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Photography For the hobby, the product, the profession and the obsession.

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Old 19th December 2012, 04:18 PM   #74498  /  #1
Dionysus
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Old School

Thought I'd start a thread for any who still use black and white film. To open, and quite possibly close, and continuing the Auckland theme I saw in another photo thread, here's a couple from the City of Sails. Scuse the res, I need a better scanner.





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Old 19th December 2012, 07:22 PM   #74508  /  #2
borealis
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I like B&W. Really like the first shot.
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Old 19th December 2012, 07:51 PM   #74511  /  #3
Dionysus
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The City o Sails moniker is no conceit huh?
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Old 19th December 2012, 08:11 PM   #74513  /  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by borealis View Post
I like B&W. Really like the first shot.
me too.

what camera equipment do you shoot with?
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Old 19th December 2012, 08:49 PM   #74517  /  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oblivion View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by borealis View Post
I like B&W. Really like the first shot.
me too.

what camera equipment do you shoot with?
Good so and thanks! Using an old Nikon FM2 with mainly Ilford HP4/5 and PanF films. The above two were actually taken with Ilford XP2 (which allows a shop machine C41 normal process) and a standard 50 mm f1.4 lens. Oh, and a red filter for the second shot. I use a digital compact also but really find there's no substitute for the fun you can have with an old SLR. Hard to get even close to digital quality these days though but all the menus confuse the shit out of me.

The following was taken immediately after the Auckland cityscape when I finished wandering about and got back to a nice fresh Kiwi white in the bar


Last edited by Dionysus; 19th December 2012 at 08:53 PM.
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Old 20th December 2012, 12:47 AM   #74531  /  #6
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Interesting thread .. Why does black and white appeal so much, I wonder? And what defines what works ... I mean some pics look better in black and white, while others look better in colour.

I like the first pic too, great lines .. I have some Auckland (spelling it correctly now heh) pics I should pull my finger out and post, but not in this thread .. MZ has the knack for black and white.
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Old 20th December 2012, 04:08 PM   #74578  /  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charlou View Post
Interesting thread .. Why does black and white appeal so much, I wonder?
Interesting question and one Iíll at least have a go at answering. I suppose the appeal is, to be clichť about it, the timeless aspect. We are trichromatic and to see in monochrome is to place the images in some other visual dimension which is an abstract of reality and seems not to follow the normal rules of chronology. Itís alien to us and can lend a real sense of excitement and drama Ė such a drama queen!

Quote:
And what defines what works ... I mean some pics look better in black and white, while others look better in colour.
Without a doubt and there are volumes written on the subject. As a simplistic overview, Iíd like to have a look at three cases Ė one where the b&w treatment really doesnít work, a couple where it definitely seems to add and one where itís pretty much indifferent.

To illustrate the first case, hereís a colour shot from a digital compact which is rich in various shades of greens and browns with a rude primary intrusion from the bows of the boat and some subtler pastels in the stern.

Spoiler


A simple b&w conversion leaves a still decent picture but Ö dramatically impoverished in my view.

Spoiler


In the second case we have a general colour photo of an old church from the same digital compact.

Spoiler


For the gable end and graveyard of the church, I definitely wanted to lend some starkness and so switched to b&w mode.

Spoiler


Then with some digital effort in Lightroom and Photoshop, I went for a bit of just for fun spookiness.

Spoiler


Whether you like the fake moon or not, I think the b&w treatment adds considerably to what otherwise would have been a rather mundane shot.

Similarly for the candelabra inside,

Spoiler


I think monochrome and a bit of added contrast and grain certainly adds to the atmosphere here.

Spoiler


Another reasonable example comes from this digital colour shot of the Old Fish Market in Groningen, Netherlands.

Spoiler


There isnít a lot of colour and what there is seems only to detract from the geometry and mood of the place.

A shot taken a couple of years later on b&w film, although much less sharp, has heaps more atmosphere to my eye.

Spoiler


The final case is to me, much more a matter of personal taste. The colour shot is nice and crisp and everything and there is sufficient colour to make it interesting enough.

Spoiler


The monochrome film shot lacks the vibrancy but focusses more on the textures of shingle, driftwood, sea and sky. And again, I feel it gains that timeless quality and to my mind acquires greater romantic appeal as a result.

Spoiler


But as I say, thatís just my impression and I can easily envisage someone preferring the colour version.

It should be noted that the resolution in all the film shots is considerably down on what it should be owing to a relatively low quality scan.

Quote:
I like the first pic too, great lines .. I have some Auckland (spelling it correctly now heh) pics I should pull my finger out and post, but not in this thread .. MZ has the knack for black and white.
Iím not anally puritanical about b&w film btw and would be delighted to see colour/monochrome conversions in this thread! People tell me these days that the best way to do b&w is to shoot colour digital and convert to monochrome in software. In that way you capture all the information, have full control over the conversion and get a colour shot free into the bargain. Iíve no problem with that, itís just my own preference to have the ultimate simplicity of a manual SLR loaded with b&w plus yellow, orange and red filters and try and get used to thinking in mono only.

Eta: I too always have a hard time not writing [little] Aukland
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Old 21st December 2012, 02:38 PM   #74699  /  #8
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I think a large part of the appeal is the way B&W approaches simplicity.

I remember when 3d movies became a fad again (few years ago) I read a bit which pointed out that, though we have had 3d mediums for years (sculpture), there has been a vast preference for 2d (paintings).

When you strip off the colour, you simplify an image which, to me, makes it easier to take in. Go a step further down that path, and you have gesture drawing, which, in a few seemingly hurried lines, can convey almost as much.



