For the last challenge of day one, we went looking for a subject that would suit a dramatic mono conversion
YOUR PHOTO CHALLENGE: GO SHOOT… In black and white
After spending around an hour shooting at Tewkesbury Abbey, we headed off for a quick pub lunch and ran through potential locations for our next technique challenge: black and white. A monochrome treatment suits so many subjects – from landscapes and architecture to portraits and street photography – that narrowing down the gamut of choices offered by the Cotswolds proved tricky. In the end we settled for Broadway Tower, aliteral high point in the region’s low-lying countryside.
The 20-metre high tower was a good hour’s drive away, but arriving later in the day meant that we avoided the tourist rush. The tower looked stunning, but the only problem was that the sky was rather featureless. Clear blue skies don’t usually make for the most dramatic black-andwhite conversions, and a quick look at our cameras’ monitors confirmed this (we were both shooting in RAW so that we’d have high-quality colour images to convert in Photoshop later, but we had Monochrome Picture Control selected on our Nikons so that we could see black-and-white previews of what the final conversions might look like).
We had to bide our time and wait for some cloud to pass behind the tower. The structure itself was the perfect focal point, and using the HSL sliders in Photoshop enabled us to deepen the blues and lighten the yellows in the image to deepen the contrast when we converted the image (and cloned out some tourists while we were at it!).
In the end we opted to shoot the scene from a distance with a 30mm focal length on a D800. Doing so meant that we weren’t pointing the wide lens upwards and creating converging verticals. This was the last shot of the day, so we had plenty of time to wait for the best light too.
We shot in RAW, but with the Monochrome Picture Control selected to give us a black-and-white preview on the rear screen
EXPOSURE 1/400 sec, f/7.1, ISO100 LENS Nikon 16-35mm f/4