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Black & White London...

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by winnie123, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. winnie123

    winnie123 Mu-43 Regular

    95
    Feb 9, 2012
    London, U.K
    Marilyn
    I am still a relative newbie to :43: and had taken no pictures in Black & White so decided to visit Central London to photograph some of the famous landmarks.

    See below - I would welcome any feedback - I have broad shoulders...lol

    No processing as I have not got into that yet.

    This is a view of the london skyline from the Embankment bridge...

    skyline1.

    The Gherkin...

    Gherkin.

    The Gherkin...up close...

    gherkin_up_close.

    A street performer on the South Bank of the Thames...

    street_performer.

    Tower Bridge with HMS Belfast in the foreground...

    tower_bridge.

    My personal observation is that maybe they are a little dark, but would welcome your thoughts :smile:
     
    • Like Like x 3
  2. rparmar

    rparmar Mu-43 Top Veteran

    639
    Jun 14, 2011
    Limerick, Ireland
    I think they're perfectly fine! Yes, the black seems to be blocking a bit, but with the restricted dynamic range maybe that was the least bad option.

    So, next thing is for you to get into post-processing, since that can take the images to a different level. Are you shooting JPG with in-camera settings?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. winnie123

    winnie123 Mu-43 Regular

    95
    Feb 9, 2012
    London, U.K
    Marilyn
    Thanks...I did shoot them as jpg. I have avoided processing thus far as it seems as if there is such a lot to learn about the software so I thought I would concentrate on trying to take good shots.

    Can you recommend processing software. I played with Photoshop on my photography course & it completely put me off as there was so much to it.
     
  4. rparmar

    rparmar Mu-43 Top Veteran

    639
    Jun 14, 2011
    Limerick, Ireland
    Photoshop is overkill and not oriented to photographers. I say that as someone who has used it for two decades (or something). I would love to recommend some great piece of open source software* but nothing holds a candle to Lightroom. Try to get it on a student/teacher discount.

    Lightroom is not just useful for image editing but for RAW developing and organisation. It handles your entire workflow from sticking the memory card in the computer to backing up. It is essential! Yes, it will take some time to learn, but this can be done a bit at a time.

    Here's why RAW developing is so important. JPG gives you 8 bits of dynamic range but RAW gets you 12 (I'm simplifying). That's sixteen times more black-to-white exposure info. Using JPGs is like throwing away a good proportion of your picture. If you shoot RAW you can recover detail in highlights that look blown or blacks that look too solid. You can tune your developing to how you want the image to look: sharpness, white balance... everything that is locked in with a JPG can be tweaked with a RAW. And with no compromise or distortion.

    But this is not to say you have to spend all this time. Instead, you can apply a default process automatically when you import a new batch of photos, and only manually adjust those that need it. It actually becomes easier and more fun to tweak photos.

    Considering how good your shots are technically as JPGs, they will be amazing with a bit of Lightroom work. That extra subtle zing! distinguishes the best images from the rest.

    * I use OSS for everything I can, but in a couple of areas I must still depend on paid closed-source software. One is photography and the other is audio processing and composition.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  5. winnie123

    winnie123 Mu-43 Regular

    95
    Feb 9, 2012
    London, U.K
    Marilyn
    Many thanks for your advice - I will get a copy of Lightroom.:smile:
     
  6. greyelm

    greyelm Mu-43 Veteran

    363
    Aug 28, 2010
    London
    Malcolm
    +1 for Lightroom. I also think raw is the way to go if you want to get the most out of post processing.

    I recommend Nik Software Silver Efex Pro 2 which integrates with Lightroom to give the ultimate in B&W post processing.

    Snapseed from Nik is a very simple to use add on for Lightroom that is very good for little money.

    Just google them to get an idea what you can do with them.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. arch stanton

    arch stanton Mu-43 Veteran

    413
    Feb 25, 2012
    London
    Malc
    Hi Winnie, there are a couple of free programs you could try while you're learning about post-processing...FastStone Image Viewer and Canon's Digital Photo Pro will both let you edit existing JPG files before you step into the world of raw. They're a simpler place to start learning about editing.

    Learn about the histogram, curves, contrast and saturation first...I'd recommend DPP as a nice, quick non-destructive (you don't need to save changes or worry about editing originals) place to learn about how to maximise what your camera took.

    You can download it from Canon's SLR support pages, though it will only edit your JPGs.

    I've been doing PP for years and just graduated to Lightroom and RAW shooting - LR is still fairly complicated for a beginner. Using it and shooting RAW also place heavier demands on your computer.

    Have a play about with something free and capable before spending your money and jumping in at the deep end! There's plenty you can do and learn right now :)

    Just shoot in RAW+JPEG and buy lightroom for editing raw when you feel you want to get more out of your photos.

    Some great stuff here:
    Photo Editing Tutorials

    The levels and curves tutorials will work in any program that let you edit levels/curves - you can do wonders to photos editing the curves and levels of individual Red/Green/Blue channels.

    By the way, as a fellow Londoner, nice shots -love the first shot across the bridges! Head to the millenium wheel for some great long-exposures, and Trafalgar Square just after it's rained :)
     
    • Like Like x 2
  8. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Bob
    Nice shots, particularly like the street performer. +1 on Light room - a very good investment.:smile:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Spuff

    Spuff Mu-43 Top Veteran

    652
    Dec 5, 2010
    Berkshire, UK.
    I like the photos.
    Those people who spray themselves silver and stand still - are unperformers surely?:wink:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. greyelm

    greyelm Mu-43 Veteran

    363
    Aug 28, 2010
    London
    Malcolm
    We have them in outer London too, here's one from Kingston.

    GF120mmAngelHDRKUT.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Joe777

    Joe777 Mu-43 Veteran

    225
    Apr 11, 2012
    Oregon
    If you use a Mac then iPhoto (for simple adjustments) or Aperture is the way to go.
    In my humble opinion these are the best. I also have Lightroom (good) & Photoshop (way over the top for most people)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. winnie123

    winnie123 Mu-43 Regular

    95
    Feb 9, 2012
    London, U.K
    Marilyn
    Thanks for the comments & suggestions for free software, always worth looking at as there is nothing lost if you don't get on with it.
    I have done the wheel & Trafalgar square on previous visits, but didn't do them on this session. I haven't tried the long exposures on the wheel, so will have to give that a go next time:wink::wink:
     
  13. winnie123

    winnie123 Mu-43 Regular

    95
    Feb 9, 2012
    London, U.K
    Marilyn
    Yes a curious way to make a living :eek:
     
  14. blaffendespin

    blaffendespin Mu-43 Regular

    153
    Feb 28, 2012
    Rexburg, ID
    Your photos look great! I would agree with the comments above about shooting RAW and investing in Lightroom - it's a great, and very easy to use program. Nice work! :thumbup:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. BAKatz

    BAKatz Mu-43 Veteran

    247
    Sep 9, 2010
    Riverdale, NY
    Try changeing the aspect ratio to 1:1. B&W seems to look better squared off. I know it's a pain to process, but the pics take on a vintage look.
    I also us that Holga lens sometimes to get that vignetting.
     
    • Like Like x 1