Old 10-30-2009, 10:11 AM   #1
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Hello to everyone,

A funny rejection this morning :
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...3&key=22504455

Does it mean it would be better in colour? Anyway, I'll continue to explore my b&w side even it's not bad weather or steam locomotive.

I'm sharing with you another rejection of the day :
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...key=1138753787
I know the light was not amazing but in this one I liked the texture from the trees behind. It makes an interesting contrast with the deep balck and white from the locomotive. I found my last trip on NS territory very interesting for a b&w student like me.

Have agreat day!

Renaud
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Old 10-30-2009, 11:06 AM   #2
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Looks good to me, they or one of them don't care for B&W? To bad but some times its what they like not what works. B&W wont get the views that color gets and that maybe part of it.

I started out with B&W and thats how i would printed it, hard light from the side, Hard and snappy contrast and the sky is right too.
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Old 10-30-2009, 12:05 PM   #3
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Looks like poor channel mixing to me, very flat in tonality. Looks like a simple grayscale conversion or desaturation of all color, which is not how to do BW, it sort of misses the point. How did you convert to BW?
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Old 10-30-2009, 01:53 PM   #4
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For what it's worth, the location is Roosevelt, Washington, along BNSF's Fallbridge Subdivision.
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Old 10-30-2009, 02:39 PM   #5
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Hello!

Thanks for the details about the Roosevelt picture. I couldn't find it on my notebook. So now my database is updated.

About the BW works, I used the multichannel from Adobe Lightroom. The first picture was done in spring on a low lighted day. I supposed that's the reason the tones are kind of flatten. But the point was not of working on high constrasts but having an interesting background.

Thanks for you comments.

Renaud
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Old 10-30-2009, 05:06 PM   #6
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Personally, I like the B&W conversions of each, though I tend to also agree with what J. said. At least, that's why I think RP rejected them, esp. the BNSF shot. I'd say give it more typical B&W treatment and it could get in. The NS crop is a bit too loose for me, esp. given all the room between the front of the train and the left of the frame.
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Old 10-30-2009, 05:37 PM   #7
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Hello,

Interesting comment Joe. What's definition of "more typical B&W"? Does it mean more contrast (more dark vs. mor white)? Or maybe more graphical subject?

I'm interested with your answer because I'm working and B&W for a few month now, trying to define what contemporary B&W railroad photography could be.

Thanks for your help,

Rebaud
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Old 10-30-2009, 05:52 PM   #8
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What's definition of "more typical B&W"? Does it mean more contrast (more dark vs. mor white)? Or maybe more graphical subject?
I will not speak for Joe but will give an answer of my own. BW is not about contrast, per se. It is about tonality, of which contrast is one part. It is about interesting variations in darker and lighter. Increasing contrast is only one way of increasing the variation in tonality. Channel mixing is another.

Yes, some subjects are more suitable for BW than others. But the issue isn't how graphical, but how interesting the tonality is. One great thing about steam railroading is that one has a natural contrast between white plume and dark engine. Backlit subjects are also natural candidates for BW because of the contrast between shadowed and lit areas.

One can't take a dull BW shot and make it interesting just by increasing contrast. In some situations that can help, but it is addressing a multidimensional problem by only dealing with one dimension. It works only if the dominant issue is in that particular dimension.
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Old 10-30-2009, 05:56 PM   #9
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I might add that a good way to begin exploring this might be to study the masters of the genre, here are two:

http://railpixcritic.blogspot.com/20...1_archive.html

Besides Shaughnessy and Plowden (and the book reviewed on the link has mostly non-RR subjects; Plowden has other books that are focused on RRs) one thinks of Steinheimer, Link, etc. Another name on the tip of my tongue but apparently remaining there for now.
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Old 10-30-2009, 05:57 PM   #10
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When I do a PS B&W conversion I do it by going to Image>Mode>Greyscale. I believe that is the recommended way.

However, I use Aperture and use Monochrome Mixer to what I think is excellent results.

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BTW, I like both shots a lot. But agree with Janusz that something is not right.

The funny rejection is obviously the wrong button hit by the screener.
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Old 10-30-2009, 06:10 PM   #11
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The funny rejection is obviously the wrong button hit by the screener.
Or maybe "bad color" means poor channel mixing, so bad mix of tones (due to underlying bad colors or a bad conversion of good colors)?
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Old 10-30-2009, 06:15 PM   #12
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When I do a PS B&W conversion I do it by going to Image>Mode>Greyscale. I believe that is the recommended way.
Recommended by whom?

I've read more than once that grayscale is limited.

Here is luminous landscape, saying channel mixing is a "better way".

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tu...w_better.shtml

At any rate, Renauld apparently did mix.
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Old 10-30-2009, 06:26 PM   #13
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Hello,

Thanks for the comment. I agree about the Plowden or Shaughnessy work. I have their books some from A. Adams or M. Kenna. What I am wondering is : do these people consider "thinking in b&w" or they just take the picture and then print them. It's too bad I can't talk with such photographers because in some way I feel like part of the interest of their work is because of the "nostalgic" effect. I recently did a kind of survey on rp.net about b&w (after reading an intersting thread here). Most of b&w are picturing steam operations. Sorry but for me it's just like reproducing older pictures people can see on books.

Why only b&w with steam? We (rilroad photographers) now have the choice of doing pictures in b&w or colours (this was not the case decades ago). So why not trying to search everyday life subject?

On my side, I really appreciate Plowden's work : he is showing the "industrial" side of our societies (and not just landscapes like Adams). M. Keena also does great pictures. There is an exhibition in Paris now and I was able to discover the way he worked on industrial subject liek nuclear power plant. This photograohers works the pictures a lot when printing. To know more about him : http://www.michaelkenna.net/

I tried to express myself the best as I can (my english is flying away sorry). I'm getting some very interesting point here and this going to complete my research.

