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Let's call it black and white this time

Jan 14, 2013
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Looking for more feedback, a few different types of shots here.
As always, I appreciate your time and comments!

From time to time, there are some interesting back stories that go with some shots of mine, not sure if anyone wants to hear them, but just ask and I'll be happy to proved something you might find to be of interest.


















Nov 28, 2006
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North of Weird
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#1 - LOVE the separation between the foreground tug and the background. Either some very clever processing I'd like to know how you did it, or the sun popped out on the foreground boat at just the right time? Crisp and sharp.

#8 - Really like this for some reason..... Maybe it's just the working aspect of manual labor and how things are done. Great composition, that a bunch of this type of shot could be a project or series concept????

#11 - Much like #1, I love the separation between the two. The church and mountain top offset one another well. Eyes tend to migrate to the brightest part of an image first, so for me the snowcap was primary and then the church.

#15 - I like the simplicity of the shot and competing angles. Curious as to what the 'club' is on the left....

#16 - I like the fact that you have a setting sun shrouded in clouds/haze. I also chuckled on the Greenpeace ship and a nasty evil jet airplane spilling out tons of jet fueled emissions in the top right to compliment the ship. :trust:


Forum Supporter
Dec 25, 2005
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Rowdylett, TX
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I would like to hear your pre-shoot composition thoughts & post-shoot crop/tonal editing approaches on each shot, along with what your goal and/or story that you're trying to deliver through the image.
Jan 14, 2013
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Thanks Tracker and M38A1.
M38A1, you are correct on the sudden burst of light as the sun was just right. The pic works well in color, too. However, the pic of the church in front of the mountain really only works in black and white. In both cases, I felt that something was right and simply stopped and took the shots. The one of the church was a challenge as I was on a really busy section of 4 lane Mexican highway at sunrise with a lot of traffic there. Both shots were more from a feeling than any real plan, however I did think through the composition in both cases, basic as it is.

Tracker, the shots of the tugs and working vessels in the port are from a morning I got up very early before dawn in order to get to the port at sunrise to shoot the Rainbow Warrior tall masted vessel. I was restricted in the area I could shoot from and was shooting across an empty berth. Once I was done with the Rainbow Warrior I noticed an increase in activity as the port began to "wake up" and walked around on the boardwalk to see what was happening. The tug shots were done with what I thought might be interesting compositions using the backdrop of the big Panamax type cranes.
It was a conscious effort on my part to try to bring back something useful of the port in action and using the morning light.

I don't always shoot in the morning light as I am usually riding somewhere during the golden hour, same for the afternoon.

I was trying to see all the shots in black and white, though most I was shooting in color and then transferring. I use the simple program Picasa and try to use a filtered black and white conversion if it wasn't shot in camera in black and white. I was using a Sony bridge camera that was set on the in camera black and white setting or simply the intelligent setting for color. I am teaching myself about the "triangle" of photography and always trying to get tips and such from the local pro guys, I am always asking questions and trying to experiment.

Often, I don't really see what is in the frame until later, however I do sometimes sense that something is there. For example, I liked the angle and the light on the bicycle wheel on the hard surface of the jetty and the water beside it. I composed the shot with the wheel in the upper right respecting the rule of thirds. However, I never noticed the little sharp bump of rusted metal on the jetty that is on the diagonal from the wheel. It looks obvious in the shot, but when I was composing the shot, I literally didn't see it. Or maybe I actually did see it subconciously, to me this what makes photography so much fun and a challenge to see creatively.

The shot of the man, Victor, and his hands on the machete and the avocado was interesting. AndyC from Corpus was in town and standing with me talking to Victor the campesino. Long story short, I asked Victor if I could photograph him and steeped back about 3 feet and as I was framing the shot, AndyC told Victor to rest his other hand on the machete, I immediately saw the balance and the contrast and got one shot and one shot only. I learned from this, as my original composition would have been limp with only the offering of the avocado. I have some more shots from this day of Victor and the avocados, none match this one, though.

The shot of the two lawnchairs I thought would make an interesting picture of contrasts in black and white. The lawnchairs seemed to give a human element to the composition of the concrete wall and the plants.

The shot of the Mexican roadside diner with the dog was fun. I waited for the dog to head for the kitchen door, though I had really stopped to shoot the odd looking wooden statues in the front. I thought the dog contributed something more interesting to the shot.

The French bulldog on the lawnchair and looking in the window was also fun. The bulldog was a real diva, almost like she was posing for me and knew what i wanted. The shot where she is looking in the door slit while being observed by the other dog, a Boston Terrier, through the big window, was a candid type moment. I was trying to convey the humor of the situation and the contrast in the colors of the dogs, one is white with black patches and the other is black with white patches.

Not sure if there is anything I am doing right, I feel I am going in the right direction but would like to here more comments if you have any!
Thanks again!
Almost forgot, I always try to frame the shot to limit cropping and straightening and I do try to use a filter black and white conversion and sometimes a touch of an HDR type effect. All from Picasa which is the only program I use but want to try some of the others.