Or the effect Dan Dennett describes in this video (at about 11:00) where a painting can trick you into seeing much detail which isn't there.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjbWr3ODbAo

Finally, my own shot. This is a friend of mine who runs beautifully. I think simplifying this by removing the colour added much to the shot.
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Last edited by Cunt; 21st December 2012 at 02:41 PM. Reason: attempting to fix tags
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Old 21st December 2012, 04:00 PM   #74700  /  #9
borealis
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Read my posts with the following stupid accent: Canada
Quote:
We are trichromatic and to see in monochrome is to place the images in some other visual dimension which is an abstract of reality and seems not to follow the normal rules of chronology. It’s alien to us and can lend a real sense of excitement and drama – such a drama queen! - Dionysus
This is the best explanation I think I've seen. Also, thanks for adding such lovely photos!
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Old 21st December 2012, 04:56 PM   #74701  /  #10
Dionysus
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Not so lovely as Cunt's imo
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Old 22nd December 2012, 04:03 PM   #74804  /  #11
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Read my posts with the following stupid accent: Circum-polar region
Thanks, Dionysus. Though I don't know if you mean my words, or that runners tummy.
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Last edited by Cunt; 22nd December 2012 at 04:34 PM. Reason: spelling, spelling
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Old 22nd December 2012, 11:42 PM   #74810  /  #12
Dionysus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cunt View Post
Thanks, Dionysus. Though I don't know if you mean my words, or that runners tummy.
The words are just fine and I agree with them. But as they say, you would need many thousands to convey the info in a picture - and that is a very classy picture! Have to ask - did you use the f1.2 for it? There's a serious degree of bokeh there and if you did, does that mean you solved your focus bracketing issues with that lens?
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Old 23rd December 2012, 01:53 PM   #74862  /  #13
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The focus bracketing issue was solved with a hardware mod. Essentially going to an old school focussing method provided by Katz eye optics.
Sorry I don't remember off hand which lens this was, but it was the fast fifty you mentioned, or my Tamron 70 - 200mm f2.8...
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Old 24th December 2012, 03:47 AM   #74886  /  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
Wonderful shot! and I agree, much better in living colour.

Thoughtful response to my ponderings .. and in general I agree .. and with cunt's thoughts too .. though we may not always agree on which images look better in which format. I like the cobblestone courtyard in colour, for example .. but that may also be due to the added interest of the activity going on within the scene.
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Old 27th December 2012, 08:19 PM   #75129  /  #15
Dionysus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cunt View Post
The focus bracketing issue was solved with a hardware mod. Essentially going to an old school focussing method provided by Katz eye optics.
Sorry I don't remember off hand which lens this was, but it was the fast fifty you mentioned, or my Tamron 70 - 200mm f2.8...
Did briefly consider that math problem but way too late to be useful to you. Seemed to me that you could generate a math solution which would be fine on an optical bench but given the extremely narrow DOF it wouldn't be of much practical use to you in a hand held, distance estimating mode. Certainly no better than the bracketing you were already doing. Anyway, don't you just love those little outfits like KatzEye who provide neat technical solutions to these kinds of problems?
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Old 27th December 2012, 08:44 PM   #75132  /  #16
Dionysus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charlou View Post
Thoughtful response to my ponderings .. and in general I agree .. and with cunt's thoughts too .. though we may not always agree on which images look better in which format.
Glad you don't agree as then there's nothing further to learn
Quote:
I like the cobblestone courtyard in colour, for example .. but that may also be due to the added interest of the activity going on within the scene.
Guess I was forgetting the uber-rule which is of course that there are no rules. Since I'm very familiar with the place it's tempting to think that my optical manglings contain more interest than a more everyday shot. I presume you have never been there and so I can now absolutely see why you may find the colour shot more interesting.

The colour was with a 28 mm lens and the b&w with a 20 mm and lower perspective. Also I waited for some time before getting the scene devoid of people, carts, dogs and stuff. All of which gives a very stark air indeed!

Here's a second one from pretty much the same spot but swung through 180į to point up-market and there are a few very typically Dutch bods in action there



Thanks for feedback.
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Old 1st February 2013, 04:22 PM   #77802  /  #17
Dionysus
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Two for the taking

A prize for he/she who can identify the location of these two. Well, when I say prize, I mean the glorious satisfaction that only comes with superior geographical knowledge. Slightly biased towards those who live there of course.


Spoiler



Spoiler
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Old 1st February 2013, 04:36 PM   #77803  /  #18
borealis
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Wow.

I usually prefer my nature landscapes devoid of human stuff, but in this case that mountain shot is imo greatly enhanced by the foreground flier in a field.

As for identifying the locale, I can only say not the Cape Breton Highlands and does not look like any part of the Rockies I've ever seen.
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Old 1st February 2013, 05:56 PM   #77812  /  #19
Dionysus
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Cheers and yes - it's a long way from the Rockies.
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Old 2nd February 2013, 11:31 PM   #77919  /  #20
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NZ?
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Old 3rd February 2013, 01:08 AM   #77937  /  #21
Dionysus
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He shoots ... he scores! Yes indeed NZ - Fox glacier.
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Old 19th February 2013, 02:33 PM   #81427  /  #22
Dionysus
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Post for Koan

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Old 19th February 2013, 03:39 PM   #81446  /  #23
borealis
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Now that's architecture.
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Old 19th February 2013, 09:37 PM   #81513  /  #24
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Is that one of those cathedrals with the awesome flying buttresses?

Better question .. which cathedral is that?
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Old 20th February 2013, 12:13 AM   #81554  /  #25
Dionysus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charlou View Post
Is that one of those cathedrals with the awesome flying buttresses?

Better question .. which cathedral is that?
Absolutely right and the building is Bath Abbey - a relatively minor example of these kind of things but compact and cute nonetheless

Spoiler


and furthermore stuffed to the gills with flying buttresses.

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