Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Fixing Park Avenue

New York, NY

Last weekend I didn't get in as much off-topic (non-workshop) shooting as usual because of the seasonal short days and because it was too damn cold and windy to stay outside early Saturday and Sunday mornings—the workshop runs on "New York time," 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM. I'm always up at 6:00, but it doesn't get light until 7:00 and it's pitch dark by the time the session ends.

I thought of an experiment to try. Except for my drive-in theater series, I've never been happy with monochrome conversions from digital captures. It's not a technical issue, it's a perceptual one. When I use a digital camera, I know the camera is making color captures, so I shoot color pictures. I may know I can convert the color pictures to mono, but I don't shoot them that way, it just doesn't work. So Sunday morning I changed the camera from RAW capture to RAW+JPEG, then set the JPEG file to monochrome. The idea was to have a visual aid. The LCD and EVF both show a mono picture when set this way, a constant reminder that I was trying to make b&w pictures. Also, when I looked at the take on Monday, I began by editing the jpg folder, so I was looking only at monochrome pictures. When I'd found a few that looked promising, I switched to the folder of RAW files to work on their twins in ACR.

With the temperature about 26°F at 8:00 Sunday morning, I walked around the block and came on this work crew, paving a lane of Park Avenue South. They were backlit by harsh morning sunlight, but brilliant light was also reflecting off the windows of a building on the west side of the street. I reminded myself to "shoot black and white," and made some captures.

New York, NY

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