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07-15-2008, 08:46 PM   #1
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The K20D in Yosemite...in Black and White. Ansel Adams reborn? Not!

This is a follow up to my previous post of last week on Yosemite. Digital Photography has certainly made our photographic endeavors a lot easier than when Ansel Adams was alive. I thought so until I decided to turn some of my Yosemite photographs to Black and White.

Yes, Ansel Adams had to carry tons of equipment, large format folding cameras and film sheets. Then he had to spend hours or even days in the darkroom developing the film sheets, printing the images, correcting his results with dodging and burning techniques until he achieved what he called his visualization. There are no doubts that he made landscape photography known to the world. He knew his equipment, knew all the techniques of the era, and even devised the “Zone System”. He was a photographic genius.

However, he did not have to deal with color and especially color accuracy. That makes a huge difference. Even with digital, it is difficult to control colors. Too much saturation and the colors are unrealistic. White balance correction does not always render the accurate vision you had in your “mind’s eye”. The dynamic range with color photographs is very difficult to perfect, etc, etc.

I took some of the color pictures taken in Yosemite last week and turned them to Black and White with Adobe Lightroom. I find that it is easier to make the photograph “pop-out” in Black and White with simple manipulation. In Lightroom, (and certainly with other post-processing software) you can change the color images to grayscale, and of course make all the normal adjustments like exposure, clarity, brightness, contrast, the tone curve, etc. The interesting thing about Lightroom tools is that you can use the grayscale mix, which allows you to modify the Black and White picture by applying color filters just as you would have done with Black and White films. That changes the look of the photographs drastically and, in my opinion and just my opinion, allows you to make your photographs pop-out. There are no difficulties in color balance as all you have to deal with is Black and White.

So is it really easier to produce quality color digital photographs than it was to produce Black and White picture in Adams’ time?

I'm no Ansel Adams, but I do the best I can.

Thank you for reading,

Yvon Bourque

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07-15-2008, 09:51 PM   #2
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wonderful images... makes me want to go back to yosemite (and all the other amazing places I've been since getting into photography). these pictures are a great reminder to me to start experimenting a bit w/ b&w. thanks for posting!
07-15-2008, 10:47 PM   #3
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Very nice Yvon, I love the bottom photo.
07-16-2008, 08:59 AM   #4
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The photos are great. I like the bottom photo, but my favorite here is the one above it. I also have to say I like the fallen tree photo you have posted on your blog.

To answer your question. It depends on your perspective. Sure, the technology is more advanced, the equipment smaller, less physical effort, etc.... However, the mental effort, the "vision", the "perspective" still have to be there to see beforehand and after what can make an image great.

Look at all the people who take photos now, yet it is still a small percentage of shots (smaller than Ansel Adams' time) that turn out fantastic, color or not. This is why all these years later, we still look at Ansel Adams as one of the greatest photographers ever. It is why his shots have stood the test of time.

07-16-2008, 11:03 AM   #5
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Great shots. I love shooting Yosemite. I need to go back and get some more pics...

Where in CA are you coming from??
07-16-2008, 11:58 AM   #6
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Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!

Are these pictures available to view in a larger size? Do you have the details for you PP in Lightroom? I have played around with the monochrome PP in Lightroom, but have not had nearly the success as what I see in your pictures.

Good job!

Steve
07-16-2008, 09:09 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!

Are these pictures available to view in a larger size? Do you have the details for you PP in Lightroom? I have played around with the monochrome PP in Lightroom, but have not had nearly the success as what I see in your pictures.

Good job!

Steve

I will do a post tomorrow, showing a color photograph and post processing it in Lightroom and show the settings screenshot as I process it. I'm sure many have more experience at it than I do, but we can go from there and all learn a little from each other.

Regards,

Yvon Bourque
07-16-2008, 09:27 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by k10dbook Quote
I will do a post tomorrow, showing a color photograph and post processing it in Lightroom and show the settings screenshot as I process it. I'm sure many have more experience at it than I do, but we can go from there and all learn a little from each other.

Regards,

Yvon Bourque
Thanks! I will be watching for the post!

Steve

07-17-2008, 06:39 AM   #9
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Occasionally a post really makes me want to get out and take more pictures and your shots do!
thanks
I like 3rd shot
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