Critique Train station

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Apr 21, 2006
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Nashua, NH
I usually don't think of b/w but the color version of this image looked blah. I have silver efex pro so I opened that filter. The presets looked too garish so I just selected different filters - this was the green one.

Opinions wanted as to where I should go from here.

_NAA5602-Edit.jpg
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Oct 17, 2007
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Orland Park, Illinois
I usually don't think of b/w but the color version of this image looked blah. I have silver efex pro so I opened that filter. The presets looked too garish so I just selected different filters - this was the green one.

Opinions wanted as to where I should go from here.

View attachment 1679907
I think it looks great. One thing I like about the presets is that they are just starting points. I almost always adjust the various sliders and then make a few final adjustments in Photoshop or Lightroom when using Silver Efex.

Glenn
 
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Nov 14, 2005
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Winter Haven, florida
Black and white images force us to look at the lines and angles that are often hidden by color.
If that still isn't enough to bring out a force in an image, sometimes increasing contrast- going to an almost lithographic look helps.
When I shot film I would often shoot kodalith. Only black and white, nothing else. That look really simplifies an image- if it has strong enough lines.
Here, you might have to clean up some of the background.
Just a thought.
Sometimes, there is no image. I get that a lot.
Your call
gary
 
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Northern VA suburb of Washington, DC
This works really well for me in all regards: conversion to monochrome, composition, leading lines, diagonal shadows, and even the train station itself pointing toward the railroad in the distance.

The presets looked too garish so I just selected different filters - this was the green one.

There are lots of workflows that work when using Silver Efex, but consider trying the following:

Either don't select a preset or select the 000 Neutral preset. That preset doesn't alter the tone curve, whereas all the other presets do alter it.

Rather than clicking one of the six color filters, open the Details mini-panel located immediately beneath those dots indicating the color filters. Then move the Strength slider to about the middle value and follow that by moving the Hue slider until the look of your image is at least fairly close to what you want. (Moving the Strength slider to the middle makes it possible to see the effects of moving the Hue slider.) Then fine tune the Strength slider by trying all of its values.

After you've done that but still aren't satisfied, then try some of the presets, but understand that when trying each preset the Hue and Strength sliders are automatically reset to the default value, That means having to return them to the values that you liked in the first place. My point is that the presets will look very different according to the color filter that you use.

As you try the various presets, keep the Levels and Curves panel open and notice the tone curve that is automatically produced when you change from preset to preset. If you find a particular preset that mostly but not entirely works for you, tweaking the tone curve the preset automatically produces is a very handy way of making subtle changes.

I very rarely use a preset, as I prefer having total control from start to finish by first selecting and adjusting the color filter, then adjusting the tone curve, and finally using control points to make local changes to luminosity. Every once in a while, when the image commands it, I use one of the ten En Vogue presets. I also created some custom toned presets (sepia and the like).

I almost always adjust the various sliders and then make a few final adjustments in Photoshop or Lightroom when using Silver Efex.

I use exactly the opposite approach in that my work in Silver Efex is at the tail end of my workflow. When using Silver Efex, I'm convinced the workflow of choice is only a matter of personal preference and doesn't affect results.
 
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Joined
Sep 20, 2009
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17,363
Beautiful composition, Allan!
Perfect subject for b&w with the lines, patterns, light and shadow.
Any comment on the processing would all be personal preference. I'm very sceptic about the terms bad - good - better - best :)
Whatever speaks to you is right.
(obvious hint I'm not into selling)

I would look into getting an even stronger definition on the shadow lines. Very easy with silver efex.
That's it.
 
Joined
Apr 21, 2006
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Nashua, NH
Thanks for the comments. I hate to say I don't really know what I am doing with b/w. I must admit my opinion of this image is based on what others think, not what I think.
 
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May 5, 2005
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Idaho
Thanks for the comments. I hate to say I don't really know what I am doing with b/w. I must admit my opinion of this image is based on what others think, not what I think.
I'm just starting to feel confident in my b/w conversions. Like you, I relied on other's opinions at first. There are lots of good YouTube videos on converting to b/w in Silver Efex Pro. I watched a lot of them to learn what the sliders do. If you are really serious about learning, I would highly suggest them. You've made a good start here!!
 