Thanks again,

Renaud
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Old 10-30-2009, 06:27 PM   #14
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No PS expert here!


(Still getting a handle on the whole layers/selection thingamawhosis)
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Old 10-30-2009, 06:44 PM   #15
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Recommended by whom?

I've read more than once that grayscale is limited.

Here is luminous landscape, saying channel mixing is a "better way".

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tu...w_better.shtml

At any rate, Renauld apparently did mix.
Grey scale would appear to be the fast and dirty way.

Channel mixing would be much like Aperture's Monochrome mixer in allowing great fun and flexibility.

Renauld may think he has poor English but he speaks photography sublimely. Check out his blog.
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Old 10-30-2009, 07:02 PM   #16
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Why only b&w with steam? We (railroad photographers) now have the choice of doing pictures in b&w or colours (this was not the case decades ago). So why not trying to search everyday life subject?
The limitations of our photography technology often creates limited habits.

Do to the expense and difficulty in creating color in photography, B&W for years was the only viable option. Thus we got used to it's limitation's, even preferring, what is not real i.e. we naturally see the world in color.

Thus shooting a BNSF pumpkin or a UP yellow, usually screams for color.

I love B&W. I think however that was because the great amount of vintage steam photography I have seen was in B&W.

Having lived with this so long, it's a hard habit to break.

O. Winston Link had a point when asked why he shot in B&W.

"The locomotives were black, the night sky was black, the smoke was white, what the hell did I need color for?"
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Old 10-30-2009, 10:12 PM   #17
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The limitations of our photography technology often creates limited habits.

Do to the expense and difficulty in creating color in photography, B&W for years was the only viable option. Thus we got used to it's limitation's, even preferring, what is not real i.e. we naturally see the world in color.

Thus shooting a BNSF pumpkin or a UP yellow, usually screams for color.

I love B&W. I think however that was because the great amount of vintage steam photography I have seen was in B&W.

Having lived with this so long, it's a hard habit to break.

O. Winston Link had a point when asked why he shot in B&W.

"The locomotives were black, the night sky was black, the smoke was white, what the hell did I need color for?"
Actually I think it's "The train was black and white! The engine was black, smoke is white, steam is white, cars are black, track is black, night is black. What am I going to do with color?"

Strangely enough one of my favorite images of his was in color, at night.

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Old 11-02-2009, 02:52 AM   #18
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Actually I think it's "The train was black and white! The engine was black, smoke is white, steam is white, cars are black, track is black, night is black. What am I going to do with color?"
That is indeed the correct quote from page 69 "Of The Last Steam Railroad of America" the second big book on Link that was brilliantly written by Tom Garver.

I was going off my memory of when Winston said it to me in his studio in the early 80's.

Wish I had written it down.
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Old 11-04-2009, 11:10 PM   #19
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Hi to everyone!

I worked again on the Roosevelt shot. I attached it to this message and will try to add it to database. This time I worked with Adobe Lightroom 3 béta because it gives more from my Konica-Minolta and Sony Camera.

I wanted to share with you why I wanted to process this picture in B&W. When I checked for pictures to process in B&W, I searched for the one with some tone contrast. This one was a good candidate : the clear elevator, shadows on the nose of the locomotive and the medium tone background. Also there was a graphical reason : vertical (elevator) vs horizontal (train). And finally, this elevator reminds me some of Plowden's work, a photographer that really inspires me in my work on B&W.

Please note that I'm speaking here of one of my old pictures that was not done purposely with B&W in mind. Today, I'm trying to find subjects and scenes with B&W in mind.

Thanks for reading me

Renaud
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Old 11-05-2009, 12:11 AM   #20
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Great shot!

Brighten up the nose and rest of the lead locomotive and it's a shoo-in for RP.

Do it so I can make it one of my favorites.
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Old 11-05-2009, 12:50 AM   #21
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This b&w stuff has peaked my interest, probably because I have never done it before. It seems to show quite a bit of drama. Here are two samples posted here. What would have to be done to make them look presentable. I'm not sure how these should be processed.

Chris Z.

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Old 11-05-2009, 01:38 AM   #22
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This b&w stuff has peaked my interest, probably because I have never done it before. It seems to show quite a bit of drama. Here are two samples posted here. What would have to be done to make them look presentable. I'm not sure how these should be processed.
BNSF: blah tonality, not much of a mix of darks and lights, put it aside
Cumbres or Durango or wherever: very nice - just crop the bottom (dump lower left corner stuff) and right side and good to go!
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Old 11-05-2009, 03:38 AM   #23
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This b&w stuff has peaked my interest, probably because I have never done it before. It seems to show quite a bit of drama. Here are two samples posted here. What would have to be done to make them look presentable. I'm not sure how these should be processed.

Chris Z.
Alllllllrrrrrrright Chris! You will be assimilated...

You said the word: Drama.

The Cumbres one is SICK! Mostly because of incredible clouds.

It would seem that you heavily used the red filter to get that black sky. However, 315 is now black and that's no good.

Do a PS selection on the lower left, try Janusz's suggestions and get that sucker in the DB!

The BNSF would work if there is/were dramatic clouds. Maybe you can bring them out with the PS highlight.

That's rich; Dennis giving PS advice! Har! Har! Har!

Ask Travis or Jim T.
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Old 11-05-2009, 03:45 PM   #24
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Okay, It's in the data base. Although the color version looks much better to my eyes.

So I did my first b&w.

Chris Z.

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Old 11-05-2009, 04:42 PM   #25
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While we're on the subject of b&w. Here's a shot where I used cp filter and it messed up the color. It seems to work a little different in b&w. Can I get an opinion on this one.

Chris Z.

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