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Black and White competition near the end.

Hi

 As the Black and white competition comes to an end I would like to hear what members thought of the idea and the challenges it presented.

 It has sparked a number of comment threads already and although I have no idea how many entries there have been. The number does not seem to be less than for other themes.

 The consistent response to Deans weekly black and white thread shows that there is an interest in monochrome photography even in this age of over saturated colour. I thought that it might appeal more to the older photographer who remembered the days of getting their fingers wet while watching a photograph magically appear in a dish. For some perhaps this magic has never gone away.

 However the number of entries can not be down to these people and it must be the younger and newer photographers who have accepted what for them may have been a new form of image making.

 There will be others who will be glad that the ‘sea of grey’ is over and that the world can return to more reality.

 Like many I do not spend a great deal of time looking at every picture that appears but of the ones I have spotted it seems that some have risen to the demands of using monochrome, while others have simply used the same images as they would in colour with less success.

 There is no doubt that the monochrome picture requires more thought often before it is taken. More observation of the tonal values is required and that these things do not lend easily to the casual image.

 I hope it has been a useful learning experience.

 

0 people like this.

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Date Sat, 28/04/2012 - 17:16
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Have to agree that when shooting in or converting a color shot to monochrome there has to be more thought taken to how the tonal range within the shot will effect the finished image. Contrast and lighting are focal to a good B&W and not every situation lends itself. 

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Date Sat, 28/04/2012 - 20:16
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Hi Charles and Colin.

I have enjoyed the black and white section as I sometimes take two pictures, one colour, one black and white.
I think people should use the setting much more then editing something later. Often we take something in colour that looks so much better in black and white, landscapes and portraits can take on a whole new meaning.  Looking back on old photographs too its normally the black and white ones that retain a more natural appearance ..

Colin Smile

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Date Sat, 28/04/2012 - 22:46
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I like B&W, for me it's another way of photography, you don't say the same things in colour or B&W, and I'm happy to see that I'm not the only one, I have seen a lot of good photos this month, I'm quite surprised, and I think this theme was a good idea. For sure, B&W is not dead..

Carpe diem !

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Date Sun, 29/04/2012 - 00:01
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I agree with the comments from sunlight it is very hard to get good black and white Picturesunless you have coloured filters to help you bring out the different colours so that they stand out and a little of software tweaking.Ai one time most Professional Photographers would only use Black and White. They would take the shots using B&WFilm of an ISO of 400 kept chilled in the fridge as well as the higher ISO of 3200pro film. So it is not that easy to get good B&Wshots

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Date Sun, 29/04/2012 - 01:18
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It has been an interesting competition and good to see that B&W is still alive and kicking.   As you rightly point out this is further evidenced in the success of Dean's B&W Exhibition thread.  

Regardless of how the image is achieved digitally, it will never rival that special magic of seeing it miraculously appear before your eyes, under the red cast of a safelight, in the darkroom.

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Date Sun, 29/04/2012 - 08:45
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 I was brought up on B&W photography (late 1940's), so it was a logical step that I used a panel of 20 x 16 mounted mono' prints for my ARPS qualification, in the 1970's. The prints are still being viewed where I give a talk on the subject to camera clubs, near and far. I still have a complete darkroom, just in case there is ever a digital total blackout of computerised technology.

Paul.B.

http://www.myfinepix.com/gallery/27962 http://www.myfinepix.co.uk/competition/entry/59586 If you see somebody without a smile... Give them one of yours.

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Date Sun, 29/04/2012 - 10:44
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Hi All. This was a trip down memery lane for me.  I built my first enlarger using a 1/2 plate camera with a rectilineal lens mounted on 2 wooden rails running across a convenient alcove in our kitchen+bedroom flat. The picture of my daughter was taken with this set-up. She is now 61 and a grandmother herself.  The othe pic is of my darkroom in the early 70's the enlarger on the left was my second hand-made one, the only manufactured part was the column and support. It had a Nikkor enlarging lens and a colour filter drawer, in the base was a paper store. I used 16 x 12 developing dishes and make a thermostaticly controlled heating unit fro a large rectangular frig door and a series of toaster elements arranged in a series/parellel pattern. Later, I bought a large print tank to take 10 off   10 x 8 prints. The Durst enlarger was the last purchase, it was a M605 Colour enlarger to complement my Pentax Spotmatic 2 SLR with 1.4 lens and a Tamron 500 Mirror Cat. lens and after that  a Nikon FE with nikkor lenses1.4 + 300 + bellows and 2x multiplier.

