Flowers in Black and White

A fair bit of controversy around this theme as some of the group felt that flowers were meant to be in colour, not black and white, well … here’s both!

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4 Comments

  1. Chris Rusbridge June 14, 2020 at 10:58 #

    That’s very interesting, David. Forgive me if I say what I think about these… For me, the colour ones are “just” (pardon me) pictures of flowers. The first two black and white ones have real class. IMHO they show intent (though I don’t know whether you were thinking B&W when you shot those particular ones), and I think would look very good on the wall. The tonal transitions are excellent. Background of the first is a bit busy, but still works for me; perhaps a wider aperture (as in the corresponding colour shot?) would have helped? The second one, perhaps you could have got the foreground flower a touch more spatially isolated (little bit of viewpoint movement) against the OOF background ones? But it does have nice pop. The 3rd B&W not so much, it feels a bit confused. I don’t think any of the colour ones comes close to the B&W though!

    Did you use a B&W preview to help?

    For your friends… See some of the examples in this advert for floral still life course by Tim Layton; I thought he had a gallery which would be more appropriate, but there are some nice thumbnails here: https://www.timlaytonfineart.com/FSL

    I’m sure there are other examples of b&w floral fine art prints around…

    Anyway, I think those first 2 b&w shots are excellent… Hope you’re keeping well, Chris

  2. David Harrison June 15, 2020 at 20:28 #

    Thanks Chris, I like the second one too – I used the B&W Split Tone Preset in Lightroom for that one which also set the Profile to Adobe Monochrome, as opposed to Adobe Standard B&W which is set when you just do the switch from Colour to B&W. Otherwise I did all the post-processing on the colour image and then just converted to B&W at the end, perhaps sharpening a bit as a postscript.

    My personal favourite was the fifth one, the Iris about to bud.

    I didn’t use any camera preview, I knew I was going to process them in colour, so there din’t seem much point in previewing a JPEG image in camera, when I was going to work on a RAW image in Lightroom – does that make sense?

    Thanks for the link, I’ll share with others in the Group.

    I’m keeping fine, all Zoomed out! Cheers. David.

  3. Jim Bartlett June 29, 2020 at 05:58 #

    What I learned from this group exercise is that converting from colour to black-and-white can be a creative process, more than just a one-click operation, David. My software, and no doubt others, allows me to control the amount of red, green, and blue information which is included in the monochrome image. There is a separate fader for each primary colour. I just have to keep an eye on the histogram graph, to make sure the brightness and contrast stay within acceptable limits.
    Chris is not happy with the background of your first two B&W photos. I’m guessing that taking down the blue in the first one, and the green in the second, would darken the background, as so make the flower relatively brighter, so it stands out more.

    • David Harrison June 29, 2020 at 11:20 #

      Thanks Jim, I’ll try doing as you suggest and see how they might work out. I must admit I just played around with the Lightroom B&W Presets.

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