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View Full Version : Downtown LA in B&W



24Peter
02-28-2006, 10:15 PM
All the creative posts so far this week got me thinking of a series I did last summer of downtown Los Angeles in B&W that I never posted. I love these shots and the story of urban decay/renewal they tell. See the whole series here: http://imageevent.com/24peter/downtownlabw

http://photos.imageevent.com/24peter/downtownlabw/large/IMG_1100duo.JPG

http://photos.imageevent.com/24peter/downtownlabw/large/IMG_0898duo.JPG

http://photos.imageevent.com/24peter/downtownlabw/large/IMG_1029duo.JPG

http://photos.imageevent.com/24peter/downtownlabw/large/IMG_1035sharpduo.JPG

http://photos.imageevent.com/24peter/downtownlabw/large/IMG_1093duo.JPG

cdifoto
02-28-2006, 10:24 PM
Very nice Pete! Have you considered adding noise to some or all of them to kind of reinforce the "grittyness" of being amongst the decay?

Jeff Keller
02-28-2006, 10:56 PM
Very nice work!

coldrain
03-01-2006, 01:00 AM
Great photos showing the power of b&w photography, 24peter. They are very inspirational :)

jamison55
03-01-2006, 02:35 AM
Very cool series. I hope you have a few of these matted and framed in your home!

24Peter
03-01-2006, 07:44 AM
Hey thanks guys. :) I'd almost forgotten about them until I pulled them off an old external hard drive last night. I print a lot of my shots out on an OKIData color laser printer at 8.5X11 and put 'em up all over my house. But I might have a few of these professionally printed and framed. BTW - they were all taken with the kit lens and a .6 Grad ND filter. Gotta love that kit lens :eek:

cdifoto
03-01-2006, 07:48 AM
My kit lens is decent but it sucks compared to that.


Oh wait that's me...I'm the one that can't take a photo worth crap. :eek: :D

jamison55
03-01-2006, 07:51 AM
FWIW - I have a couple of 8x10 framed prints in my house from the kit lens...they look fine.

cdifoto
03-01-2006, 07:56 AM
Yeah its fine up to 8x10 or even 11x14. I shot with the kit lens a good bit at the race track. If I were go back (hah like that'll ever happen!) I'd probably just use it and maybe even be crazy enough to buy another nifty fifty and use those. Nothing against the racers, but they don't buy enough prints to deserve the destruction of my high end glass. It's just not cost-effective and they can't tell the difference anyway.

24Peter
03-01-2006, 08:07 AM
...they can't tell the difference anyway.
I gotta tell you guys, I'm quickly coming to the conclusion that the only ones who can really tell the difference between "regular" lenses and pro lenses are other photographers. And even then, not always! As long as a shot isn't grossly out of focus, most people who see my work don't have a freakin' clue as to whether I used one lens or another - and usually don't care if the subject matter moves them in some way.

cdifoto
03-01-2006, 08:20 AM
I gotta tell you guys, I'm quickly coming to the conclusion that the only ones who can really tell the difference between "regular" lenses and pro lenses are other photographers. And even then, not always! As long as a shot isn't grossly out of focus, most people who see my work don't have a freakin' clue as to whether I used one lens or another - and usually don't care if the subject matter moves them in some way.


I agree. If it weren't for the small and varying aperture of the kit lens, I could probably do an entire wedding with it and no one would be the wiser. As long as I had my big external flash attached so I looked like a pro...

I like the Ls because of their constant wide apertures and USM. If they had the same thing in a non-L and a whole lot cheaper I'd probably buy it instead. Unfortunately neither Tamron nor Sigma put any kind of USM equivalent on their similiar lenses. Jerks.

I don't feel I'll ever need L primes unless I absolutely positively needed to edge out just a wee bit more shutter speed. That's the only benefit I can see to them. Most of their consumer equivalents have USM.

jamison55
03-01-2006, 08:37 AM
I gotta tell you guys, I'm quickly coming to the conclusion that the only ones who can really tell the difference between "regular" lenses and pro lenses are other photographers. And even then, not always! As long as a shot isn't grossly out of focus, most people who see my work don't have a freakin' clue as to whether I used one lens or another - and usually don't care if the subject matter moves them in some way.

I completely agree, the consumer will look at what's happening in the photograph. If it pleases them, they won't even notice that it's crisp and contrasty. As a matter of fact, when I first started out, potential clients often told me how crisp and clear my (4x6) photos were. I owned less than $300 worth of glass back then!

From this we could say that: great glass with bad composition, and/or lighting will make bad pictures.

