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05/28/2002 06:43:12 PM · #1
I just had a sudden "horrifying" thought sparked by something someone else said in another thread. We already know how much of a pain different monitor calibrations are when dealing with color. How many of us are going to submit photos that are good black and whites, where our monitors show entirely appropriate black levels, white levels, and a good range of intermediate grey tones only to get comments back from people with alternately adjusted gammas that read something along the lines of, "Ummm, way to washed out for me...."
05/28/2002 06:48:58 PM · #2
You are a 'thinker' :? ) I guess we can only hope that through the course of these challenges that people have noticed the various problems with their monitors and have corrected them or are at least aware of it so they can keep that in mind when they vote. This is probably way too positive thinking on my part, though.

Tim
05/29/2002 07:27:08 AM · #3
One can hope that those viewing and voting on the images have a graphics program on the computer that includes a utility for calibrating the monitor. ie gamma for photoshop and photoshop elements.

DMW
05/29/2002 11:02:07 AM · #4
Originally posted by timj351:
This is probably way too positive thinking on my part, though.

Yep. I frequently comment on distracting elements in the dark backgrounds of photos, only to have the photographer tell me that they can't see the item I am talking about. I believe them. I frequently get comments on my images being too dark.

I try not to mark down for the photo being too light or too dark, since I can't ever tell if the photographer is running Mac or Windows or if their monitor is calibrated or not. My uncalibrated Windows monitor at work is so dark that I can't vote on photos from there. Most of the shots turn pretty murky.


05/29/2002 11:31:01 AM · #5
Originally posted by Amphian:
Yep. I frequently comment on distracting elements in the dark backgrounds of photos, only to have the photographer tell me that they can't see the item I am talking about. I believe them. I frequently get comments on my images being too dark.

I try not to mark down for the photo being too light or too dark, since I can't ever tell if the photographer is running Mac or Windows or if their monitor is calibrated or not. My uncalibrated Windows monitor at work is so dark that I can't vote on photos from there. Most of the shots turn pretty murky.



I made a mistake in post-processing my image this week on my father's laptop. I adjusted it so I liked what I saw, but when I got home and looked at it on my computer, it looked a little dark and had lost some of the detail I had hoped to save. On my uncalibrated, Windows work monitor, it looks horribly dark. And of course, I'm getting comments about the darkness of it.

Oh well. Live and learn.
05/29/2002 11:49:55 AM · #6
I feel very fortunate in that my monitor at work is much brighter than my one at home. I like to have time to check out my photos at home and at work before making the decision to keep my submission for the next challenge. I was very happy to see my present submission looks good to me in both environments.

I hope everyone does their best to submit to this next challenge. I think this one will show everyone's individual styles and interests. I for one am more excited about this challenge than I have been for a while.
05/29/2002 11:55:38 AM · #7
Originally posted by shortredneck:
I feel very fortunate in that my monitor at work is much brighter than my one at home. I like to have time to check out my photos at home and at work before making the decision to keep my submission for the next challenge.

I've compared work monitor vs. home monitor on some of my other submissions too. This time, though, I didn't have the opportunity to check it out on anything but my dad's old laptop.

It's also worth noting, though, that in Photoshop Elements (and probably Photoshop as well?) in the Save for Web option, you can preview the image in "standard macintosh" and "standard windows" monitor brightness. I don't have the program in front of me now, but I think the setting is in a little triangle to the right of the preview of the compressed image. Someone else may be able to confirm that.
05/29/2002 11:55:40 AM · #8
I'm also excited about the open challenge... I think there will be lots of great work this coming week.. I'm having a blast gettin my own photos ready...
05/29/2002 11:59:10 AM · #9
Originally posted by jmsetzler:
I'm also excited about the open challenge... I think there will be lots of great work this coming week.. I'm having a blast gettin my own photos ready...


same here, but I can't get the photo I really want til my parents get home (they went on vacation --party at my house!) and that's not til sunday, so hopefully i'll get something in.
05/29/2002 11:59:38 AM · #10
These observations about monitor variations is interesting. Several websites, DPReview comes to mind, have a grey scale on the bottom of the first page of a review. They admonish the viewer that they need to be able to see the tonal range to get any value from the image examples in the review.

