My B&W comments

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Robert Coe, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. Robert Coe

    Robert Coe Guest

    I'm not a great fan of B&W (although I concede that some pictures do work
    better in that medium). So I'm less confident than usual that my commentary
    makes any sense. That said …

    Jim Kramer 3
    Nice. The juxtaposition of shapes is handled well, and the photography is
    technically excellent.

    Rollei Nut 2
    I don't get it, but I don't dislike it. And it gets points for being a color
    photograph (about which more later).

    Rollei Nut 3
    This I do like. It reminds me of the Shastokovich(?) musical treatment of the
    "Dnepr Water Power Station". Joe Djugashvili wasn't supposed to get the irony
    in that one, and I'll bet he didn't either!

    Rollei Nut 1(?)
    The attraction of this one is in its ambiguity. I can't tell whether it's the
    roadway disintegrating from lack of maintenance or ice breaking up in the
    river below. I'll guess the latter, but with little conviction.

    Parv 2
    I think I get the point, but this one would (IMO) have been better in color
    and with more careful focusing.

    Alan Browne 2
    This isn't up to Alan's best work, which often depends on creative use of
    color. The murky midrange that worked on the antique car doesn't work as well

    Alan Brown 3
    Sorry, Alan, this doesn't rise above mediocrity. We have to see at least one
    of the kids' faces.

    Alan Browne 1(?)
    Alan's best this month. My wife thinks it's based on a stained glass by Frank
    Lloyd Wright. In any case, it works.

    Bob Coe 2
    This one is better in color, but I try to follow the mandate wherever it
    leads. The washed out green of the leaves reminded me of some of Bret's IR

    Bob Coe 3
    Also better (I think) in color (where it reminded me of an Edward Hopper
    painting), but I wouldn't have been ashamed to submit it in the B&W days.

    D-Mac 2
    <chuckle!> Look at the expression on the bird's face. A lot of people in the
    Group underestimate Doug, but this is a nice picture.

    D-Mac 3
    This one, OTOH, doesn't work for me. A water skier pulled by a couple of dogs?
    I think I shouldn't have quaffed that last glass of Merlot.

    Mark T 2
    Like Doug's picture without the skier or the dogs. I know B&W is tough, but
    I'll bet you could have done better.

    Mark T 3
    And indeed, this one is better. Is this true color or tinted? In any case, it
    works. I might be interested to see it as a horizontal.

    Martha Coe 1
    This is a true color shot, not retouched in any way. Which is why I suggested
    she submit it. While I'n not a fan of B&W per se, I am a fan or color pictures
    that look like they're B&W. Alas, I used up one of mine in last month's
    Shoot-In. Who knew that this month's mandate would be B&W?

    Martha Coe 2
    Another unretouched color shot. (It's the cupola on the Hudson Road fire
    ststion in our town.) We were too impatient to wait a day or two for a blue
    sky, but we like the way this came out.

    Martha Coe 3
    This is a horse of a different color (so to speak). Martha took it as an
    example of the bark of an old maple tree for use in her water color painting.
    But the bright green foliage in the background dominated the image of the
    tree. So I have to admit thast this one actually works better in B&W.

    Parv 1
    An absurdly goofy shot, but it works. And it's one of the rare dark images
    that looks good against a black background.

    Tim Conway
    Similar in concept to my wife's shot of the maple tree, and it too seems to
    work well in B&W.

    Bret Douglas 2
    A nondescript picture, IMO, no better suited to B&W than to color.

    Bret Douglas
    If all you're going to show is the cheerleaders' legs, you might as well show
    them in color, as Playboy does.

    Russell Stewart
    An image that I think I ought ot "get", but don't. But I give Russell high
    marks for his determinaton not to be defeated by the black background.

    Solomon Peachy 1
    Not a bad picture, but a bit too cute for my taste.

    Solomon Peachy 3
    I hope this is your next-door neighbor and not your wife or daughter.

    Troy Piggins 2
    A typical example of Troy's fine sense of composition, but I think it would
    have worked better in color.

    Troy Piggins 1
    I'd rather like to see this one in color also, but it's a fine B&W image as
    well. I could see giving it one degree of clockwise rotation.

    R Durtschi 1
    Russ's style shows plainly in this one; I think I'd have known it was his even
    if he hadn't signed it. And I think it's probably well suited to B&W.

    R Durtschi 2
    I like this one a lot without being able to explain exactly why. I guess it's
    because the texture works so well in the B&W medium and because the lighting
    is spot on.

