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Monochrome Beauty

Posted by
john4jack (Corvallis, Oregon, United States) on 7 May 2011 in Plant & Nature and Portfolio.

VERSACE WORKSHOPS - In my opinion, Vincent Versace is one of the finest photographers in the world. His photographs are absolutely and consistently stunning. He also is a master teacher. In addition to being an extraordinary photographer and teacher, Versace is a major adviser to such diverse companies as Nik software (Silver Efex Pro 2 was created in close consultation with him), Epson and Wacom among others. If there was one primary thing I took away from the two workshops, it is that there truly is no such thing as a free lunch. Excellence in every area of life - athletics (just ask Lance Armstrong), music, cooking, art, you name it - is over 90% hard work. There are no short cuts. If we want to create outstanding photographs, we need to spend the time, the energy and the demanding work that is required. (When people say about a photograph that no processing was done, the results generally show it. When they say that a photograph has been shot from the hip, I rarely am impressed by the outcome. Photography, although it is tremendously rewarding, is not easy.)

NIKON D700 1/200 second F/8.0 ISO 200 122 mm (35mm equiv.)

Didier DE ZAN from somewhere, France

Very beautiful BW

7 May 2011 5:24am

CElliottUK from Reading, United Kingdom

I was reading an article on excellence in one of my many science magazines. It was talking about the road to outstanding achievement. It seems that if you want to be a grand master chess player, a lead violinist, a painter of repute, an academic with worldwide respect, an olympic winner, two things are necessary. An initial spark that gives you determination(This does not equate to built-in talent, just determination) and time. It seems that 20,000 hours of effort/practice will raise you to world standard, and a further 10,000 makes to the Bobby Fischer, Niccolo Paganini or whoever. Everyone can make it, but it's a long grind of dedication.

7 May 2011 5:27am

PATRICK from miramas, France

excellent

7 May 2011 6:02am

Steve Rice from Olympia, United States

The leaves seem to have been cast in metal. A gorgeous B&W.

7 May 2011 6:05am

Aboololo from Govashir, Iran

nice b/w shot !

7 May 2011 7:07am

Evelyne Dubos from France

Like the metallic appearance of the leaves. Great B&W !

7 May 2011 7:13am

ImageQuest from Left Coast, United States

In total agreement with your observations above.

7 May 2011 7:13am

S.Bernardin from le Havre, France

great B&W

7 May 2011 7:33am

P J W Miller from Chase Terrace, United Kingdom

They look like they have been coated with a chrome like material, very effective

7 May 2011 7:38am

Ana Lúcia from Leiria, Portugal

Excellent b / w. I love the contrasts.

7 May 2011 8:42am

ClickFlicks Photography from Toronto, Canada

amazing work....

7 May 2011 10:28am

Hiro from Kyoto, Japan

Beautiful BW. The subject must be suitable for BW work.

7 May 2011 11:02am

Stephen from Canberra, Australia

Superb capture of light on the leaves to bring them out of the background.

7 May 2011 12:42pm

LauraS from Chico, United States

This photo is stunning, Jack, and your narrative about the art -- the hard work is so true. And so evident of your sharing.

7 May 2011 2:56pm

Don from spokane, United States

A fine detail and well executed image. I liked your comment on what it takes to be good at anything. Too true.

7 May 2011 3:32pm

Judy aka L@dybug from Brooksville, Florida, United States

Dramatic image in B 'n W, Jack ... sounds like a wonderful workshop!

7 May 2011 3:33pm

Oleg from Podolsk, Russian Federation

It looks like silver brilliance! Very interesting light! Isnt it flash-light?

7 May 2011 5:13pm

Mhelene from Paris, France

Like silver plants !

7 May 2011 5:15pm

Harry from Apex, United States

Well composed and loys of nice grays here.

7 May 2011 6:51pm

Tinx from Kuressaare, Estonia

Excellent B&W!

7 May 2011 8:31pm

karla from Omaha, United States

Nice image here, good range of tones and the shadows showing detail. I am not sure what the enthrallment is with "straight out of the camera". Occasionally one can get acceptable results, depending on standards, and maybe that is the reason for the excitement? However, anyone who has spent time in the old film darkrooms learns that a fine image/print at first take is nigh impossible. Editing is required to match the photographer's view of what the image should be. Even with a perfectly exposed image, it is possible to improve it in subtle ways to suit that vision, including dodging, burning, edge enhancement, sharpening, etc. There are tons of choices along the way. If one does not want to do that, ok. But one should not expect that standard to be useful for every photographer. I wonder if varying concepts of fine art image vs. "good" image is the basis of the level of acceptance for image making. Those of us who shoot in RAW, even with skilled exposing, need to edit. If one shoots in jpg, then the camera provides the basic editing for the image and you get what you see on your LED screen. The intent, hopefully, is to use camera settings to best advantage. Editing an image enhances the artist's and the viewer's experience of the image. You are so right, this medium is not easy, but with practice, one eventually becomes more and more pleased with outcomes. Learning from a good teacher helps, also!!! Not meant to bore anyone with all my words!!!

7 May 2011 8:42pm

@karla: Thank you, both for your kind words and your thoughtful response to my commentary.

DULCIE from Danville, CA, United States

There is a lovely rhythm of light moving throughout this frame...
and I enjoy the negative areas created around the curving edges of these leaves. :-)
I enjoy and am in agreement with the discussion by you and Karla. Interesting to give voice to those thoughts.

7 May 2011 9:38pm

franz from Baden, Austria

excellent processing, like made of shiny metal!
(i agree with your wise words about the relationship bw excellence and hard work, of course, but i don't know if i ever tried out for "excellence" in my photos! i like taking "good" photos, of course, but that's where my abilities and my technical know-how end. i'm trying to improve, however, one step at a time, but i know i'll NEVER reach the level of excellence of the professional - and i'm content with it! this does not mean i don't appreciate the achievements of those guys or of the very, very good and dedicated amateurs, e.g. here on am3. i hope all this blah blah makes a bit of sense to you ... ;-))

7 May 2011 9:49pm

@franz: My perspective on excellence has to do with doing the very best of which one is capable. Certainly I don't in any way measure the fruits of my labors with that of professionals.

Kenny from Eastsound, United States

Very nice detail and range of tones. I agree with your text, and I have so much to learn about processing.

7 May 2011 9:53pm

Adela Fonts from Barcelona, Spain

I have read your text ... A good document. Interesting ... I like your way of thinking about some things. Best of all is the final sentence ... you are quite right, quite right! Congratulations on this ideal picture in B / N that has incredible relief and textures. A hug y muchos besos, Adela

7 May 2011 10:08pm

Eric Cousineau from Sherwood Park, Canada

Definitely words to live by Jack! Nice effect in this shot! ;-)

7 May 2011 10:13pm

Photographs by M.E. from San Francisco, United States

this is such a black (&white) beauty! I agree - photography is not easy but it is rewarding!

7 May 2011 11:03pm

BBM from Sussex, United Kingdom

Lovely B+W processing !!

7 May 2011 11:37pm

Bettina from Los Angeles, United States

Wonderful to learn about this process and photographer. This is a tremendous result with this excellent light in your b/w.

8 May 2011 12:11am

Rosana Tesone from Tres Arroyos, Argentina

Excelente B&N!!!

9 May 2011 12:56am

StarCosmosBleu from Bedford.Qc, Canada

Works very well here... very nice indeed...

12 May 2011 4:35pm