The gradient layer in PSElements offers a steped grey scale. Without having PS (other than LE) I''m not sure but imagine something similar is there. Anyway. I built a PS file that is a simple color and grayscale to validate monitor vies a vie printed image.

Perhaps each challenge voting page should include a monitor reference image that voters could use to adjust the monitor before voting. The ideal would be a photo of a Kodak grey scale and color seperation card.

DMW

PS Having a challenge for B&W implies that the better images are going to be using the grey scale to its full extent. Viewing the images with a monitor that is not "tuned" compromises the voting process. (Florida reincarnate?)

* This message has been edited by the author on 5/29/2002 12:02:05 PM.

* This message has been edited by the author on 5/29/2002 12:04:38 PM.
05/29/2002 12:24:05 PM · #11
Originally posted by jmsetzler:
I'm also excited about the open challenge... I think there will be lots of great work this coming week.. I'm having a blast gettin my own photos ready...


Am I the only one who is a bit intimidated by this? I mean, it's so broad that I feel a bit overwhelmed. I think the more specific topics force me to think of a different sort of subject than the more open ones. And also I wonder if everyone else's photos will be an order of magnitude better, which I don't think mine is.

I had one I really liked, actually, but I took it last Saturday, and by Monday, the situation was un-re-createable.

05/29/2002 12:30:48 PM · #12
Originally posted by Kimbly:

Am I the only one who is a bit intimidated by this? I mean, it's so broad that I feel a bit overwhelmed. I think the more specific topics force me to think of a different sort of subject than the more open ones. And also I wonder if everyone else's photos will be an order of magnitude better, which I don't think mine is.


Well there isn't anything stopping you picking a specific subject within the broad scope and limiting yourself further. Maybe think
'people' and do it black and white, or 'still life' and do it in B&W
and so on - it helps to pick a theme even for these broad challenges.

Maybe it is textures, or patterns, or negative space, or horizons, or people, or children, or salt shakers or anything you feel like, then
go and shoot it in B&W.

B&W is an interesting challenge because it makes you look for more interestingly textured subjects, as the colour (obviously) isn't going to show - it can be a challenge finding something that works well in B&W because you can't immediately see it.

I find the B&W mode on my camera great to help me find subjects, shooting in B&W and previewing on the screen. Then when I find something I like I shoot it in colour and convert to B&W in software later when I have more control on what the result is. Doing this
bypasses the need to previsualise so much and helps me learn what works and what doesn't with a much quicker feedback loop.


05/29/2002 12:37:16 PM · #13
Originally posted by Kimbly:
Originally posted by jmsetzler:
[i]I'm also excited about the open challenge... I think there will be lots of great work this coming week.. I'm having a blast gettin my own photos ready...


Am I the only one who is a bit intimidated by this? I mean, it's so broad that I feel a bit overwhelmed. I think the more specific topics force me to think of a different sort of subject than the more open ones. And also I wonder if everyone else's photos will be an order of magnitude better, which I don't think mine is.

I had one I really liked, actually, but I took it last Saturday, and by Monday, the situation was un-re-createable.

[/i]


I hate that feeling.

The week before the sports challenge, I was a baseball game on Thursday and another on Sunday. The week of the challenge, my home team was on an 8-game road trip. I had a great shot for people I took too early, as well.

And no, you're not the only one who's a little intimidated by this. Still, I'm going out and taking lots of pictures, if only to see what I can come up with.

-Terry

05/29/2002 12:49:07 PM · #14
Originally posted by GordonMcGregor:


Well there isn't anything stopping you picking a specific subject within the broad scope and limiting yourself further. Maybe think
'people' and do it black and white, or 'still life' and do it in B&W
and so on - it helps to pick a theme even for these broad challenges.