    Simon Steel
    Very nice. I thought of suggesting that a horizontal format would have been
    better, but I think I've changed my mind. Probably it works either way.

    Bill Boyce 2
    The eyes jump out at you, but it's basically a nondescript, out-of-focus image
    whose technical deficiencies keep it from making its point.

    Bill Boyce
    A very effective image. But for the Exif data, it could be passed off as a
    coffee break at Ellis Island in 1907.

    Bowser 2
    Get over on your own side of the road, Bowser; that dip ahead could hide an
    18-wheeler. (The "in joke", as Bowser undoubtedly knows, is that in
    Massachusetts everybody takes his half of the road out of the middle!) Very
    effective picture.

    Simon Steel
    Superb composition and excellent use of B&W. Arguably the best of the lot.

    Jim Kramer 1
    Another very nice shot. My only beef is that it's truncated a little too
    abruptly at the bottom.

    Jim Kramer 2
    Nice composition. The lighting is a little flat, but at least it doesn't
    compete with the window.

    Bob Flint 1
    If that's a railroad station, I like it. Otherwise, what's the point?

    Bob Coe 1
    Another true color image that advertises itself as B&W. I may have tweaked the
    WB; but any way you slice it, it still comes out monochromatic.

    Tony Cooper
    If that's you, Tony, you've gotta use more sunscreen. Otherwise, I'm not sure
    I care about this guy. But it's a well composed, technically correct image.

    Mark T 1
    I think the two plants (or whatever they are) compete with each other a bit;
    but the lighting is superb, which saves the picture.

    Tony Cooper
    A bit too staged, but the ying/yangish aspect comes across well enough to make
    it appealing.

    Tony Cooper Dog
    Arf! She looks a bit bored, but who wouldn't? I dare say a couple of biscuits
    extracted the necessary model release.

    Bret Douglas
    Who's that old geezer? He looks almost as old as me. (The one on the left, I
    mean.) Not a great picture, but a capable performance by Bret's new 5D.

    Solomon Peachy 2
    The shadows are a little too deep, but this is a good use of the B&W medium.

    Simon Steel
    Didn't we just see this one a few images ago? No matter; if I had to say any
    of this month's pictures more than once, this might be it.

    Bowser 1
    Bowser is a guy that submits a few nondescript pictures, then hits you in the
    face with something spectacular. He must have melted a couple of square miles
    of exposed rock to get this one.

    Bowser 3
    Another nice one. Bowser's on a roll this month.

    That looks a bit like Sarah Palin. But what am I saying? There's no reason fro
    an Aussie to have ever heard of Sarah Palin!

    Peter Chant 1
    I don't think I've seen Peter's work before, but I guess we should invite him
    back. That's a very nice picture, IMO.

    Did I leave any pictures out? I'm too tired to check. It's 2:00 AM, and I have
    to get up in 3 hours. I'll just say that this month produced some excellent
    results with a difficult mandate. Good job!

    Robert Coe, Jan 6, 2009
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  2. Robert Coe

    D-Mac Guest

    Thanks for your coments Bob.
    # ?
    Sarha Palin is indeed as big a character here as in Boston or Alaska! That's
    why I included it. Actually a shot from a "gansters and flappers" theme
    wedding I did last week.

    # 3
    The caption for the kite flyer with the dogs should be:
    In Alaska they use 'em to pull sleds. Here in paradise we use 'em for water
    sking! The same guy ended up in the trees an hour or so later!

    The pelicans around where Ryadia (my boat) is moored are pretty well trained
    when they see an undersize fish being thrown back. The cormorant dived for
    cover just as the pelican landed. He got the fish, the pelican got
    a pat on the head for his effort.

    I'll refrain from comments on other people's photos. There's enough bad
    blood in this group as it is. It seems anything I say is ridiculed by a few
    unimaginative idiots.

    D-Mac, Jan 6, 2009
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  3. Robert Coe

    Pete D Guest

    If you actually made reasonable comments and left out the nasties that you
    have used above perhaps you would reap what you sow in a good way.

    Just for your info, calling everyone "idiots" among other things as you do
    will always get the expected result.


    Pete D, Jan 6, 2009
  4. Robert Coe

    D-Mac Guest

    You are not everyone Peter.