On the other hand, good composition and lighting with average glass will usually yeild very acceptable results.

Good composition + good lighting + good glass...well that's the holy trinity of photography!

That's part of the reason why I removed my gear from my sig on all of the forums I frequent. Look at my photos! If you like them, it shouldn't matter what lens (or camera) I used to capture them!

cdifoto
03-01-2006, 08:58 AM
I gotta work on that composition part. I think I have the crisp part down, and I have good glass. Now I just have to figure out what I'm doing. :eek: :D

24Peter
03-01-2006, 09:00 AM
Well I guess I should finish my post by saying, then why the hell am I so worried about what lenses or other gear I use??? :confused: Why am I always on the look out for that next piece of gear that's gonna make my photographs that much better. Why am I agonizing over whether to rush out and buy a 5D now or wait for the 30D. Why do I feel I need to upgrade at all? And this thing about constantly buying new lenses, testing the sh*t out of them, then being disappointed when they don't magically transform my pics into something great is crazy making. Am I that insecure about my work? (Don't answer that guys - it was a rhetorical questions. [Ugh - I'm so insecure I can't even stand to find out if I'm insecure or not! :o ]) I guess the only thing I can say about my insanity is I have enough sense to return most of the stuff I buy if I know it's not really gonna help me take better photos in the long run. Either that or I'm just really cheap. ;) Yes, I think there is a minimum setup I need to take good photos in a manner I'm comfortable with. And yes if I was a pro shooting for magazines and had knowledgeable/discerning editors to please gear would matter more. But I'm not there yet and this buying insanity has got to end! :(

There - now I feel better. Guess I won't need therapy today after all... :o

aparmley
03-01-2006, 12:06 PM
Well I guess I should finish my post by saying, then why the hell am I so worried about what lenses or other gear I use??? :confused: Why am I always on the look out for that next piece of gear that's gonna make my photographs that much better. Why am I agonizing over whether to rush out and buy a 5D now or wait for the 30D. Why do I feel I need to upgrade at all? And this thing about constantly buying new lenses, testing the sh*t out of them, then being disappointed when they don't magically transform my pics into something great is crazy making. Am I that insecure about my work? (Don't answer that guys - it was a rhetorical questions. [Ugh - I'm so insecure I can't even stand to find out if I'm insecure or not! :o ]) I guess the only thing I can say about my insanity is I have enough sense to return most of the stuff I buy if I know it's not really gonna help me take better photos in the long run. Either that or I'm just really cheap. ;) Yes, I think there is a minimum setup I need to take good photos in a manner I'm comfortable with. And yes if I was a pro shooting for magazines and had knowledgeable/discerning editors to please gear would matter more. But I'm not there yet and this buying insanity has got to end! :(

There - now I feel better. Guess I won't need therapy today after all... :o

Remove the gear buying freenzy of yours and you just described me as well. ;)

I really liked these photos, very crisp, clear. Some of the older building shots looked great with that toy camera [holga] action used on them!! I enjoyed the B&W conversion on these. Very nice Pete.

cwphoto
03-01-2006, 06:08 PM
Apart from a little Barrell distortion evident in that last shot, the lens does a fair job.

24Peter
03-09-2006, 08:30 AM
Jamie - I just had four of the photos printed out and framed at 16X24 by Mpix.com with their metallic paper and they are stunning. At about $70 each for the printing and framing, not cheap (though I think they're competitive price-wise) but anyway they're so good it makes me think I could actually sell them if I wanted to (right now I'm just enjoying my own talent and creativity! :) )

cdifoto
03-09-2006, 08:38 AM
Jamie - I just had four of the photos printed out and framed at 16X24 by Mpix.com with their metallic paper and they are stunning. At about $70 each for the printing and framing, not cheap (though I think they're competitive price-wise) but anyway they're so good it makes me think I could actually sell them if I wanted to (right now I'm just enjoying my own talent and creativity! :) )


Wasn't addressed to me but that's awesome. Might kinda defeat the purpose but could you maybe take a photo of the photo so we can see how one (they) look(s) all framed up?

24Peter
03-09-2006, 08:52 AM
Wasn't addressed to me but that's awesome. Might kinda defeat the purpose but could you maybe take a photo of the photo so we can see how one (they) look(s) all framed up?
I only mentioned Jamie b/c he suggested it earlier in the thread. :)

Yeah, I thought about doing that. Once I decide where to hang 'em I'll take some shots. The thing that makes them so great (besides my awesome talent :rolleyes: ) is the metallic paper. It has kind of this luminance/shimmer on the photo's highlights kind of like the reflective material you see on running shoes and vests (not that intense of course). It's really awesome. A really nice gift to myself. :D

cdifoto
03-09-2006, 09:01 AM
That's cool. I bet it looks awesome.

jamison55
03-09-2006, 09:20 AM
I've heard that the MPix metallic paper is really nice, but haven't had a chance to test it out. Time for you to find a gallery to carry your work...

