View Full Version : Heron best in b&w?

Doug L
10-16-2011, 07:32 AM
Canon XT, University Optics 500mm F6.2 achromatic (x2 element lens) refractor (telescope).


What drew me to shooting this image was the 's' curve of the Blue Heron's neck. When I looked at the image afterwards, the yellow eye and the colour in the bill and the background foliage distracted my attention from the overall shape of the bird. I decided to convert the image to b&w in my Photoshop Elements2 - I know, I need to find a better way of converting the colour. Hoping to get some feedback about the results - b&w conversion, cropping or anything else. I included the original colour image for comparison. Thanks.

Matt K.
10-16-2011, 02:12 PM
I'd leave it in colour. Makes the eye pop more than the black and white. Composition is fine, nothing wrong here. In your conversion it almost looks like there is a blueish hue to the trees in the background. Naaaa, I like the colour one better, even the beak pops way better in it.

Mad Aussie
10-17-2011, 01:39 AM
I'm kind of torn but I think it's the difference in size. I'd go the colour if it was the same size.

Doug L
10-17-2011, 03:19 AM
Thanks, Matt and MA for the comments.

I've gotten rid of the bluish tone in the b&w and have been looking at both images uncropped and at the same size. The colour image does seem to have a bit more impact and looks more 3-dimensional. I think I'm going to stick with that one. Thanks again for the input.


Mad Aussie
10-17-2011, 04:46 AM
I'm still torn!

10-17-2011, 09:51 AM
The colour pops harder partly because of better contrast.
Play with the overall contrast and local contrasts, and the BW will sing much louder imo, to the point where the image will be stronger in BW.
Right now the colour is better processed imo.

Doug L
10-17-2011, 08:58 PM
Thanks, MA and Marko,

I've been reading about converting colour to b&w digitally. It's going to take a better program than Elements2 and on the conversion learning curve I'm starting near the bottom. Even so, I'm looking forward to doing more b&w images in the future - will have another go at the heron once I become a bit more adept. Thanks for the comments and encouragement.