Help me select prints for my wall

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by zpierce, May 31, 2012.

  1. zpierce

    zpierce Super Moderator

    Sep 26, 2010
    Minneapolis, MN
    Real Name:
    I'm struggling with monochrome images. I like a LOT of what I see others produce, but I'm never quite sure when an image would make a good black and white. My two default criteria are either scenes where they are fairly monotone to begin with, or color photos that I took where I thought the colors didn't turn out well due to lighting, etc. The latter not being a very proactive form of creation, but it often salvages an otherwise drab photo. I haven't learned to see in black and white yet.

    The following are a collection of some of the images I've created in monochrome over the past year. I'd love any feedback, and I'd like to select three to print for my wall. I've looked at my photos so long, I can't decide, and after awhile, none of them feel "special" enough, so I put it to the group for feedback and to help me select. I've found often times when I post a set of images on here, the group often helps me see things in my photos that I didn't see myself. Often times I'm surprised by which photo(s) get the most positive feedback in my sets, usually not the one(s) I expect. I find I tend to place a lot more value on the images I spent a lot of time creating, but often times the impulsive ones turn out to be the crowd favorites. I really appreciate those different perspectives, and it helps me figure out where I'm doing things well and what things to focus in on. I hope to get that same sort of aha moment again :)



    <a href="" title="P1240009.jpg by zach.pierce, on Flickr">[​IMG]"800" height="600" alt="P1240009.jpg"></a>


    <a href="" title="P1180632.jpg by zach.pierce, on Flickr">[​IMG]"800" height="600" alt="P1180632.jpg"></a>


    <a href="" title="P1180015.jpg by zach.pierce, on Flickr">[​IMG]"800" height="600" alt="P1180015.jpg"></a>


    <a href="" title="P1150632.jpg by zach.pierce, on Flickr">[​IMG]"800" height="600" alt="P1150632.jpg"></a>


    <a href="" title="P1160190.jpg by zach.pierce, on Flickr">[​IMG]"800" height="600" alt="P1160190.jpg"></a>


    <a href="" title="P1160292.jpg by zach.pierce, on Flickr">[​IMG]"600" height="800" alt="P1160292.jpg"></a>


    <a href="" title="P1150334.jpg by zach.pierce, on Flickr">[​IMG]"600" height="800" alt="P1150334.jpg"></a>


    <a href="" title="P1130840.jpg by zach.pierce, on Flickr">[​IMG]"800" height="534" alt="P1130840.jpg"></a>


    <a href="" title="P1070222.jpg by zach.pierce, on Flickr">[​IMG]"571" height="800" alt="P1070222.jpg"></a>


    <a href="" title="P1070602.jpg by zach.pierce, on Flickr">[​IMG]"600" height="800" alt="P1070602.jpg"></a>


    <a href="" title="P1070717.jpg by zach.pierce, on Flickr">[​IMG]"600" height="800" alt="P1070717.jpg"></a>


    <a href="" title="P1240511.jpg by zach.pierce, on Flickr">[​IMG]"600" height="800" alt="P1240511.jpg"></a>
  2. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    Real Name:
    Sorry, I'm not good at explaining WHY I like, but My faves are #2, #4 and #8. If the kids in the photos are special to you, that MIGHT change it. But those are easily my favorites.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Real Name:
    For what it's worth I like numbers 4, 7, & 9. Four appeals to me because it is so unusual, the other two just stand out for me.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. hanzo

    hanzo Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 22, 2010
    Real Name:
    #9, 10 or 11
    • Like Like x 1
  5. fin azvandi

    fin azvandi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 12, 2011
    Madison, WI
    Well, #4 would be my choice for *my* wall. I also like 9 and 10, followed by 2 and 11. Your connection to any of the people in the photos may change your personal rankings.

