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It's that darned old Lighthouse again, but in moody B+W

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by grebeman, Jan 25, 2011.

  1. grebeman

    grebeman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2010
    South Brent, south Devon (UK)
    Barrie
    This morning in anticipation of a fairly clear dawn I arrived at Start Point Lighthouse with some time to spare before the light was due to be extinguished, however just before sunrise it clouded up rather too much for good sunrise shots, however here is a flavour of what I was able to get, but this time rendered in a rather moody black and white.

    1010168.
    Panasonic GF1 with 15mm, f/4.5 Voigtlander Super Wide-Heliar @ f/8, 3.2 sec, iso 200

    1010180.
    Panasonic GF1 with 75mm, f/2.5 Voigtlander Color-Heliar @ f/8, 1/4 sec, iso 200

    1010227.
    Panasonic GF1 with 15mm, f/4.5 Voigtlander Super Wide-Heliar @ f/8, 1/160 sec, iso 200

    This last view was taken from the coastal footpath to the west, a view that has remained virtually unaltered for the 170 years that the lighthouse has stood on Start Point.


    Barrie
     
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  2. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

    :cloud-9-039:Barrie, I like the moody black and white - especially in your first one. If I lived near there, I'd be there all the time.
     
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  3. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    Tom
    You poor man having to go to such a dreary, boring, non-photogenic place all the time. I pity you, I really you.

    LOL
     
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  4. deirdre

    deirdre Mu-43 Top Veteran

    661
    Aug 9, 2010
    Oh, that is lovely. I particularly like the first shot, too.
     
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  5. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Jason
    Barrie,

    I think that first one is the best so far!
     
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  6. grebeman

    grebeman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2010
    South Brent, south Devon (UK)
    Barrie
    Thanks for your response everyone. It's interesting that you seem to have settled on the first one as your favourite, if it had been up to me and I'd only been able to post one I think I would have gone for the third, hmmm, do I need some sort of photo appreciation course?

    BBW, it is becoming a favourite haunt of mine at the moment, lack of tourists and car parking charges in the winter helps, but no, really it's the atmosphere and beauty of the place, and the mood changes almost everyday. Fog had been forecast that morning, obviously it didn't materialise, but it would have been interesting to try and capture that sort of atmosphere.

    Mellow, you are so right, it's such a dreary place to be forced to visit frequently :rofl:

    Oh well, here's to the next time :smile:


    Barrie
     
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  7. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Jason
    Barrie,

    Are these from RAW or JPEG out of the Camera? I noticed that with many of your shots they seem a little "grainy" or is that the effect you are looking for?

    I wish I had a subject like this to do photographing with.
     
  8. grebeman

    grebeman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2010
    South Brent, south Devon (UK)
    Barrie
    Hi Jason,

    They are raw files from the camera, post processed in Bibble Pro 5, downsized for posting on here when exported from Bibble. I then use GIMP to sharpen and add the border. I reduce the default unsharp mask setting in GIMP from 5.0 to 0.8, perhaps I should reduce it a little further.

    I have been wondering about that grainy effect myself and where it originates from, it's not intentional and not really to my liking, I really must take some time to try different approaches and see if I can eliminate it. Some of the very early morning shots are at rather slow speeds, 2 - 4 seconds for example and I had assumed some noise creeping in, I don't apply any noise reduction.

    Would certainly prefer smoother tones.

    Barrie
     
  9. akulya

    akulya Mu-43 Veteran

    249
    Jun 21, 2010
    Barrie,
    I don't at all mind seeing that lighthouse again, and I think the first shot is a nice new angle. Great clouds and highlighting an interesting era of building style. The strong black foreground works well; however it doesn't quite look like your typical 15mm fov - is it a crop?

    The third is another typically wonderful 15mm landscape from your gifted eye and beautiful location.

    Thanks for keeping them coming :)
     
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  10. grebeman

    grebeman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2010
    South Brent, south Devon (UK)
    Barrie
    Kal,
    Many thanks for your comments. You might well be right on the lens, I was at times using the 25mm lens, I might have lost track of which I was using for that first shot, my excuse is it was pretty dark, despite my closeness to the lighthouse, as you can see I was in line with the shielded portion of its sweep. It's rare that I crop any photographs I post here, normally the only crop I do is if I have had to do some minor rotation to correct for a slightly sloping horizon.

    The lighthouse was actually designed in 1836, so I suppose it has something of the Gothic about it.

