Mary Ann Carrasco  

Barn at Brushy Peak by Mary Ann Carrasco

February 2021 - Barn at Brushy Peak

February 2021 - Mary Ann Carrasco


February 2021 - Mary Ann Carrasco

Original 2

About the Image(s)

This photo was taken at Brushy Peak in Livermore, CA. I am working on my skills with black and white.

I use Photoshop Elements which brings the raw file into Camera Raw first. I edited this one in color originally and then removed the color in Photoshop Elements.

I appreciate your thoughts and any recommendations for an editing program for black and white. I have to admit that I love taking photos for more than editing!

Camera/Settings: Nikon D500 with Tamron 18-400 lens at 18mm; 1/125, f8, ISO 100

This round’s discussion is now closed!
12 comments posted

LuAnn Thatcher   LuAnn Thatcher
Hello Mary Ann,

Bravo for pursuing black and white; this is a classic and timeless genre. The photo is bright and has a wide tonal range from blacks to whites. The highlights are under control. The clouds are light and fluffy and help hold the viewer's eye in the frame; the wispy clouds are a nice soft contrast to the trees' rough texture and geometric shapes found in the farm buildings and fencing.

The first thing a viewer will look for in an image is a place to rest their eye. No rule says every image must have an obvious single point of interest. Nevertheless, when the main subject is clearly defined, and the eye has a place to rest, the photograph will be more stimulating and engaging. If the barn in the center is the subject, try putting it on the rule of thirds. A centered subject is more static and less exciting. Try to keep the subject on one of the four impact points, where the vertical and horizontal lines cross, for a more dynamic photo.

The title of the image is Barn at Brushy Peak. The viewer will want to see the barn's details, what is in the barnyard, are there animals to look at, something to hold their attention in the photograph. With a bright, harsh light at midday comes dark shadows and harsh contrast; lost are the trees' details. What does this location look like at a different time of day? Is it possible to get closer to the barn?

I hope this helps!

LT   Posted: 02/01/2021 12:21:27
Mary Ann Carrasco   Mary Ann Carrasco
LuAnn, I appreciate your comments. I have taken the original and given it a second try. In this one, I did not crop as much, leaving alot of the field on the left which puts the barn and trees more in line with the rule of thirds. Please let me know if you think this works any better or if this photo is just a non-starter. Thanks, Mary Ann   Posted: 02/02/2021 16:18:27
Comment Image
LuAnn Thatcher   LuAnn Thatcher
Yes, Mary Ann, this edit is very nice! I like the panorama format too.

I took the image into Lightroom. The only thing I recommend to finish this edit is to drop the highlights by approximately -34 and raise the clarity by just +11; there were specular highlights in the windmill behind the tree; this resolves that problem.

Best regards,
LuAnn   Posted: 02/03/2021 09:03:27
Kieu-Hanh Vu   Kieu-Hanh Vu
This edited version seems too tight for me. I like the first one you submitted more, but the windmill is clearly seen in the 2nd version.   Posted: 02/19/2021 05:15:11

Michael Hrankowski   Michael Hrankowski
Hi Mary Ann. Yes, good on you for experimenting with monochrome! I've just begun that journey myself and I joined another group - #50 - that's dedicated to B &W (after my dismal failure with my December image, LOL). I agree with what LuAnn said all the way around and your second panoramic version does, indeed work better. The only other thing you might consider is cloning out the wooden and chainlink fences in the lower left corner. Otherwise, a beautiful pastoral image. With regard to editing for monochrome, Silver Efex Pro is considered one of the best.   Posted: 02/03/2021 14:51:15

Michael Hrankowski   Michael Hrankowski
Mary Ann, my local camera club is sponsoring a free 1 hour webinar on B & W on Feb. 20th. Here's the link to register, if you're interested:   Posted: 02/06/2021 09:06:53
Mary Ann Carrasco   Mary Ann Carrasco
Michael, unfortunately I have a conflict that day. But our local photo gallery is having a class the next week for which I registered. I have also done some exploring on the Nik Silver Efex Pro you recommended and I really like it. I have a 30 day trial period now but plan to purchase. Thank you!   Posted: 02/11/2021 14:29:59

Kieu-Hanh Vu   Kieu-Hanh Vu
It's nice to experiment in B&W conversion. The trees with big shade are so dominant in this image that render the barns secondary subjects. The cloudy sky and the sand are interesting. The barn on the right could be cropped out because it is not in full but since its long shadow was there, so I think you should keep it in the image. I'd prefer to clone out the triangle shadow on the right hand corner that is distracting.   Posted: 02/19/2021 05:07:38
Mary Ann Carrasco   Mary Ann Carrasco
Kieu-Hanh, thank you for your comments. It is fun to experiment with black and white....I have much to learn!   Posted: 02/19/2021 12:01:36

Randolph Shine   Randolph Shine
The only thing that bothers me is/are the windmill(s). It is a beautiful barn yard scene until I saw the windmill. It shifted the pass to the present. Did you try to clone them out of the photo?
I love B/W photography. It is hard to do on a bright sunny day. Well done.   Posted: 02/20/2021 16:50:33

Ruth Sprain   Ruth Sprain
I like the way black and white gives a rustic look to this country scene. The texture of the barn wood is especially interesting. The wispy clouds add to the look and brighten the view. I prefer that either the windmill(s) be either eliminated or fully in view, instead of part in/part out.   Posted: 02/21/2021 18:00:03

Lisa Cirincione   Lisa Cirincione
I like the B&W look, cut off the left side, and lose the windmills. They are not attractive. But I do like the right barn right up against the frame... makes me feel the scene going further into the right.   Posted: 02/28/2021 19:05:38