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The trestle images

From: Foundations of Photography: Black and White

Video: The trestle images

I thought you would want to see the finished images that we shot on the railroad trestle, so I am going to very quickly walk you through those. Of all of those images that was shot, the one keeper image was one of the ones right from the rail, and I was lucky-- that was the one that I thought probably didn't work and it did. It was the only one that really had the drama of the scene that I wanted. So I started with a black-and-white conversion. There wasn't much to do with the sky because the sun is right there. It's pretty washed out. Then I brightened up the tracks on either side, giving me some nice texture in there, and of course the centerpiece here is this big rail.

The trestle images

I thought you would want to see the finished images that we shot on the railroad trestle, so I am going to very quickly walk you through those. Of all of those images that was shot, the one keeper image was one of the ones right from the rail, and I was lucky-- that was the one that I thought probably didn't work and it did. It was the only one that really had the drama of the scene that I wanted. So I started with a black-and-white conversion. There wasn't much to do with the sky because the sun is right there. It's pretty washed out. Then I brightened up the tracks on either side, giving me some nice texture in there, and of course the centerpiece here is this big rail.

Next, I brightened up the whole thing just because it was all a little dim, and I knew that when I printed it, it would go a little rough. I'm a little concerned about this banding in here. This is posterizing, or tone breaks, and I don't know if it's going to show up in print. If I go into actual size, I can see that it's not so bad. So it could just be that it's at this particular magnification level. It's very visible. So I'll print that and see what it's like. If it's too bad, I will back off on this adjustment, or I'll mask that area.

And then a more controlled brightening of the stuff around here, just because when I looked at the histogram, it seemed to me like that stuff was going to go a little bit muddy when I printed. So I like this image like this. I've got another idea about it that we might look at. Here is the tonal image. This is the one, as you'll recall, that when I looked at it, it was in complete shadow, so no good light on it at all, but I thought maybe there was still an image to be saved because we've got some interesting tonal relationships here. So I did a black-and-white conversion and right off the bat, what I had been visualizing at the scene is happening: dark grass intersected with this nice light line.

So that bit is working well, and I got that simply by dragging my Greens slider over. Next, I calmed down the sky a little bit and then brightened up these foreground elements. At this point, I'm simply painting light in wherever I want it. So I've brightened the bits up just to give some variation and some texture to the whole thing. Brightened that up a little more. I think it's a nice counterpoint to these dark areas. I fiddled darkening those up a little bit to create more of a sense of depth. So the light area is receding over the dark areas, and then the whole thing needed a little bit of contrast punch.

So those are the only two keepers out of all of those images that I shot on the railroad trestle. And I've got to tell you, that's pretty normal. Two images out of 60 is a pretty good shooting ratio for an hour's worth of work, but as you can see, one of the great things about black and white is I can take this otherwise pretty blah, no- contrast, no-good-light image and turn it into something much more interesting.

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This video is part of

Image for Foundations of Photography: Black and White
Foundations of Photography: Black and White

39 video lessons · 23193 viewers

Ben Long
Author

 
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  1. 8m 25s
    1. Welcome
      1m 24s
    2. Why black and white?
      5m 12s
    3. Suggested prerequisites
      53s
    4. Using the exercise files
      56s
  2. 19m 43s
    1. Is it really black and white?
      1m 9s
    2. How gray corresponds to color
      4m 38s
    3. The medium of black and white
      3m 5s
    4. The vocabulary of black and white
      4m 46s
    5. The physiology of black and white
      2m 22s
    6. How a camera's image sensor captures an image
      3m 43s
  3. 32m 46s
    1. Preparing the camera
      3m 34s
    2. Light revisited
      6m 3s
    3. Seeing in black and white
      2m 21s
    4. Taking a black-and-white expedition
      1m 17s
    5. Finding and shooting a black-and-white image
      11m 14s
    6. Shooting a tone-based subject
      2m 0s
    7. Exposing for black and white
      6m 17s
  4. 1h 38m
    1. The nature of grayscale images
      3m 33s
    2. Converting to black and white using Photoshop CS4 or CS5
      6m 17s
    3. More about the Black & White dialog box
      3m 19s
    4. Converting to black and white using Black & White adjustment layers
      3m 55s
    5. Converting to black and white in Camera Raw
      4m 5s
    6. Making an advanced tonal correction
      17m 33s
    7. Doing more tonal corrections
      14m 6s
    8. Calming down highlights
      10m 4s
    9. Vignetting
      8m 58s
    10. The trestle images
      2m 39s
    11. Handling tricky skies
      2m 43s
    12. Doing a selective black-and-white conversion
      2m 23s
    13. Toning
      1m 19s
    14. Split-toning
      2m 19s
    15. High-key and low-key images
      2m 32s
    16. Diffusion
      4m 40s
    17. Using Nik Software's Silver Efex Pro 2 plug-in
      7m 46s
  5. 24m 14s
    1. Selecting a printer
      5m 17s
    2. Preparing the image for print
      8m 30s
    3. Configuring the Print dialog
      5m 9s
    4. Evaluating a print
      5m 18s
  6. 43s
    1. Goodbye
      43s

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