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TOPIC: Explanation of Mono

Explanation of Mono 31 Jul 2015 14:24 #1671

  • JillH
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It was great having Nick at the meeting last night and hearing his fabulous critiques.
In the break I had an interesting discussion with Nick and Heather about what constitutes mono. There seemed to be a difference in opinion between the Club and Nick.
I "thought" that mono was either B&W or that one colour could be brought in which was in the original colour image.
It seems that according to the club criteria this second take on mono is not correct.
Since there are 3 mono topics coming up between now and October, could the Committee please give their explanation or what constitutes mono for our Club competitions.
Also could you please tell me if the Club consider Sepia to be mono? I always thought Sepia was made up of more than one colour.
Thank you so much for you advice. I appreciate your input.
cheers
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Explanation of Mono 31 Jul 2015 14:28 #1672

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Further to the question of mono....I am currently doing a 52x2 since the beginning of January - but now I am not sure that some of my shots are mono according to the club criteria, as on some of them I have brought in one colour into one part of the image.
As a Club committee member will be checking my shots I need to make sure that they are indeed mono.
Thanks again for your help.
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Explanation of Mono 31 Jul 2015 19:59 #1676

Jill....would you consider maybe emailing a couple of examples to the committee to demonstrate your query?

My 52 x 2 book arrived in the mail today- so I will bring that to the committee meeting next week... to be a 'live debate' !! I am now wondering about a few of mine
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Explanation of Mono 31 Jul 2015 20:11 #1677

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I can if they would like. I just see on Nick's workshop notes that he will be discussing monochrome images on Sunday, so I will be interested to hear what comes out of that discussion.
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Explanation of Mono 31 Jul 2015 21:00 #1678

perfect timing
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Explanation of Mono 01 Aug 2015 17:30 #1680

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Explanation of Mono 04 Aug 2015 06:38 #1695

Hi al
I am not sure whether Nick resolved Jill's question with regard to Mono (I think he did) but I have looked at the links in the previous post with interest.

I think it was interesting to note that in the first post "Speckyboy" they do explain it well saying "eliminating all color or reducing the color palette to hues within a single shade is generally referred to as monochromatism" They go on to explain their images and say that the images are not necessarily a single colour, (even though the word monochromatic means literally one colour) they have decided to bend the rules.

I am a great fan of DPS, but it's a bit like Wiki, a great place to get info, but it may not always correct. Contributors /replies can post anything.

Our definition is simple "MONO is, an image that is Black & White or any shade of a SINGLE colour" It does not say a black and white image with the addition a single colour.

With regard to processing for mono, like most things, there is more than one way to achieve the desired outcome. Software comes loaded with all sorts of options. The software companies are not writing for camera club rules - they are purely providing a creative tool. If you choose tone setting such as something called Sepia, Cyanotpye, Ambrotye, Selenium etc you need to critically decide if the preset affects your image in such a way that if meets our definition of mono. There are ways to test that.

It is also up to the individual to learn how their processing effects an image. For example, if in LR you us an adjustment brush with colour in it, and convert to B&W you may find that colour is still held in the area where you have used the brush as they are like a layer.

I have been around the club and involved in WAPF competitions for quite a few years and it is only in the last couple of years where some individuals are battling with the concept of mono as an image that is Black & White or any shade of a SINGLE colour. I think contributing factors is software associated with our "digital darkroom" and the plethora of options available at the click of a button or push of a slider.

Historically people shot on colour film or B&W film. You did not create a mono print from a colour negative. Mono prints were from a negative shot on B&W film. When processed in a wet darkroom they would be B&W, unless they were toned. Generally this was a single tone for a particular purpose e.g. Sepia originally came from cuttlefish ink and it was used as it provided long lasting qualities to a print, so the tone was applied to the whole image.

You have always had creative artists, those that would split tone or hand paint or tint prints - but if they were members of camera clubs I am sure they would have been way ahead of the rest. My guess is that the colour and mono rules didn't come about until lots of people started shooting with colour film - who knows that may have been as late as the 1960 or 1970s. (Might see if I can find out from WACC they will be 100 years old in 2017.)
Denise Aitken
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Explanation of Mono 05 Aug 2015 08:53 #1697

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thank you Denise for your detailed reply to this discussion.
.
So just to confirm, if I am in LIghtroom in the Develop mode, and I click on the B&W tab to change to B&W it is now B&W even though the colour sliders are not all over to O.
Then if in "Split Toning" I select a "highlight" tone - it is still now mono with one colour over the whole image, so therefore is considered monochrome as per our competition rules.
As I have done in the example attached.
Do I need to also select that exact same "tone" for the "shadows"?

Also for my 52x2 project I know I have mono images that do not fit the PGoB mono rules ie selective colouring (or only bringing back one colour into the image). If I decide to be creative and bend the rules, will these images be disallowed in the judging of my 52x2?

thank you Denise.
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Explanation of Mono 05 Aug 2015 14:08 #1699

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The thing that took me a while to get my head around was when I clicked on B&W moving the sliders was not actually introducing colour to the B&W image but it was affecting the area that had that particular colour in the original. For example moving the red slider up or down was making the areas that were red in the original darker or lighter in the B&W.

Thought it was a handy tip from Nick that adjusting the orange affects skin tones.
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Explanation of Mono 05 Aug 2015 18:54 #1700

Hi Jill

Greg has already answered the question well with an explanation of the sliders in the B&W panel, so I don't think I need to go there.

With regard to toning an image I use both sliders (but like Nick, the Higlights is really the ones I am interested in). The only thing were I have a different opinion is probably with regard to how Nick explained that he want's his White White. Unless you have totally burnt out the highlights i.e. pure white and devoid of information, the lightest shades will be toned - because that what I believe the software does.

You can select the exact same HUE tone (do it by using the number) in both highlight and shadows - you can vary the saturation in each and you can change the balance. I might only set the saturation on the shadows to 1, just so I can 'prove that both shadows and highlights are toned in the same single colour.

If you were using something like Photoshop you would move the black and white points using a curves adjustment so that the darkest point could not be black or the lightest white - this is getting very pedantic and I don't really think you would need to concern yourself about it unless you really working a very high or low key image.

PGoB rules re mono are the same as WAPF and Project 52 x 2 is WAPF initiative. The purpose of the project is for members to master the art the of Mono. If your 52 x 2 images are not mono, or very close to it so as not to be obviously a colour image, then No, I don't believe our club committee tell WAPF that you have completed the project and met the objective. Adding back a colour is colour.
Denise Aitken
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Explanation of Mono 05 Aug 2015 21:47 #1701

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thanks Denise for your further explanation. I need to go back and redo a lot of my 52x2 mono images, but better I know now.
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Explanation of Mono 06 Aug 2015 12:28 #1704

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I am learning a lot from the answers as well. My approach to Split Toning in the past is to avoid it which is probably a. why I don't know much about it and b. why it hasn't caused me any problems with my monos in comps.

Mind you this is my normal approach with a lot of features in Lightroom and Photoshop. If i attend a workshop or view an image and a feature seems like it might be useful I then investigate how to use it and incorporate it in my process. There is only limited space in my brain (and life) so I want to be sure that something may be useful before I take it in. Gained a few useful things on Sunday.
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Explanation of Mono 10 Aug 2015 09:29 #1723

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Ditto Greg!!
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