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#20279
Trainwreck
Member

You’re welcome ink!

Sounds to me from your response you have a pretty good idea of what you are doing and what you are trying to achieve. Excellent. It is a pleasure reading and participating in your thread.

I am one of those who kind of dig the more traditionally toned mono conversions usually. In this case probably meaning a bit more contrast. But depending on the shot and what the shooter is trying to convey. My first impressions with your mono was that with a bit more contrasting background your subject would pop more. As it stands she is very close to the same tonal value as the foliage. Another thought is to watch your backgrounds. The dark trees behind her head I find distracting. They are dark enough tonally compared to the rest of the scene to catch the eye. The eye should always be drawn to the subject and hopefully stay there.

Something else I’ll put out here for your consideration? Do you think you are leaving a little too much “head room” in a lot of your frames? In other words too much room over the head? This is very common (with beginners) and quite frankly adds nothing to a portrait. I suspect you are a ways beyond “beginner”.

If you are really interested in doing a lot of mono work here is a couple of resources you might be interested in. “The Complete Guide to Black and White Photography” by Michael Freeman. I know a few folks who produce mono almost exclusively and consider this a bible. Another is “From Oz to Kansas” by Vincent Versace. I’ve always said that the best investment you can make is not in the gear but in yourself and these are some very cool investments for the mono shooter.

While we are on the subject of retouching, I like a little cleaner approach for my subjects. In the mono shot, notice the flyaway hairs that are catching the light? They are against some of the darkest part of the background (trees) and really stand out. Did you mean to leave these for some reason? And if you are going to shoot mono, two of the best tools you can use are the dodge and burn tools. Judicious use of these will make a mono sing. And they are just as useful in color as well.

Just between us (and I’ll deny this to the very grave) catchlights can be fudged in a pinch!

If you think you are having back focus issues with a piece of glass you could easily set up an experimental shoot to see if that were the case.