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Arizona, USA
It's a great photo, very nice composition. I played around with this a little in Photoshop. I can post the result if you would like. I didn't do much. I added a little warm filter, (not much) to take away the slight blue cast. Then I opened up curves, and moved the right hand slider to the left a little.
 
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Bill Walderman
My suggestions: Try to bring out some detail in the ceiling. Crop on the left just enough to include the building and the signal, and maybe eliminate tree limbs left over without the tree trunks, or else leave at least one tree trunk. Maybe crop on the right, too, but leave a pleasing aspect ratio. Alternatively, crop on the right and the bottom to lead the eye to the distant building on the left. Play with various cropping possibilities. The dark object at the bottom is puzzling -- try raise the shadows enough to make sense of it, or else crop it out. A little more contrast could help, too, I think. Try to get some maximum black in the fence.
 
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You can get the best from SEP by not using the presets but taking the time to play w/ all the sliders. Time consuming - yes, worth it - absolutely. But I'd only do it on photos that have enough interest to take the time.
 
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It's a great photo, very nice composition. I played around with this a little in Photoshop. I can post the result if you would like. I didn't do much. I added a little warm filter, (not much) to take away the slight blue cast. Then I opened up curves, and moved the right hand slider to the left a little.
Sorry, I am just getting to my threads. Yes, please post - I would be happy to see your work.
 
Joined
Apr 21, 2006
Messages
18,541
Location
Nashua, NH
This works really well for me in all regards: conversion to monochrome, composition, leading lines, diagonal shadows, and even the train station itself pointing toward the railroad in the distance.



There are lots of workflows that work when using Silver Efex, but consider trying the following:

Either don't select a preset or select the 000 Neutral preset. That preset doesn't alter the tone curve, whereas all the other presets do alter it.

Rather than clicking one of the six color filters, open the Details mini-panel located immediately beneath those dots indicating the color filters. Then move the Strength slider to about the middle value and follow that by moving the Hue slider until the look of your image is at least fairly close to what you want. (Moving the Strength slider to the middle makes it possible to see the effects of moving the Hue slider.) Then fine tune the Strength slider by trying all of its values.

After you've done that but still aren't satisfied, then try some of the presets, but understand that when trying each preset the Hue and Strength sliders are automatically reset to the default value, That means having to return them to the values that you liked in the first place. My point is that the presets will look very different according to the color filter that you use.

As you try the various presets, keep the Levels and Curves panel open and notice the tone curve that is automatically produced when you change from preset to preset. If you find a particular preset that mostly but not entirely works for you, tweaking the tone curve the preset automatically produces is a very handy way of making subtle changes.

I very rarely use a preset, as I prefer having total control from start to finish by first selecting and adjusting the color filter, then adjusting the tone curve, and finally using control points to make local changes to luminosity. Every once in a while, when the image commands it, I use one of the ten En Vogue presets. I also created some custom toned presets (sepia and the like).



I use exactly the opposite approach in that my work in Silver Efex is at the tail end of my workflow. When using Silver Efex, I'm convinced the workflow of choice is only a matter of personal preference and doesn't affect results.

Thanks for the advice Mike. I m traveling for the next several weeks so I may just wait till I get home to work on the image.
 
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The image looks nice already. IMO If you eliminate the first pole on the RHS by cropping, the composition might improve.
My suggestions: Try to bring out some detail in the ceiling. Crop on the left just enough to include the building and the signal, and maybe eliminate tree limbs left over without the tree trunks, or else leave at least one tree trunk. Maybe crop on the right, too, but leave a pleasing aspect ratio. Alternatively, crop on the right and the bottom to lead the eye to the distant building on the left. Play with various cropping possibilities. The dark object at the bottom is puzzling -- try raise the shadows enough to make sense of it, or else crop it out. A little more contrast could help, too, I think. Try to get some maximum black in the fence.
Good things to try - crop from left - or right - details in shadows!
 
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Messages
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Sorry, I am just getting to my threads. Yes, please post - I would be happy to see your work.
Opened up curves and moved the right slider to 221, added just a touch of the default warming filter.
station1.jpg
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