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Romance on the volcano.
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Oct 28, 2018 23:28:38   #
repleo (a regular here)
 
Trying to decide between the color and B&W version.

Backstory is that we were driving up the corkscrew road to the top of volcanic Mount Etna in Sicily when we ran into dense cloud cover. Visibility dropped to no more than 10'. I wanted to do a U-turn, but was afraid of getting wiped out by one of tourist coaches that were still hurtling down the mountain. Suddenly we broke into a small pocket of clear sky and there, in the middle of nowhere, was this couple standing on an outcrop of lava flow. I jumped out of the car with my camera and got a few quick grab shots before I spotted the photographer and felt I had to scamper out of his shot. The cloud closed in again seconds later.

With the black lava ground and the cloud beyond, I suppose it is a natural B&W scene. However, I like the minimal color version too. The B&W is just a straightforward conversion using Nix (Wet Rocks). I would like to hear which FYC folks prefer and maybe any tips on B&W processing. Also, should I leave the photographer in? I think he gives context for such an improbable scene.


(Download)


(Download)

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Oct 29, 2018 08:03:25   #
Linda From Maine (a regular here)
 
Well, that was quite a find! With a few changes to the b&w, they'd be equally interesting IMO. I would re-convert the color to b&w and use a green or yellow filter to make the stepping stones lighter. I'd also consider a slight trim from the left, which would bring the subjects closer but keep the sense of place.

Right now, the photographer is easier to discern in the color shot, but there is much that can be done with the b&w edits, I think. I pm'd you an example for how will look with more detail in the foreground and lighter stepping stones. Probably could coax out more of the photographer. A b&w of just the couple could be more compelling, if less a "true story."

Another thought to keep in mind is the lighter you make the foreground - maybe even some fake fog - the more fanciful the setting and the couple will seem. But emphasizing the harsh environment is a great story too. I'd say take it where you like it best!

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Oct 29, 2018 09:34:02   #
NJFrank (a regular here)
 
I prefer the color version. It shows just a hint of color. The B/W to my eye has a bit more contrast. As for the photographer being in the shot that is an easy fix. As Linda pointed out you can enhance the fog a bit if you like. For me that is your call. Overall well done

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Oct 29, 2018 20:43:03   #
ebrunner (a regular here)
 
repleo wrote:
Trying to decide between the color and B&W version.

Backstory is that we were driving up the corkscrew road to the top of volcanic Mount Etna in Sicily when we ran into dense cloud cover. Visibility dropped to no more than 10'. I wanted to do a U-turn, but was afraid of getting wiped out by one of tourist coaches that were still hurtling down the mountain. Suddenly we broke into a small pocket of clear sky and there, in the middle of nowhere, was this couple standing on an outcrop of lava flow. I jumped out of the car with my camera and got a few quick grab shots before I spotted the photographer and felt I had to scamper out of his shot. The cloud closed in again seconds later.

With the black lava ground and the cloud beyond, I suppose it is a natural B&W scene. However, I like the minimal color version too. The B&W is just a straightforward conversion using Nix (Wet Rocks). I would like to hear which FYC folks prefer and maybe any tips on B&W processing. Also, should I leave the photographer in? I think he gives context for such an improbable scene.
Trying to decide between the color and B&W ver... (show quote)


I like this shot and the story. My preference is the black and white version. I think you could do a lop to the black and white to really make it pop. I think I would play with the white point and the black point. You seem to have a lot of neutral grays. By adding more contrast the black and white would really come alive. Personally, I would clone out the photographer. That, of course, is totally subjective. How fortunate that a blah day gave you such a great opportunity for a photo. Nice capture.
Erich

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Oct 29, 2018 21:53:36   #
repleo (a regular here)
 
Linda From Maine wrote:
Well, that was quite a find! With a few changes to the b&w, they'd be equally interesting IMO. I would re-convert the color to b&w and use a green or yellow filter to make the stepping stones lighter. I'd also consider a slight trim from the left, which would bring the subjects closer but keep the sense of place.

Right now, the photographer is easier to discern in the color shot, but there is much that can be done with the b&w edits, I think. I pm'd you an example for how will look with more detail in the foreground and lighter stepping stones. Probably could coax out more of the photographer. A b&w of just the couple could be more compelling, if less a "true story."

Another thought to keep in mind is the lighter you make the foreground - maybe even some fake fog - the more fanciful the setting and the couple will seem. But emphasizing the harsh environment is a great story too. I'd say take it where you like it best!
Well, that was quite a find! With a few changes to... (show quote)


Thanks for the feedback Linda, Ed and NJFrank. I took another look at it and incorporated some of your suggestions. I used B&W Punch from ACR which brough up texture in the foreground and lightened the stepping stones as Linda suggested. I also removed the photographer. I liked the results, but I think it definitely tells a different story without the photographer.
Thanks again for your input.


(Download)

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Oct 29, 2018 22:24:56   #
ebrunner (a regular here)
 
repleo wrote:
Thanks for the feedback Linda, Ed and NJFrank. I took another look at it and incorporated some of your suggestions. I used B&W Punch from ACR which brough up texture in the foreground and lightened the stepping stones as Linda suggested. I also removed the photographer. I liked the results, but I think it definitely tells a different story without the photographer.
Thanks again for your input.


I really like this version of your photo. Nice black and white work. Well done.
Erich

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Oct 30, 2018 12:32:37   #
artBob (a regular here)
 
All well done, but I like the color, to give just a subtle boost to a near monochrome shot. I also agree with your removal of the photographer, but would keep the wider-angle first shot. The only problem is that what was once an "honest" shot has to be called "manipulated," which takes away the wonderful actual moment.

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Oct 30, 2018 18:34:26   #
repleo (a regular here)
 
artBob wrote:
All well done, but I like the color, to give just a subtle boost to a near monochrome shot. I also agree with your removal of the photographer, but would keep the wider-angle first shot. The only problem is that what was once an "honest" shot has to be called "manipulated," which takes away the wonderful actual moment.


Thanks Bob. I still like the touch of color too. As for the photographer, I took a couple of shots before he stuck his head up over the horizon, so I think the moments without him are still just as real. I just thought that including him helped explain the scenario. It's just that it is a different story.
Thanks for the feedback.

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