    Barrie
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Jason
    Barrie,

    I think a little noise reduction would probably helpful on the longer exposures. I think what I am seeing though are halos from oversharping. In Gimp, I usually use a radius of .5-1.0 and an amount between .3-.8 depending on the picture. Usually halos start to appear at any amount of 1 or 1.2, depending on the picture.
     
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  12. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

    Barrie, no need for a photo appreciation course on your part, that I can say without hesitation!

    I like your third very much as well. I hate venturing to "give advice" but did you ever try it as more of a horizontal? As much as those foreboding clouds are glorious, when I scroll down on my screen and cut it just a little bit above the lighthouse, I find it even more compelling and think I'd put it in at least a tie for first place, if not bumping my current favorite down to second. Of course, this is just my view from where I sit and I believe the artist photographer is the one to call the shots as they see them.
     
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  13. grebeman

    grebeman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2010
    South Brent, south Devon (UK)
    Barrie
    Jason,

    Thanks for the benefit of your experience, I'll have a go at that later this evening. When I started out and was using Photoshop 6 or 7 on a windows platform I used to convert to LAB mode and just sharpen the luminance channel, using small amounts of unsharp mask applied 2 or 3 times if necessary, my prints were commented on by someone in the lecturing business as showing particularly good sharpening technique. I still use photoshop and that method of sharpening to produce any prints that I make. I noticed in that Gimpguru site you put me onto the other day a similar technique for gimp, although it looked rather more involved, although come to think of it I downloaded an action for that technique in photoshop, so it was semi automated.

    Barrie
     
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  14. grebeman

    grebeman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2010
    South Brent, south Devon (UK)
    Barrie
    No problem BBW, I feel much the same as yourself about giving advice, I tend to couch it in terms of "have you considered" or "perhaps you might like to try", and as you say the creator of the photograph has to be the guy calling the shots.
    For that photograph I had waited for some time for those roller clouds to get to the right place in the sky, so I was going to include them come what may :biggrin:, but hey that could have clouded my judgement, perhaps a variation in framing was called for at the shooting stage, be flexible and cover all the angles.

    Barrie
     
  15. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Jason
    Barrie,

    Don't get me wrong either, I really love the lighting and composition. The grain just seems overly distracting. Have you tried using Olympus Master to convert the RAW? It has some native noise reduction tools as well before converting to JPEG. I would think Bibble would have the same.
     
  16. grebeman

    grebeman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2010
    South Brent, south Devon (UK)
    Barrie
    Jason,

    There was no hidden message to you wrt photographic criticism, I took it fully in terms of your attempting to help, so no problem there :biggrin:. The grain is distracting to me as well, I'm a great lover of lovely smooth tones in black and white prints, so any suggestions that could help me achieve that are most welcome.

    Barrie
     
  17. grebeman

    grebeman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2010
    South Brent, south Devon (UK)
    Barrie
    Duplicate image but sharpened in photoshop 7, lightness channel only

    Following the previous discussion, which I found constructive and thought provoking, I have posted this version of image 3, it was saved from Bibble Pro 5 full size as an 8 bit TIFF at 300 dpi with no noise reduction applied, opened in Photoshop 7, downsized to 72 dpi, 1024 x 684, then converted to LAB mode, channels a and b deselected, unsharp mask applied to the lightness channel only, settings amount-40 %, radius-1 px, threshold-0. These settings were applied twice. The file was then "saved for web" at about 172 kb in size.

    10102271.

    I feel that this technique has produced a less grainy image, what do the rest of you think?
    NB, I did not apply a slight rotation to correct the sloping horizon (is there a slapped wrist emoticon?)

    Barrie

    PS looking at it now I'm not sure that the difference is really visible
     
  18. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

    I'm sticking with this one.

    1010227.

    I love the film feeling you've gotten with the smoothness in it. (Hope you don't mind my posting it here. I had to keep scrolling back and forth.) From my viewpoint the lighthouse stands out much more in this first version and I'm swept away to it across the gras cliffs. You know, maybe this is my favorite after all.:2thumbs:
     
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  19. grebeman

    grebeman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2010
    South Brent, south Devon (UK)
    Barrie
    Image one is seen to be "grainy" in Bibble (was taken at 3.2 seconds exposure time) so that's no surprise, will have to investigate the noise ninja application built into Bibble. By default it smears the image far too much.

    Barrie
     
  20. grebeman

    grebeman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2010
    South Brent, south Devon (UK)
    Barrie
    Thanks BBW, I'm not going to argue :biggrin::biggrin:

    Barrie
     
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