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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Assignments: August 2013

Top Selections From The Black & White Special Issue Assignment From www.outdoorphotographer.com

Labels: Locations
This Article Features Photo Zoom

1) Photographer: Edward Mendes
Location: Zion National Park, Utah
Equipment: Mamiya M645, Fujichrome Velvia film
McWay Falls has become one of my favorite places along the Big Sur coast to photograph since I originally visited it eight or nine years ago. I continue coming back in the hopes of finding that perfect moment when all the conditions fall into place and the image I've visualized in my mind finally appears. Unfortunately, it hasn't happened yet. On this particular evening in 2010, the light came and went, but I continued shooting the scene until it was almost completely dark, as I liked the beautiful blue hues the soft-light twilight was providing. I actually worked on the image off and on for almost two years, processing and reprocessing the file, as I knew there was a great photograph there if I could just find it. The problem was, I was trying to force it to work as a color image. Eventually, I came to the realization that the image was meant to be a black-and-white. I reprocessed the file yet again, but this time the image I knew I had finally showed itself.

In May, I ran an Assignment on the OP website asking readers to send in their favorite black-and-white photos for this special issue of the magazine. The response was overwhelming—more than 700 photographs came in. From that group, I selected the images you see on these pages. With such a large group of top-level black-and-white photos, I expanded the Best Of Assignments, which usually runs three pages, to five pages. Go to outdoorphotographer.com to see the current Assignment, and submit your photos for a chance to get published in OP.
—Christopher Robinson, Editor

2) Photographer: Michael Ryan
Location: Helen Putnam Regional Park, Petaluma, California
Equipment: Nikon D800, AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm ƒ/4, Hoya UV filter
I live close to the Helen Putnam Regional Park, which boasts great hiking with amazing oak trees at every turn. One afternoon, while hiking the trail, I spotted this oak tree and immediately stopped. Most likely, I had passed by this same tree numerous times before, but it wasn't until that moment that I recognized the photographic gold right in my backyard. I snapped a picture with my phone to remember the location so I could come back with optimal conditions. I previsualized the image as black-and-white on a foggy, overcast morning. About two months later, at the end of March 2013, those conditions presented themselves and I knew exactly where to go. I only shot a few frames, but the image came out even better than I could have imagined.

3) Photographer: Nunzio Guerrera
Location: Godafoss, Iceland
Equipment: Nikon D90, AF-S Nikkor 16-85mm ƒ/3.5-5.6G ED, tripod, ND filter
The photo was taken during my vacation on a bus tour of Iceland in June 2012. We made many 20-minute stops during the tour at all the iconic Iceland waterfalls. Each stop gave us just enough time to take a photo. At the Godafoss waterfall, we were given more time than usual, about one hour, but with hundreds of tourists all over the place, it was still a difficult task to get a shot. I finally got a chance to step to the edge of the falls. I took a five-second exposure, and this was the result. I experimented with the black-and-white conversion, and liked the dark and gloomy mood it gave in comparison to the color version.

4) Photographer: Bob Larson
Location: Watson Lake, Arizona
Equipment: Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon EF 17-40mm ƒ/4 L USM, Manfrotto tripod and ballhead
After a mild winter and spring, it was July 2012 and the water levels at Watson Lake had receded so far that many of the rock ledges that had previously been submerged were now visible above the surface. While I prefer more water, I was thrilled to crawl out on the ledges to get a photo I hadn't taken before. The original color version of this shot was one of my personal favorites because it captured the unique contrasts of the orange and reds of the rock with the blues of the water. The sunlight at that time of day made the colors pop. The thought of doing a black-and-white conversion didn't occur to me until winter set in and I was stuck inside. Once I converted the photo to black-and-white, I saw that the sunlight and contrasting tones translated well. I used Nik Silver Efex and Color Efex Pro for the final result.


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