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which one?

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by alessandro, Jun 11, 2012.

  1. alessandro

    alessandro Mu-43 Regular

    153
    Jan 29, 2010
    Hello!
    Which one of the two versions works better in your opinion? The first, cleaner, more contrasted, with lighter skin and highlights; or the second one?
    Please if you think "none of the two", tell me but express anyway a preference between the two... :smile:
    1a
    [​IMG]
    1b
    [​IMG]

    2a
    [​IMG]
    2b
    [​IMG]

    3a
    [​IMG]
    3b
    [​IMG]
     
  2. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    I like 1b, 2a and 3b. But the differences are really subtle (at least on my monitor/lighting and with my middle-aged eyes).
     
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  3. Peezie

    Peezie Mu-43 Regular

    137
    Mar 30, 2011
    Toronto
    I prefer all the "B" pictures. but DeeJayK is right the differences are very minimal in each picture to tell apart.

    Cheers
     
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  4. 6x6

    6x6 Mu-43 Regular

    173
    Oct 12, 2011
    Definitely a. because of the "umph"
     
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  5. Johnytuono

    Johnytuono Mu-43 Regular

    137
    Feb 10, 2012
    Lancs., UK
    I'd say the 'a' pictures seem more punchy
    JohnyT
     
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  6. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    I prefer the b shots. Skin tone looks more natural to me in them, which doesn't necessarily mean that it is more accurate since I don't know what those people's skin tone actually was. What I see, however, is a nicer set of mid range tones in the b versions.

    When you increase contrast, what you're doing is moving tones below a particular value towards black, and tones above that value towards white. That's why the skin tones are lighter and the blacks are meatier in the a versions. You're pulling the histogram towards each side and leaving fewer pixels in the middle where you get what I regard as the richest tones. I don't do much B&W conversion but increasing contrast with colour works the same way. I usually do some contrast increase in my shots but the question is always how much and we all have different tastes. I prefer slightly less contrast you've introduced in the a shots and it's quite obvious from the responses above that others prefer more than I do and go for your a shots.

    As others have said, the difference isn't great and both look good. They're your photos and you're the person you have to please, not others. Go with what your gut tells you.
     
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  7. Adubo

    Adubo SithLord

    Nov 4, 2010
    Globetrotter
    Andrew
    1a 2a 3b for me
     
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  8. Johnytuono

    Johnytuono Mu-43 Regular

    137
    Feb 10, 2012
    Lancs., UK
    ....aside from the question about choice of contrast etc.....these are superb shots!
    2 and 3 particularly stand out for me. What lens did you use btw?
    JohnyT
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. alessandro

    alessandro Mu-43 Regular

    153
    Jan 29, 2010
    Thanks everyone!
    I'm trying to fine-tune my B&W technique, and I am interested in the perception and taste of others. There has been a debate, I don't remember where, on the evolution of contrast in photographs. My less contrasted shots would have been too punchy some years ago, in particular before the digital era. Someone said it's the digital/screen fruition to have changed our habits. It's an interesting subject.

    David, you're right: the key is to obtain the right "wow/umph/punch factor" while preserving good mid tones and subtle detail; or at least to find a sort of personal style and try to keep a line...
    I printed my negatives several years ago, and today I find myself, often, adding contrast when reviewing and re-editing my photographs. This thing must have an end somewhere. :)

    Thank you Johnny! :) These three shots have been taken with the Oly 45mm on an E-M5.
     
  10. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Bob
    I prefer 1a, 2 b & 3 b.
     
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  11. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    Tastes change over time, both your own tastes and the general tastes of the population which is what fuels style changes. I'm not surprised that you want to revisit how you processed older photographs some years on. Even Ansel Adams did that many times with some of his shots.

    You can't satisfy everyone and, as I said, they're your shots so satisfy yourself. My experience is that if you do a good job of satisfying yourself with something, you'll find plenty of others who like the same result.