Critique Color vs BW composition. Help me learn. Thanks!!!

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Nov 14, 2005
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Winter Haven, florida
Ok, I am primarily a black and white photographer. I shoot, compose, and think of scenes in black and white. When I try to go to color it often just plain fails- even though there is often a decent bw image there.
Just as an example. I posted this image yesterday and several people pointed out they did not like the ripple running through the bird. I appreciate the honesty, and that is how I learn what people look at.
That is actually why I post here so much- I respect the feedback. Since covid I do not have any local groups to bounce some of my crazy stuff off of.
So, I did a very quick- one click- black and white conversion. I then did a quick and dirty take the ripple band out. Not pretty, but good enough for these questions.
In color I can see why it gets in the way.
In black and white I actually prefer the ripple as it carries my eye from the left and carries me right into the sandhill. I remember seeing it while I was shooting- and although I had no choice at that moment, I actually liked it.
How do others see it in the bw images?
I am trying to understand how I see and compose.
Thanks for your comments and time.
By the way- fire away!! My skin is thick.

Color image:
bosque thur am 4737.jpg
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Quick black and white:
bosque thur am 4737bw.jpg
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Central ripple removed: (yes it is rough, but good enough to display the differences)
bosque thur am 4737bwnostripe.jpg
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Butlerkid

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I wouldn't eliminate the ripples, just try toning them down a bit. Ideally the bird would have been flying over the patterned water in the foreground = OR the grasses in the background.

In addition to the ripples, there are other things that make this image weaker, to me, than the other image you posted. In this image, the head is looking straight ahead, and thus the light is not illuminating the head/eye nearly as well. A little head turn toward's you would have helped by better light and engaging the viewer. Guess the bird is new at taking directions! LOL! The red part of the bird's face gives the viewer a nice focus point. In the B&W, that contrast is lost.
 
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Moscow, Idaho
I wouldn't eliminate the ripples, just try toning them down a bit. Ideally the bird would have been flying over the patterned water in the foreground = OR the grasses in the background.

In addition to the ripples, there are other things that make this image weaker, to me, than the other image you posted. In this image, the head is looking straight ahead, and thus the light is not illuminating the head/eye nearly as well. A little head turn toward's you would have helped by better light and engaging the viewer. Guess the bird is new at taking directions! LOL! The red part of the bird's face gives the viewer a nice focus point. In the B&W, that contrast is lost.
Had Greg been as "tall" as you the bird would have been located just above the offending ripple :D :D :D
I thought about the eye at first, but then decided that the transition in tones and lighting from the wing tip to the butt was the central subject. (Speaking as one who misses the eye more often than I get it!).
 
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It's interesting to me that the ripple is far less objectionable in the monochrome version than in the color version. I think that's because in the color version, the ripple is in cool tones and the still water is in warm tones. In the monochrome version, with both those areas in grey scale tones, the ripple is less objectionable. Just a theory that I'm not very sure of.
 
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