alan frost photography

fine art photography in monochrome

Transient light – when mono works as well

Transition in mono

One of the joys of blogging are the comments that are made and these are of particular benefit to me when they offer constructive suggestions about an image. Yesterday I posted a colour image called ‘Transition’ in a post entitled ‘Transient light – when only colour will do’. One of the comments I received came from John Dominick, a friend and fellow photographer, who said he would like to see a mono interpretation. This came as something of a surprise to me, as it had never crossed my mind to convert the photo into black and white. Given that I have almost exclusively been working in mono for the last few years, you would have thought it would have been my default approach, and not just dismissed without consideration.

I am therefore very grateful to John for planting this idea in my mind as the mono version (converted in Silver Efex) in my opinion works just as well. It’s a very different image now, there is more drama and atmosphere in the shot but this aspect of black and white photography has always appealed to me.

Having made this second image it has made me think about combining or blending in Photoshop both the colour and black and white versions to see what can be created. This is my task for today and I shall aim to post a third version of ‘Transition’ tomorrow.

I always try and reply to comments and in this example respond to any constructive ideas put forward. Thank you as always for your feedback, it’s most welcome.

9 Responses to “Transient light – when mono works as well”

  1. jdtphotography.co.uk

    OMG! What a superb image Alan. Personally I feel this has more of an impact than if it was in colour as we as the viewer may have been distracted into the landscape and it’s colours rather than the impact of the light dancing over the landscape and the delicate nuances of tone in the storm.

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    • alan frost

      Thanks James. I too have come to prefer the mono version. The rain moving through the the light is the principal subject of the image and anything else is really a distraction, however good the colours are. Pleased you like it and thanks for commenting.

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  2. LensScaper

    There is no doubt that this is a completely different image in B&W compared with the colour version, Alan. In colour I would suggest it is a ‘celebration’ of Spring. We wait all winter to see colour in the landscape and the appearance of fields of Rape is always for me one of those ‘wow’ moments. There’s nothing quite like that splash of colour.
    Converted to B&W the image is totally detached from its ‘content’, by which I mean we have no clear idea that this is a field of Rape, it could be ripened corn perhaps. The image is all about the drama especially in the sky and I love that little patch of highlight on the far horizon.
    I find the highlit field across the foot a little too harsh in contrast to the drama in the sky and I wonder if it would be better if it was not quite so bright.
    A final point is that I think the true ‘stand alone’ B&W image would be to crop the image from the base to the point where that long line meets the right edge.

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    • alan frost

      Thanks Andy. Some really interesting observations which I very much appreciate. I think if my original intention had been a black and white conversion, my whole approach would have been different and as you have suggested I might have cropped the image differently as well. I suspect I will now leave this image on the shelf to mature for a while and revisit on another day. Thanks again for your feedback.

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      • LensScaper

        Glad to be of some help, Alan. I agree – coming back to an image after a few months often gives rise to different thinking. I’ll catch up with the third image later, I’ve been delegated to do some interior ‘work’ on other things seeing as it rained.

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  3. Helen Frost

    For me, black and white almost always brings a drama to an image that cannot be captured in colour – the two photoraphs make for two different images entirely – one celebrates colour in the countryside, the other focusses on drama in the sky.

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    • alan frost

      I agree there is a marked difference in the feel and mood of the black and white version, compared with the lovely colours of the spring countryside. Both have equal merit, even if though they are very different interpretations of the same scene. Thank you for commenting.

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