Maybe it is textures, or patterns, or negative space, or horizons, or people, or children, or salt shakers or anything you feel like, then
go and shoot it in B&W.


If I were ambitious, I'd probably challenge myself to do a more appropriate 'people' shot, since I don't feel quite comfortable with that. I'm way too lazy though ;-)


B&W is an interesting challenge because it makes you look for more interestingly textured subjects, as the colour (obviously) isn't going to show - it can be a challenge finding something that works well in B&W because you can't immediately see it.


4/6 of my submissions so far have been B&W or monochromatic. I often envision photographs in B&W, and I check most everything I shoot (that I like), to see how it looks in B&W and I'm often more pleased with it. I don't know if this reflects my style, personal preferences, or lack of skill in dealing with color. So perhaps that's why this 'challenge' isn't sitting too well with me...it doesn't seem very challenging to me because it's likely something I'd do anyways, and I'm not enough of a self-motivator to challenge myself. So what I'll end up submitting will be something I would have photographed on my own anyways, which for me, defeats the purpose a bit.

This is beginning to sound quite whiny. I really am looking forward to see what you all come up with :-)
05/29/2002 01:44:49 PM · #15
I like it because the challenge doesn't restrict us. I am always looking for something to photograph and most of my best photos come when I am on my own and just trying to please myself. I guess that shows we all have different personalities when it comes to our preferences and styles.

I don't often shoot in black and white because I love colors so much. Most of my past challenge submissions do not reflect this preference. However, I shot several rejected photos for the black and white challenge that I am also proud of. When using natural light, I love the shadows that occur in black and white photos. I will probably broaden my horizons and use more black and white techniques because of this challenge.
05/29/2002 01:46:48 PM · #16
Ansel Adams and Edward Weston are two examples of photographers who understood light and how to create a compelling visual image in B&W. The challenge is using dynamic range (e.g. Zone System) to provide visual impact. Weston's images of peppers are some of the most compelling still life images and a great visual tutorial in B&W.

BTW, I've created two monitor contrast test images. One is color with the Photo Shop Elements 11 step gray scale at the bottom. The second is the same image converted to B&W by changing the mode from RGB to gray scale, also with the 11 step gray scale at the bottom. The image is a sun rise with foreground in silhouette. Is there a method for uploading these as a reference?

Is anyone interested in having them as a reference?

DMW
05/29/2002 02:28:19 PM · #17
I thoroughly agree that Adams new his stuff, but what a lot of people don't know is the massive amount of post-processing he did on a lot of his work.

First a "quote" from Adams I can't prove the attribution on: The negative is the score, the print is the symphony. Think about that one for a while....

Second, take his work Moonrise, Hernadez, New Mexcio. There is SOOOO much dodging and burning work in that photo, it's not even funny. I look for his dodging and burning blueprint that I know I've seen online, but couldn't find it to link to it. Doesn't really matter though, I mean, think about it -- when was the last time you saw a moon glowing brightly in a nearly pitch black sky while things on the ground simultaneously glowed from the light of the sun?

It is possible to get amazing black and whites without too much post-processing manipulation, but that IS a large part of the printing process, so...

I don't know why I had to share all that, but I did. Maybe it's just 'cause everybody holds Ansel up as this amazing photographer (which he was) without recognizing all the skill that goes on way after the photo has been shot.
05/29/2002 02:35:25 PM · #18
I did a search for him on yahoo and found a site that is selling some of his photos in upwards of $10,000. Is that for real??? I can't see spending that much money on a picture, no matter how good it is.
05/29/2002 02:52:45 PM · #19
i would be interested, dm. you can make them available by uploading them to a server that you might have access to, and then posting a link to them on the forum. : )

thanks!