24Peter
03-16-2006, 09:00 PM
So here are some shots of the framed Mpix.com enlargements. The photos really don't 'em justice. The Kodak metallic paper has this amazing luminance esp. in the highlights. Like having my own gallery here at home... ;)

http://photos.imageevent.com/24peter/upload/IMG_5650.JPG

http://photos.imageevent.com/24peter/upload/IMG_5652.JPG

http://photos.imageevent.com/24peter/upload/large/IMG_5664.JPG

http://photos.imageevent.com/24peter/upload/large/IMG_5667.JPG

I also had one of my sister done. However she's not sure if she wants it - it's too big! :eek:

http://photos.imageevent.com/24peter/upload/large/IMG_5846small.JPG

cwphoto
03-16-2006, 09:02 PM
They look great even from the other side of the world! Bet they look fantastic up close.

cdifoto
03-16-2006, 09:10 PM
They all look damn good Pete. You can send the one of your sister to me if she doesn't want it. ;)

aparmley
03-16-2006, 09:27 PM
Great Photos Pete! They look awesome. I love that train track one, especially.

Hey, I think that photo of your sister turned out great. But, almost accidentally I guess, the photo of you holding it makes a great combination photo. Perhaps an 8x10 of that SP holding her photo will be perfect for her! I've wanted to something similar with some family photos + a frame. the idea is to have Mom and pop hold the frame, which it will only be a frame, and then photo shop in the portrait of the kid(s) together. . . Anyway. . . You SP with sis reminded me of that - Anyway Cool stuff Pete, thanks for posting the update.

24Peter
03-16-2006, 09:41 PM
Thanks guys :D

My sister hasn't actually seen her shot yet blown up. I just told her about it. (She's in New York.) I sent her the shot of me holding it up tonight so maybe that will convince her to take it. :)

aparmley
03-17-2006, 12:19 AM
P.S. nice backdrop in that SP by the way- great color.

jamison55
03-17-2006, 07:18 AM
Those look amazing! When's the gallery opening?


...but...


They all look damn good Pete. You can send the one of your sister to me if she doesn't want it. ;)

That's just creepy!


BTW - that train shot ROCKS! Extremely solid composition with all of those converging lines.

mediyoga
03-17-2006, 07:45 AM
I always felt that black and white was better than color. This post confirms my feeling. Great work!
:)
Krishna

24Peter
03-17-2006, 01:29 PM
Thanks again guys! Here's how I display the rest of my work... (Still the little kid who wants his pictures put on the refrigerator - 'cept now it's my refrigerator. :o )

http://photos.imageevent.com/24peter/upload/IMG_5848.JPG

http://photos.imageevent.com/24peter/upload/IMG_5849.JPG

http://photos.imageevent.com/24peter/upload/IMG_5850.JPG

aparmley
03-17-2006, 05:32 PM
Thats craziness Pete! Aah! Only kidding. Thats pretty cool [a lot of 8 x 10s!]. A nice collection of your work there. . . Very nice work too BTW. You better be getting paid. . . ;)

24Peter
03-17-2006, 07:36 PM
Thanks Andy. I bought a color laser printer last year just to be able to print out my pix. At about $.50 a page, it's not cheap, but it's a way to celebrate my passion. Besides - how many people do you know who can say they have their portfolio on their kitchen wall? Plus when people come over for a photo session it kinda puts 'em at ease. The only problem is, I'm running out of room in the kitchen, so my office is next. :eek:

24Peter
03-18-2006, 09:07 PM
P.S. nice backdrop in that SP by the way- great color.
I had the backdrop set up for these shots (paid gig). It's pretty ugly on it's own but hit it with some light and punch up the reds a little in the computer and it's real nice.

http://photos.imageevent.com/24peter/upload/Doreen%201.JPG

http://photos.imageevent.com/24peter/upload/Doreen%202.JPG

aparmley
03-18-2006, 11:04 PM
. . . It's pretty ugly on it's own . . .

Yea, like I said, interesting backdrop yes yes I do recall thats what I said. . . ya.

LOL - I think the PP backdrop looks nice. ;) thats better.

Nice shots again by the way. . .