    Just the idiot who tried to make me into a laughing stock by using an
    insulting line in every hearer of every message you sent to the groups. Did
    you get rid of it when your ISP told you or did the Federal Police drop into
    you flat in Canberra for a quiet chat?

    Let's not forget either your crap shot at using my wedding site's form
    mailer to send me insults thinking you were hiding behind the 'net. PeeD the
    mane who denied he was Peter Dee whilst posting images supposedly from you
    but with his signature on them.

    Holey crap! D-Mac wasn't as stupid as you thought. My form harvested enough
    information from you to show you used the same IP address to harase and
    threaten me as you did to post to a few minutes later.

    So let's get this quite clear Pete. If the cap fits, wear it.

    D-Mac, Jan 6, 2009
  5. Robert Coe

    Mark Thomas Guest

    Probably not a great idea, but I'll piggyback on Bob's post to save me
    typing in all those names. Thanks for doing a full review, Bob - you
    spurred me on, and I've posted a very 'raw' image as per your request,
    see below..

    An excellent start to the SI! As Bob said, the composition works really
    well, wonderful lighting beautifully rendered. Joint winner.
    I also like the desaturated look, and usually like odd, simple
    collections of stuff that you need to think about, but this one just
    looks a little unbalanced and I think I want more context.
    Good, but little things detract - like the crop problem at top left and
    I'd like to be able to see a tiny bit more detail in the shadows. I'm
    too uneducated to know, and too lazy to look up, Bob's references..
    Nice evocative work, but I would be *so* tempted to just select the
    lower part of the image and up the contrast a little to better match the
    I like the bw treatment, but I agree that the focus/dof doesn't quite
    work, maybe it would have been better a little more side on?
    Close to excellent, but somehow misses the mark for me - maybe a bit too
    much contrast in the two sides (grey snow is always a bit depressing, I
    think!), and the basketball ring isn't quite prominent enough to add
    that little touch it seems to need.
    Technically superb, but just not interesting to me either.
    Nice work. I can't really say why, and normally such an image would
    leave me cold, but this one works for me.
    Does very much look like IR, and I like your choice of shutter speed -
    the cliched waterfall is often overdone or underdone, but that's just..
    nice. I like this a lot, my only niggle is that the toning is maybe a
    tiny bit harsh.
    I'd like to see the colour one, but this works for me - nicely balanced,
    and very well controlled tonal range. I wonder whether a wider shot
    might have been more interesting - is there a nice looking beach to the
    Yes, great shot, nice timing and again, very good control of
    exposure/tones. Pity that the 'thing' in the background isn't easily
    identifiable. One might niggle about whether the wings would look
    better uncropped, but you would not have had any time to make such a
    choice. Very nice work.
    Not as good as the first, but ok. It's a pity that the boarder isn't
    throwing a decent wake (as the Irishman said to the barman).
    Yes, indeed! Cartier-Bresson I am not, but it was an HC-B-type moment
    that I was trying to capture - unsuccessfully..
    Thanks, your wish is my command. Here's the original straight off my
    scanner, warts, dust, scratches and all. (Scanned 35mm slide, no p-p,
    just reduced)
    This is one of those images that works well as a projected slide in a
    dark room - you can just make out the people (there are actually 4
    people in the full image, but they are *waaaay* down in the shadows,
    beyond my scanner's default settings.) I have several similar attempts
    at low-key images, and none of them translate well to the screen. And
    yes, it was (somewhat) de-saturated.
    This is quite interesting, and I like tree-silhouettes, but I find the
    other trees around the edges compete too much for attention here.
    Cool, I like this. Stylish! Geez, you guys live in a colourful area... /O:
    Similar to the first, the tree has character and is worthy of an image,
    but the surrounds pull my attention away a bit too much. Less d-o-f and
    cropping in on the upper half might have helped..
    My new favorite. This is just superb. Moody, interesting, slightly
    mysterious, technically excellent. Bravo. Joint winner.
    Indeed, strikingly similar to martha's work. I'd offer the same
    complaint - too much extraneous stuff, even if it is mainly just that
    pole and building... I can't help thinking that a different angle or
    tighter crop would have made a big difference.
    I like this - strikingly haunting eyes. I'm pretty sure this is a
    golfing identity, right? I'm not into golf and don't really care, but
    the face rings a bell.
    It almost worked, but there's something a bit unbalanced about it, and I
    think it's one of those images where two odd's (ie cropping and b&w)
    don't make a right.
    I think this is a very fine shot, worthy of a wall poster in a high
    class home. A little mysterious again, and very well executed.
    Very competently done, and nice to look at - but there are only so many
    ways to take a close up of a guitar... (O:
    This shot really tickles my funny bone. If it's posed, she's done very
    well... If it's not, ummm... did you get a model release? ((O:
    Technically, it could be a little lighter?
    This one, although good, doesn't quite excel for me - the various
    subjects seem to compete rather than enhance. Technically fine, however.
    Much better. Very atmospheric. Niggles - I would have cropped the
    thing in the water at right and most of that tree off, maybe a touch
    more contrast, and a teeny bit of perspective correction...?
    Good work, but I think I too would have liked to see it a slight angle,
    and I have to observe - it looks like it needed IS...
    Nice texture work - would be interesting to see this tree in different,
    slightly less harsh light.
    Yes, very stylish and well-executed. Lovely image.
    I too find the softness and grain/noise just a bit too much - I'm not
    sure if they are artistic choices or problems with the image, but either
    way they detract a bit from what is a lovely snapshot.
    Excellent work. Could be an English pub, or an RAF mess hall, or a...
    Yes, that's a fine image. So good that it looks faked. (O:
    Great shot. Technically superb. I just think it needs a person in
    suitable robes walking on that path..
    Another good piece of work from Jim, but I agree about the lower crop -
    it either needs more or get rid of it - those two lit areas are very
    distracting as it stands.
    A bit too much drab grey in this for me. I'd like less surrounds, more
    See my comments on Troy's first shot - too many things competing for
    attention, and none are particularly striking. Nice, but needs
    something to lift it above the ordinary.
    Nicely balanced image, good mood, but again, I like my snow to be whiter..
    Effective, striking image, but somehow his expression does not invite
    compassion or intrigue as some of these shots do. Looks a tad
    oversharpened for that size to me.
    Thanks. Yes, seed heads of some plant at a botanical garden. I was
    struck by how they looked almost crystalline in the last rays of the sun
    that afternoon.
    Hahah. I'm sorry, but even as a sweet tooth, I don't find them very
    appealing.. Technically ok, but I think you've had better ideas.
    Looks like a Disney poster. But where is the detail in that white fur,
    Tony? That's an example where I think lost highlights are not good.
    Nice capture of Willie Nelson! Puzzled why you would use such a high
    iso, though.
    I too think it needs a little lift, but I like the image. Seems a bit
    scaleless, and maybe needs something to make it a great image, but I'm
    not sure what.
    Yes, see above
    Wow. Nice capture. But on second thoughts.. the light looks pretty
    'easy', and really, it is more about the scene than the capturer I reckon!
    Nice work, Bowser - much more challenging! Maybe it would have been
    nice to yell at those folk to slow down so they would be better defined,
    but other than that...
    Again, good b&w tones and a nice capture, but that chin crop and the
    white line at top?
    Cool image. Was that a Holga, or did it get Holga-fied in another way?
    Agreed, a fine bunch of images. Well done all.
    Mark Thomas, Jan 6, 2009
  6. Robert Coe

