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Black Cat

black and white photo of a black cat

Right now I do pay a bit more attention to the bad photos I shot. With bad I don’t mean that they are horribly framed or anything, but sometimes you had your camera set wrong and you notice it at home when you see the overblown highlights or whatever. Other times it’s just that the lightning was bad during the day, which results in dull colors. There are tons of things that can go wrong, and fortunately you can fix most of the problems very well if you shoot RAW files. But there are times where I go straight for black and white presets, especially when the colors are dull.

But I can’t tell you anymore how many bad pictures I converted to black and white, it’s often surprising how bad the pictures look and how great they turn out if you try out different black and white settings. I am honest, I love black and white images anyway, they have a certain flavour that I really like. But apart from that, I also like it because you can fix pretty horrible photos with it and make them look great. That’s why I almost never delete photos before I tried different things with them, deleting them is really the last option if nothing works.

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7 Comments »

  1. Ah, elegant kitty. This looks like my Isabel, right down to the white blaze on her chest. She was also the hardest cat to photograph, the sheen of her fur made lighting impossible and she was definitely camera cautious. But, yeah, black and white is the best way to go with shiny cats like this. This is a lovely shot, btw.

    • The biggest problem with this picture was the totally overblown background… to a degree it’s even still in this black and white image visible, just not as bad as before 🙂 I still would have prefered the color photo, but this cat photo had way too many issues… totally overblown lights, and when I decreased exposure, colors turned out dull.

      I know what you mean with your cat. I once hiked through an area and saw a black and white cat in front of me… like an 94% accurate copy of my cat (laugh)… I was afraid that my cat ran away, but then I realized I am so far away from home that this can’t be true. Just when I came closer to the cat I realized a few differences. But no joke, that cat looked almost the same like mine, including some features like a black mark under the chin and so on. It almost got me an hard attack… because I would be super sad if my cat would run away. 😀

  2. That is another good thing about digital photography, it is easier to save the bad photos. Of course, with film cameras, you can fix things in the darkroom if you do your own processing. I never did though so when we would get our pictures back from the lab we would go through them and throw out all the really bad ones. Others were assigned to a pile we called “mediocre”. Sometimes we kept those, sometimes not, it depended on the subject matter. The remaining images that we liked were the ones we showed people.David and I would critique each other’s photos but the go or stay decision was left to the photographer.

    • For a long time I used the rating system in Adobe Lightroom, which is basically like assigning piles of photos. But I gave up on giving my photos stars (Exception is when I do portraits for family). Usualy if I want to share something quickly, I take the photo that looks perfect without editing, because it’s no more work than uploading it. Other days I am actively hunting through my library for mediocre, or even bad images because I am bored and want to do the editing, which is to me a big fun part too.

      But you’re right, today it’s probably a lot easier to keep bad photos, because it’s basically just a number in megabytes on your hardrive. Though, the old way is still interesting… I had this topic with a friend a couple of days ago… Many things got more practical today, which is kinda cool, but in way there is also something missing. I told him the example with my guitars, because today I can plug that thing into my computer and use my headphones and I can record stuff without neighbors getting mad… but the real deal was back then when we had a practice-room with large real amplifiers that would blow off your ears lol. That feeling is gone if you work in front of your computer. It counts for so many things today…like in photography the darkroom back then vs. software today.

      • I understand. If you like to create in the dark room that was part of the fun of photography. I do enjoy photo editing too so that’s why I don’t delete things I would have scrapped in the past but of course some pictures are not worth saving. I can see why working alone at the computer with your guitar would not be as much fun as playing in a proper practice room and getting loud maybe with friends to join you.

        • I can imagine with darkrooms back then, every photo was like a surprise. Today it’s more like unloading the SD card and seeing the results right away.

          With the guitar and PC I value that I now don’t have to collect all kind of amplifiers, because the PC software is now fairly good in emulating famous amps. And the neighbor problem is gone too with headphones.

          Ironically, in both cases… photographers would have dreamed of the possibilities today. In the case of music, even professional musicians and studios would have dreamed of the possibilities that we have in a living rooms today. 😀

          I’d say with all these things, the charme is a bit gone, but it definitely got more practical today.

        • Yes it is. It’s now possible for amateur musicians to record and share their music on the internet and for hobby photographers to edit in a way that would have been impossible without outlaying large sums of money.

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