Folsom (CA), Parallel Lines: Grass, Rocks, Rails, Fence, Powerline – Monochrome

ISO100, 22mm, f/16, 1/20 sec
Folsom, CA

As I have mentioned previously, shooting B&W (or monochrome) images is not a matter of taking any color photograph and converting the image in Lightroom, Silver EFex Pro, or similar application.  Not any old photograph looks great once it has been converted.  It is about seeing the final photo in your head in monochrome based on the elements in front of you.

It is having a good sense of light and shadow and structural elements within the image.  That sense enables you to take an ordinary scene (which usually includes bad light) and be able to break it down into workable pieces for the end result.

For instance, here I see the following layers: hillside versus sky, sky and power line, darker versus lighter hillside grass, dark fence post against grass, sunlit versus shadowed grass between the fence and rail, rocks and rails, and rocks and foreground grass.  Of all of these, the weakest contrast is the last element listed.  I could have done a better job separating the elements by adding light to grass.  Perhaps there are too many elements and contrasts here, but there are certainly other compositions I can create out of this one image.

EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center weighted metering mode, ISO 100, 22mm, f/16, 1/20 sec

Folsom (CA), Parallel Lines: Grass, Rocks, Rails, Fence, Powerline – Monochrome.  Folsom, California.  April 17, 2013. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.


4 thoughts on “Folsom (CA), Parallel Lines: Grass, Rocks, Rails, Fence, Powerline – Monochrome

  1. I love this one. I think it’s great how you explain the composition. It is not often you get to hear what the artist is thinking. And now, I know why I like this picture so much and can explain it *and* not sound dumb to boot 🙂 Sweet.


    1. Thanks Teeny Bikini! Photogs are some strange people sometimes- a little secretive about how they shoot, where their secret locations are, or why they decide to shoot a scene a certain way. I have always enjoyed picking the brains and having online conversations with photogs that are very, very good at what they do and like to shoot the breeze. It tends to push me to shoot better or at least think about the art from a different perspective. I’m glad I could explain my thought process and what I *tried* to do but didn’t completely succeed in executing. 🙂


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