 

My Daughter taken in 1951

My first real darkroom 1972

Thanks for the Memory

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Date Sun, 29/04/2012 - 13:08
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Like others 'of a certain age' I never gave up monochrome. It has its own langauge and charm IMHO. It always makes me smile when people refer to mono as a 'new fashionable' genre - when I started it was the only option for an impecunious beginner!

I still have all my darkroom kit and occasionally make prints. I still shoot film from time to time with an ancient Rolleiflex, a Hassleblad and (my personal favourite) a Pentax 6 x 7. I still love the qualities of medium formal film (it's not better than digital, but it is different to digital). I regularly shoot digital pictures with monochrome prints as my prime aim, and I enjoy the challenge of producing good monochrome prints via the digital process.

A really good monochrome print still captures atmosphere wonderfully well IMHO.

 

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Date Sun, 29/04/2012 - 16:18
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I put the number of entries down to the fact that people want a free camera and will do whatever is needed. Nothing to do with the merits, aesthetics or otherwise of b&w.
Perhaps I'm just cynical ! 

Regards,  Mike
Gallery
Flickr

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Date Sun, 29/04/2012 - 16:46
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Well, I enter just to support the competition.................don't give a toss about winning. Where i come from you don't get owt for nowt !

Jim

'Bokeh' Competition entry:- http://www.myfinepix.co.uk/competition/entry/697372

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Date Sun, 29/04/2012 - 18:06
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I too am old enough to have enjoyed the magic of a picture appearing out of the developing dish, but am rational enough to realise that it belongs in history. When colour negative film became readily available, I contemplated doing the same in colour, but my nomadic life in the RAF made this a non-starter, so colour slides became the thing - but I missed the possibility of tweaking the pictures. Along came digital, and everything fell into place - colour and the ability to work on it without a messy darkroom and the static from mothers/wives (I only have had one of each). Results are everything I could have wished for, from back in the dark grey days of monochrome. Not being an "arty" type, I do not understand grey on grey - but I can appreciate the very odd true black and white shot that appears. There weren't many in this competition, I have to say!

George

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Date Tue, 01/05/2012 - 11:51
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Mike-K  Your last 3 words say it all!  

Hi George, you are just a youngster still! You need to get some time in as we RAF bods used to say!   Are you still flying at all?     Kind Regards

Ted

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Date Mon, 30/04/2012 - 11:24
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Hi

 Thanks for the responses.

 The mixture as to be expected with a diverse community.

 The older hands are out in force and it is interesting to hear that there is still a place for wet processing. Perhaps it will become a valued ‘craft’ pursuit.

 Not to totally disregard what George has said, I think Bob puts his finger on it when he says there is something about a fine black and white print that can not be compared with a digital screen image. The tangible nature of a black and white print from a negative seems to be alive.

 As to the number of entries I am sure that competition alone can be an incentive as you never know your luck when Gladys throws the darts...

 It certainly been interesting and now we can return to the sea of colour.

Kind regards,

Chas.

 April Comp: http://www.myfinepix.co.uk/competition/entry/701303

 

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Date Mon, 30/04/2012 - 17:21
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I quite agree that there can be something about a fine black and white print that is more striking than some colour photographs. But if I'd produced prints like most of those in this competition, I'd have been back to the enlarger to do something about them! We can get back to colour, as you say, but it doesn't need to be a sea - it can be low key, and if you look at my upcoming entry, very low key!

George

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Date Mon, 30/04/2012 - 18:46
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Oh how I remember my old Ilford days........

Bokeh

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Date Mon, 30/04/2012 - 19:02
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I love monochrome photography there is a completly different world in b&w

here's my entry, and any guesses as to what the next comp. is going to be 

http://www.myfinepix.co.uk/competition/entry/466088

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Date Tue, 01/05/2012 - 11:36
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it's a good way to teach yourself to see in tones. Sometimes we don't notice there are a thousand shades of green and no two shades are the same. Even when they are the same they're absorbing different amounts of light etc so never look identical. I also find it interesting that a lot of animals have evolved to be coloured blind to help them spot contrast and movement. The world is just as real in black and white as it is in colour. I've really enjoyed this competition. So many great photos have been put forward including my own humble effort (I've only been taking pictures for a month).