Kicking off a new series on Black & White (B&W) photography. More accurately, these will be monochromatic renderings of digital photography files. When and how do we decide whether a photograph will look better in B&W? Is it possible to imagine a B&W composition before pressing the shutter? There are a milliard ways to render a color file into a monochromatic image. Contrast, balance, structure, grain texture. Darker reds? Lighter greens? Sepia for a vintage effect? In these series, we will use Canon files rendered in Lightroom. In most cases, the (now free) Silver Efex Pro 2 plugin from the Nik collection was applied. Part I of the B&W series is about People.
From top left:
EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM
EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM
EF 11-24mm f/4L USM
EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro
EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM
EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM
EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM
EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM
EF 40mm f/2.8 STM “pancake”
EOS 5D Mark III w/battery grip
EOS 7D Mark II w/battery grip
Adjacent to the “Primera Junta” subway station, in the corner of Rivadavia and Barco Centenera, is the “Mercado Del Progreso“, a landmark in the neighbourhood of “Caballito”, one of the most traditional “barrios” of Buenos Aires. The Mercado has been a meeting point for Caballito regulars since its opening in 1889. Today, it retains much of the original charm of its metallic structure and its iconic central ceiling window.
In the morning hours of a regular weekday, Mercado Del Progreso is one of those ideal places for a photo shootout of urban activity in the midst of a historical site.
The selection below was taken with the Canon EOS 5D MarkIII and EF 16-35mm and EF 24-105mm zoom lenses. All six are high dynamic range (HDR) images, merged from 5 different original exposures using HDR Efex Pro 2 from the Nik plugin collection. They were further processed with the Color Efex Pro 4 module to enhance structure, and the Silver Efex Pro 2 for B&W conversion.
Here is one classic Pompei shot with Vesuvius in the back. Midday sun, crowds all over the place, too bright sky, poor contrast:
Cropping (in Camera Raw) allows focusing on the center temple and eliminates the worst part of the crowd:
Here is the Raw conversion: mainly tone curve for added contrast, graduated filter to pull back the sky and adjustment brush to bring back top of the building and columns that were too dark after the grad filter:
Here are the histograms before (left) and after (right):
One final clone tool in Photoshop removes the unwanted visitors. Voilá:
In December 2008, the Swedish Radio showed up at the home of Swedish pianist Bobo Stenson to record an interview and a series of solo piano improvisations at Stenson’s private studio. In the absence of available solo recordings of the acclaimed pianist, this was a very special event. The interview covered several aspects of Stenson’s musical life. Inevitably, he was asked about Keith Jarrett, and the Swedish pianist took distance -without being overt critical- from his colleague’s use (or abuse?) of ostinato techniques. Featured here, from the over 70 minutes piano recording, is the beautiful “Alfonsina y El Mar” from Argentinian composer Ariel Ramirez -now a standard piece of the Stensonian repertoire.
On April 16, 2009, Bobo Stenson played at Jazzclub Fasching, Stockholm, alongside Christian Spering in bass, Lennart Ã–berg in tenor saxophone and Turkish percussionist Okay Temiz (a group otherwise known as Oriental Wind) in a tandem concert with the Karnataka College of Percussion (KCP) from Bangalore, India. The KCP has a long tradition of interaction with musicians from the European jazz scene and Oriental Wind in particular. For this concert, founders Ramamani (voice) and husband Mr. Mani in mridangam were seconded by their common son -Krthik- in ghattam. The concert included several of Temiz compositions for Oriental Wind alongside KCP as well as traditional KCP’s percussion and solo voice sections. In the theme featured here, Stenon’s intro leads to the group theme with Ramamani’s leading voice, followed by piano and percussion solos in an interesting Orient/Occident mix.
Featured photographs from the 2009 Fasching concert (Canon EOS 40D with 100mm 2.8 macro and 24-205mm L zoom). Additional photographs from this concert can be accessed from the link under the photo gallery on the right side bar.
Adam Nussbaum & Bann performed at Jazzklubb Fasching in Stockholm on March 5, 2009, with Seamus Blake on saxophone, Oz Noy on guitar, Jay Anderson on bass and Nussbaum at the drum kit. Amazing concert, specially Seamus. He is a formidable player. With Noy imparting some rock-inspired guitar influences. Picture was taken with the Canon EOS 40D and the 24-105L zoom lens wide open at 24mm. More photographs from this concert can be seen at the Photo Gallery on the left side bar or else HERE.