish what you want non-destructively. Also, I understand that Nik's Silver Efex Pro software is highly recommended for doing B&W conversions. They have a trial version available on their website.

    Doing more with B&W is definitely on my list of things to work on when I have more time to spend. I have always loved black and white landscapes - I'm a big fan of Ansel Adams' work.
     
  8. JohnRice

    JohnRice Well-Known Member

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    Scott, yes shooting RAW, which is the only way I shoot. Then using PS to create a B&W layer, which is non-destructive and lets me continue to make changes. I guess I'll have to look into Silver Efex, but crap, another piece of software...
     
  9. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Well-Known Member
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    Lightroom seems highly recommended for black and white conversions too.
     
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  10. JohnRice

    JohnRice Well-Known Member

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    I was afraid someone was going to say that. :eek:
     
  11. Scott Merryfield

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    That is what I have been using, but as I said I have only dabbled in B&W conversions so far.
     
  12. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    I concur, if you want to have FUN with photography and not get all tied up with actual pixel manipulation, give Lr a shot.
     
  13. JohnRice

    JohnRice Well-Known Member

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    OK....FINE!!!

    I have Lr 4, but I'm sure I should upgrade to 5 before I really dig into it.
     
  14. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    $10 a month nets you both Lr and Photoshop, immediate access to the latest revs...
     
  15. JohnRice

    JohnRice Well-Known Member

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    OK, I broke down and did the Creative Cloud thing.
     
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  16. JohnRice

    JohnRice Well-Known Member

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    _DSC1303_800.jpg
    I took this one last week and wasn't happy with it in color, but I decided to give it a try in B&W today. I think I like it, but for some reason I feel a little guilty about that. I can't decide if it's actually a good composition, or just a catchy shot that's not particularly special. I tend to think it would make a nice, large, gallery wrap giclee.
     
  17. DavidJ

    DavidJ Premium
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    Just stumbled across this thread, John. I hope you really do find a way to enjoy photography again. While I don't claim to have near your level of background, education or expertise, I kind of understand how you could become disenchanted with it for a while. I've been teaching a college photography course for several years now and all of my personal shooting stopped. So I kind of understand.
     
  18. Scott Merryfield

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    The composition on that shot doesn't work well for me, John. The fence is trying to provide a visual path to lead the eyes, but with the trees being so big and centered it loses that effect. Maybe if the shot had been opened up some more on the left and with the sky it would have worked better for me.
     
  19. DavidJ

    DavidJ Premium
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    Scott, the left side of the image also bothers me a bit.
     
  20. JohnRice

    JohnRice Well-Known Member

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    I'm curious. Since this is a "Landscape", is it possible people might be getting caught in a trap of it needing to appear a certain way? Is it possible that since it has trees, ground and a sky, that we require it to conform to certain standards?

    Below, I posted a shot that has always been a personal favorite. As far as I can recall, nobody else has ever shared that opinion. In fact, most of them have insisted I was displaying it "wrong". "It's upside down." Anyone can see that, and a lot of people have been downright annoyed that I insisted on positioning it this way. The problem is, to me, when it is displayed the "right" way, it's not very interesting. When it's displayed this way, I find it fascinating.

    'City-Park'-Final.jpg

    The more I look at it, that recent shot is a bit surreal. There are things that aren't quite "right" with it, but is it possible that adds more than it takes away? One of the (probably many) things that burned me with photography was a growing obsession with "flaws" in photos. It can get to the point where the flaws are all you can see.

    The question is, what are you missing? That big, white cloud on the top left just doesn't belong there. But it WAS there. The trees and sky on the left don't look right, but that's how they were. I didn't put them there. I'm not sure where I'm going with this...
     
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