Originally posted by dmward:
BTW, I've created two monitor contrast test images. One is color with the Photo Shop Elements 11 step gray scale at the bottom. The second is the same image converted to B&W by changing the mode from RGB to gray scale, also with the 11 step gray scale at the bottom. The image is a sun rise with foreground in silhouette. Is there a method for uploading these as a reference?

Is anyone interested in having them as a reference?

DMW


05/29/2002 03:28:00 PM · #20
Originally posted by dmward:
Ansel Adams and Edward Weston are two examples of photographers who understood light and how to create a compelling visual image in B&W. The challenge is using dynamic range (e.g. Zone System) to provide visual impact. Weston's images of peppers are some of the most compelling still life images and a great visual tutorial in B&W.

BTW, I've created two monitor contrast test images. One is color with the Photo Shop Elements 11 step gray scale at the bottom. The second is the same image converted to B&W by changing the mode from RGB to gray scale, also with the 11 step gray scale at the bottom. The image is a sun rise with foreground in silhouette. Is there a method for uploading these as a reference?

Is anyone interested in having them as a reference?

DMW


Me too please! :) Thanks!
05/29/2002 04:26:41 PM · #21
Originally posted by Patella:

Second, take his work Moonrise, Hernadez, New Mexcio. There is SOOOO much dodging and burning work in that photo, it's not even funny. I look for his dodging and burning blueprint that I know I've seen online, but couldn't find it to link to it. Doesn't really matter though, I mean, think about it -- when was the last time you saw a moon glowing brightly in a nearly pitch black sky while things on the ground simultaneously glowed from the light of the sun?


The Ansel Adams at 100 exhibt shows a lot of this and discusses the massive amounts of post-processing he did.

Note that I don't think any of Ansel Adam's photographs would actually qualify for dpchallenge with the rules as is.

Ansel Adams At 100 Exhibition

05/29/2002 05:14:49 PM · #22
to address the concerns of those who feel the broadness of the topic overwhelming, i would posit that the very openness of the challenge should be an invitation to shoot many many pictures of everything and anything, and in so doing , get a better and better feel for what looks good in black and white.

just shoot everything - you're not wasting film : ) .
05/30/2002 12:03:13 AM · #23
Originally posted by Kimbly:
It's also worth noting, though, that in Photoshop Elements (and probably Photoshop as well?) in the Save for Web option, you can preview the image in "standard macintosh" and "standard windows" monitor brightness. I don't have the program in front of me now, but I think the setting is in a little triangle to the right of the preview of the compressed image. Someone else may be able to confirm that.

Yes, it's on the top right corner of the image. However, I haven't found it to be too useful for me. We have a lot of monitors at work, and they all seem to be different. One guy who is running a dual-monitor setup has tried a number of times to fix his calibration. No matter what he does the colors are just different on the two monitors. Something that is pinkish on one monitor is orangish on the other.
05/30/2002 04:32:56 AM · #24
Originally posted by cthenk:
Originally posted by dmward:
[i]BTW, I've created two monitor contrast test images. One is color with the Photo Shop Elements 11 step gray scale at the bottom. The second is the same image converted to B&W by changing the mode from RGB to gray scale, also with the 11 step gray scale at the bottom. The image is a sun rise with foreground in silhouette. Is there a method for uploading these as a reference?

Is anyone interested in having them as a reference?

DMW


Me too please! :) Thanks!
[/i]

Me three, please!
Karen
05/30/2002 05:59:25 AM · #25
For those of you who asked, here is a link to the gallery that has the two images with gray scale enbedded.

//www.pbase.com/dmw_g2/inbox

Regarding AA and EW darkroom work, in chemical B&W the darkroom work is an essential component of the image making process. First developing the neg to ensure the dynamic range, then working with the print, paper selection, developer etc. all contribute to the character of the image. Along with the dodging and burning in.

The digital photography is not really different in that regard, just using a different technology to arrive at the same place - dramatic image.

Found a magazine yesterday devoted to B&W, some really outstanding images.

DMW
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