    Mark Thomas Guest

    To which we can now add:
    Simon Steel Lincoln Cathedral
    Another wow! Great image, Simon. Exemplary exposure, very moody, great
    sky.. My only reservation is whether that building at right adds or
    subtracts - but who cares, it's a winner.
    Mark Thomas, Jan 6, 2009
  7. Robert Coe

    Mark Thomas Guest

    You *did* see the smilie..? I'm actually pretty good at spotting fakery
    (says he, winking slyly) and yours clearly isn't.

    So it was my way of saying you have achieved such a high level of
    surreality, that the image almost looks *too* surreal to be real. I
    hope that is now clear.

    You're kidding I hope - they were actually in there shooting pictures?
    With a flashgun equipped, noisy dslr I'll bet!! People who defile
    sacred places such as this by photographing them should be dealt with by
    the Spanish Inquisition.

    "Our two weapons are..."
    Mark Thomas, Jan 6, 2009
  8. Robert Coe

    Peter Chant Guest

    Mark Thomas wrote:

    It was a Mamiya C330f. Image was shot somewhere between f4 - f5.6, depth of
    field not that great so edges are blurred mainly as they are out of focus.
    However, worrying that the bottom of the building at the left is not a bit
    sharper. Some deliberate edge burning as well. But at least I can avoid
    it if I don't want it!
    Peter Chant, Jan 6, 2009
  9. Robert Coe

    Pete D Guest

    I rest my case Doug.
    Pete D, Jan 6, 2009
  10. Robert Coe

    Rol_Lei Nut Guest

    Robert Coe wrote:

    Comments & technical data somehow didn't make it through.
    This was a color slide (adjusted after scanning to be as close to the
    original as possible)

    This one is from a color negative, tansformed to B&W.
    Ice. HP5 expired in 1998, heavy snowstorm.

