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John Pless's picture

one from the woods

I made this shot a couple of weeks ago. I have been looking at it and trying to decide what I am going to do with it, sort of like the black and white version. Tell me what you think

I made some modifications based on some of the suggestions that Chris had. Any comments would be welcome

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Chris Jablonski's picture

I agree about the B&W, John. Nice job! Reminds me of some of Ansel Adams' famous "intimate landscapes".

Perhaps echoing his taste for drama, I'd be tempted to increase the contrast and brightness in the ferns, and darken the background, to give the foreground plants more form, and the image more depth. The frame-filling flat-carpet-of-foliage look can be appealing, but there is obvious depth in this image, forming part of its appeal, with the ferns like a soft cushion in the foreground.

John Pless's picture

thanks for the suggestion Chris. i dont often do B&W and i wasnt sure if i could get away with the lighter foreground

Chris Jablonski's picture

I think I know what you mean, John.

John Sexton, a one-time assistant to Adams, does similar work where foliage is, if you think about it, unnaturally bright. While I generally like photos of nature to look natural, somehow these monochromes by their very nature (!) introduce a degree of abstraction, a removal from reality by the removal of colour, that such manipulation can be very beautiful to my eye. This is in complete contrast to colour images with high saturation, which totally grate for me.

I don't do much B&W either, but when I think about it most of my B&W images are very far from "reality".

I think you're on to something here, and should play around with B&W some more if this image is anything to go by. It's one of your better ones.

John Pless's picture

I went ahead and redid the tones on the picture. See if it works any better now

Chris Jablonski's picture

Yes, I think it is better, John! I think you could still go further, reducing the contrast in that top, dark part, especially on the right, but keeping it about as dark as it is. This part is a foil for the ferns, but I think doing so would suppress the detail in it, making it draw attention less without obliterating the detail. As it is, it competes a little with the ferns i.e. arguably distracts rather than complementing.

Mind you, this is all just my reaction to your capture. I certainly don't wish to say I'm right, but in this case I think giving those ferns real silvery glow makes for an attractive image, and this can be evoked by contrast with darker sections possessing less contrast..

John Pless's picture

I will try it out and see how it looks