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B&W EagleRay


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#1 Arnon_Ayal

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Posted 24 May 2005 - 10:51 PM

I took this shot in a very dark water without a strobe since there was a lot of dirt in the water.
As regular frame is rubbish since it had a very low contrast.
I change it to b&w and increased the contrast.
Is it worth something? I can't decide.

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#2 MikeVeitch

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Posted 24 May 2005 - 11:01 PM

Interesting, i like the positioning and composition, makes a nice two page spread, but....almost too dark. Doesn't really look B&W to me, try making the black a little greyer maybe? Not really sure its just the edges of the ray seem to blend too much into the background i guess.
Nice idea, and a great shot to keep for the composition alone

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#3 anthp

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Posted 25 May 2005 - 12:16 AM

Works for me. I agree that it might be nice to perhaps have some grey, but then again, it works as a perfectly monocolour shot as well.

I can't decide.

If you do have the option of posting a grey version with a wider tonal range, perhaps we can make a call.

Either way, I agree with Mike - great shot and superb composition.
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#4 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 25 May 2005 - 01:17 AM

I agree with Mike. Try the ray on a light grey background. alex

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#5 Arnon_Ayal

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Posted 25 May 2005 - 03:46 AM

Thanks for the replays.
Do you mean something like this:

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#6 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 25 May 2005 - 03:52 AM

I'd prefer it if you keep the ray black and make the water even lighter - sort of 18% grey.

You will have to go back to the original file to do it.

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#7 MikeVeitch

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Posted 25 May 2005 - 04:04 AM

Not really, you do need to go back to the original like Alex says, (and he is very good with the B&W)

In PS try Image, Adjustments, then go to Channel Mixer and hit monochrome, you can play with the individual colours after that way for contrast. (Haven't tried it yet myself but just read it in a magazine the other day...)

How you dial in the 18% i have no idea....

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#8 Arnon_Ayal

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Posted 25 May 2005 - 11:27 PM

Mike & Alex, I think I understood what you mean but its seems that it impossible to do it since there is almost no contrast between the eagle ray body and the water around it.
I can sure manipulate it with PS but its the kind of PS manipulation that I don't like.
So I Think I keep it as is (with few small changes).
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#9 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 12:04 AM

Hi Arnon,

I understand your views about not liking to over manipulate images in PS.

What I was suggesting (and I completely accept your view that you don't want to go to this length of manipulation) was to use the magic wand tool to select the ray. There must be some contrast between the ray and the water in the original shot - there is no way it came out of the camera looking like this! Then push the contrast of the ray - as you did for the original shot - so the ray goes black and the spots go white. Then invert the selection and lighten the water to a mid grey.

Here is a example of what I mean. Still not great although compositionally your image its very nicely framed.

Alex

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#10 Giles

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 05:06 AM

Not meaning to be rude to anyones point of view but so bar the best image is the one that Arnon did first .. the second one was just washed out looking and Alex you'rs looks bad too. IMO
The grey is too uniform to be grey it doesn't appeal, you have taken a very different stand out type photo and made it into a photo that looks bland.

The black made the spots pop out and that is what an eagle ray is .. it is it's spots infact thats how they can be uniquely identified.

I would maybe say try it on a whte background or a very dark grey background ... but so far I like the black the most .. it is different and it jumps out at you.
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#11 anthp

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 05:45 AM

I'm with Giles.

None of the other options work for me.
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#12 james

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 07:16 AM

I don't think you are "getting it" giles and anthony. Alex and Mike just "faked" a fill in gray in the background as an example of what Arnon should aim for with the REAL photo.

To do this, it sounds like he's going to have to mask off the ray and change the levels of the subject and background separately, since there is little contrast between the subject and background.

Alternatively, IF this photo was shot in RAW, the photographer can do two conversions of the file and blend them together.

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#13 ilanbt

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 07:32 AM

In my opinion turning the white into the original color will improve the photo, I'm attaching a sample for what I dif in PS.

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#14 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 08:57 AM

Great to have so many different opinions about a single image. My main concern with the original is while it looks good small on the computer screen this amount of black is not going to look as good when printed.

For that reason I think you need more mid-tones in the image. I think that Ilan's suggest is another decent suggestion for achieving this.

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#15 thatporchdawg

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 11:03 AM

I like the original shot. IMHO, I think this would look great if converted into a true two color print so that you'd take out all the greys and leave only pure black and pure white. The white spots imply the shape and texture of the eagle ray and give the shot a very dramatic and artsy feel. I can see something like this enlarged and made into a mural-like (8' x 10'?) print that would look at home in most modern fine art museums. Maybe that's a bit too much for some photography purists, or too much PS manipuation, but I think it'd make the image pop more.

This shot has excellent composition. The ray looks like its actually going somewhere, but the "where" is left up to the viewer's interpretation. Is it outer-space or in the ocean somwhere? There's enough negative space left to convey a sort of empty feeling. I really like the shot, but I dont' see this as something I'd see in a magazine, but made really big and hung on a wall.

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#16 anthp

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 05:36 PM

I don't think you are "getting it" giles and anthony.  Alex and Mike just "faked" a fill in gray in the background as an example of what Arnon should aim for with the REAL photo.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I do "get" what you are saying james :o :) but I don't agree that the image needs the kind of manipulation you guys are suggesting. It's a very personal decision, but my feelings reflect those most eloquently expressed by Ken. I think it works more effectively as a fine art/abstract concept image than a more traditional B&W representation with a variety of grey tones. :D :)
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#17 anthp

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 05:41 PM

I like the original shot... but I dont' see this as something I'd see in a magazine, but made really big and hung on a wall.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I could imagine it printed on some nicely textured canvas at say 1 m x 2 m. I'd love to hang something like it on my wall.
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#18 Ponsui

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 07:38 PM

I also like the first pic much better. It's a nice statement... and there are several artists that make ultra-contrasted pics like this one. I've never seen an underwater pic using this technique though. I like it!

David.