    All taken in Hamburg harbour.
    Rol_Lei Nut, Jan 6, 2009
  11. Robert Coe

    ^Tems^ Guest

    He can work out IP's but not how to use a spell checker :)

    How long did the AFP take to turn up to your flat? AC and I are still
    waiting for our visit.

    And if you want to visit his site do what everyone else does and visit
    it using
    ^Tems^, Jan 7, 2009
  12. Robert Coe

    parv Guest

    Yes, I agree that focus could have been improved. It was a quick
    effort as I wanted to avoid getting wet (along my shiny new camera)
    during a short break, with relatively brighter conditions, from almost
    week long rain.

    Color version of the white hibiscus ...

    Also found a small red hibiscus during that time ...

    Monochromatic version ...

    Conversion to black & white was a pain^Wchallenge. I wanted to keep
    just a partial outline of the car in foreground, dark rim in the
    basketball hoop, be able to identify the five tall palm trees on left,
    see the support beams of the 2d floor under the lanai (much more
    visible in the file from which JPEG files are derived).

    When the picture turned out as it did, I just stopped twiddling the

    - parv
    parv, Jan 7, 2009
  13. Robert Coe

    Pete D Guest

    To be honest I still am not having a clue what the hell he is talking about,
    "hate mail", WTF, man does he have problems!
    Pete D, Jan 7, 2009
  14. Robert Coe

    tony cooper Guest

    In my opinion, the black and white version was the better choice.
    Just about anyone who has a camera sooner or later takes a photograph
    of a flower. If they have a "macro" or "close-up" setting, they take
    a close-up. The black and white treatment is somewhat unique, and I
    look to something like the Shoot-In to provide some new perspectives
    in photography.
    tony cooper, Jan 7, 2009
  15. Robert Coe

    Robert Coe Guest

    Probably not a great idea, but I'll piggyback on Bob's post to save me
    : typing in all those names. Thanks for doing a full review, Bob - you
    : spurred me on, and I've posted a very 'raw' image as per your request,
    : see below..
    : Robert Coe wrote:
    : > I'm not a great fan of B&W (although I concede that some pictures do work
    : > better in that medium). So I'm less confident than usual that my commentary
    : > makes any sense. That said …
    : > ...
    : >
    : > Rollei Nut 3
    : > This I do like. It reminds me of the Shastokovich(?) musical treatment of the
    : > "Dnepr Water Power Station". Joe Djugashvili wasn't supposed to get the irony
    : > in that one, and I'll bet he didn't either!
    : Good, but little things detract - like the crop problem at top left and
    : I'd like to be able to see a tiny bit more detail in the shadows. I'm
    : too uneducated to know, and too lazy to look up, Bob's references..

    Joe Djugashvili was a Georgian crony of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin at the time of
    the 1917 Russian revolution. After the Bolsheviks seized power, he assumed the
    more Russian-sounding name "Josef Stalin" (Joseph Steel).

    While Joe was in power in Russia, sycophantic composers tried to flatter The
    Communist Establishment with "socialist" music, in the hope of wangling a
    Government grant. Other composers satirized the hackneyed crap they produced.
    Among the latter was the composer (I believe it was Dimitri Shastokovich,
    although I'm not sure) of the hideous "Dnepr Water Power Station", which
    sounded exactly like a (poorly maintained) hydroelectric generator. All
    dissonant creaks, squeals, groans, etc.; very difficult for the strings and
    the percussion section. I believe it totally sailed over Joe's head. Some
    claimed that Joe didn't like all the socialist garbage anyway and actually
    much preferred traditional Russian music.

    Robert Coe, Jan 8, 2009
  16. Robert Coe

    Mark Thomas Guest

    Thanks for that interesting little snippet, Bob, I appreciate it - had
    never heard Stalin's birth name before. I'll look out for that piece,
    sounds like my kinda music - I quite like the weird stuff - "Discordant"
    is my middle name..
    Mark Thomas, Jan 8, 2009
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