    I wanted to like #3 more, the scene feels like it has a lot of potential but for some reason the composition just doesn't quite work for me.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. dcassat

    dcassat Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 16, 2011
    In order of preference:
    • Like Like x 1
  7. mzd

    mzd Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 30, 2010
    i would choose #1, #4, and #8 and go with the nature theme. i think those three are very striking and really work well in b/w. great tone, texture, and depth with all three of them.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. kinlau

    kinlau Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 29, 2012
    Instead of likes I'll mention what didn't work for me. I find the light and contrast too harsh for #2 and #6. I find #5 feeling just a bit too much contrast, maybe if the background was a bit softer, I also find that tree on the right competing for my attention.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. zpierce

    zpierce Super Moderator

    Sep 26, 2010
    Minneapolis, MN
    Real Name:
    I appreciate the feedback. I'm not very confident / practiced at processing black and white yet, and my default response is to crank up the contrast. I need to work on that.
  10. Monza76

    Monza76 Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 22, 2012
    Definitely number 4 and then 8 and 9.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Brodie337

    Brodie337 Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 1, 2012
    I'm brand new here, so pardon me if I'm not doing things quite right.

    You ask about how to decide if you should convert a photo to black and white. In my opinion, it's all up to you. The massive flexibility of digital media goes to waste if you don't experiment and play. Anything artistic is about what the artist feels should be portrayed.

    Personally, I tend to take a pretty totalitarian approach to the black and white/colour debate, by simply asking myself if the colour adds anything to the image. If it doesn't, then it's a distraction, and it goes. But it's up to you.

    I certainly agree with kinlau with regard to number 2, it's just a bit much to me. The highlights are definitely four and eleven to me.

    Best of luck,
    • Like Like x 1
  12. mister_roboto

    mister_roboto Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 14, 2011
    Seattle, WA, USA
    Real Name:
    4, 9 ,10 in no particular order.
  13. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    I like 2, 4 and 6 (if you know the kid).

    But, who cares what I like?

    What I've done when trying to decide "which pic is best" is put them all on my computer screen saver as a slide show and just live with them for a while. Before too long one or two grow tedious, a few are just OK, and one or two stand up to repeated viewings. Those are the ones for the wall.
    • Like Like x 2
  14. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    I like 1,4,8, and 10.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. sLorenzi

    sLorenzi Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 15, 2010
    Real Name:
    #4, #6 and #9 for me. I'd love to have any of these on my wall.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. broadway

    broadway Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 27, 2011
    The ones I would discard and the reason:
    10) the wall with the people looking over
    11) if they are your children, the marks on the pants may not go down too well in the future
    7) Ok, but if they are in the same room straight B&W might be better

    My favourite is 8, but if they were for the same room I would choose 3 with a theme, rather than a random set.
  17. zpierce

    zpierce Super Moderator

    Sep 26, 2010
    Minneapolis, MN
    Real Name:
    Thanks everyone for the feedback, it was very helpful, and interesting to get the differing views. I spent a bit more time tweaking and cropping to 11x14 the finalists and sent them off to the printer:

    Based on the feedback, I decided to go with 3 in the nature category to have some continuity or theme, even though they are considerably different. I went with 2 that were in the list, and one other I liked that I had forgotten.

    <a href="" title="P1240022.jpg by zach.pierce, on Flickr">[​IMG]"800" height="628" alt="P1240022.jpg"></a>

    <a href="" title="P1130840.jpg by zach.pierce, on Flickr">[​IMG]"800" height="628" alt="P1130840.jpg"></a>

    <a href="" title="P1150632.jpg by zach.pierce, on Flickr">[​IMG]"800" height="629" alt="P1150632.jpg"></a>
  18. applemint

    applemint Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 24, 2012
    My favourite is #9 and my least favourite is #2 (for me: not a fan of the composition, too much contrast and looks too desolate/bleak/moon like!). :smile: But I can see others here have it as their favourite - so it's all subjective innit. :biggrin:

    I also like #4 and #5 but would prefer a tighter crop on #5, getting rid of a bit on the right and the bottom, something like this perhaps?


    I like #11 too but maybe clone out the railing and the person at the top?

    Edit - oops, I see you replied while I was typing - good choices and having a theme makes a lot of sense too.
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Wandering Aengus

    Wandering Aengus Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 23, 2012
    • Like Like x 2