Fire Escape in Black & White

Two versions of the same photo, which do you like?



The neat thing about the Distillery District is the overhead structures that pass between buildings. Not really sure what they were for. I like this photos because of the shadows, which is also why I desaturated it to black & white.

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10 Responses to Fire Escape in Black & White

  1. Mauro Metallo says:

    Hello, Dave:
    I like this photo. I think it’s interesting from a documentaristic and compositional point of view, without even counting in its architectural value.
    However,once I’m a black and white freak (noooo… Really?…), allow me to say something about your B/W pictures…
    I noticed your conversions to be somehow keen on developing harsh highlights: Don’t convert your photos! Be brave! Shoot them directly in B/W… It’s possible that you’ll have deeper blacks and brighter whites without that downside…
    I think you sharpen your photos too much: This doesen’t work for B/W… The picture develops some kind of a rough texture…
    Keep it on the soft side: You are not dealing with color…
    All the very best,

    Please, don’t take my advices as an insult to your work, or don’t take me as a nosey know-it-all as well…
    I gave you those suggestion in friendship and good faith and just because I really like your images…

  2. davecandoit says:

    Hi Mauro,

    Thanks so much for your thoughtful advice. You’re indeed right, I do add contrast when de-saturating my photos into b & w. And please never worry about giving me advice. I’m always very appreciative, especially when it’s coming from those with far more experience & knowledge in the field.

    I’m adding another version above my first attempt. In this version I actually combined three photos to get one HDR photo, then desaturated it to b & w, but I did not crank up the contrast. Looks good this way, I think. Let me know what you think.

    Thanks again for taking the time to offer your advice.

  3. davecandoit says:

    Hi again Mauro,

    I think the new, less harsh version looks much better, thanks to your suggestion. I’ll be keeping it in mind for future b & w photos. Thanks again.

  4. Mauro Metallo says:

    I do love the second version better.
    The same goes for you: If you notice something in my pictures that needs improvement, please say so.
    I always said that photography is ONLY a matter of seeing: It’s either you see or you don’t… Regardless of things like experience, equipment or whatever else!
    Keep up the good work!

  5. Marie says:

    I too like the second photo … it has more depth and interest … thanks

  6. hi dave! otto here, just looking through your stunning photos. really like the second one especially, shadow and line, it flows nicely. going with black and white was a good idea.
    anything black-and-white is my favorite 🙂

  7. writingphoto says:

    I like the second one 😉

    • davecandoit says:

      Thanks. Personally, I think I do prefer the first one. The second is a bit harsh to my eye, which is odd since I’m the one who made it harsh to begin with.

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