Critique Wanted Light Studies: Saturate or Desaturate that is the question


Super Moderator Emeritus
Nov 5, 2010
Down Under


Jan 2, 2011
they all have their different charms ... but I love the first for it's otherworldly but renaissance feel - like a Mantegna ... if you want a constructive criticism, I'd have straightened it a tad, but the shape and depth are lovely, as is that gorgeous Foveon look ... I don't want or need another camera, but these - in the right hands - really produce the goods


Oct 10, 2010
I think colour for both of them, but more the first one, whereas it was close for the 2nd
In the first, the colour adds depth and warmth, especially in the way the light colours the stone differently on each side, with the framing columns adding to the effect with the shadows

Im going to go O/T and congratulate you on your composition, especially the 2nd subject. How many times do we all walk past a stair like that - and yet you have managed to make it look something special, I love the intersecting angles..


Jul 13, 2010
Ottawa, Canada
I like them both better in b&w particularly the first one. In the second I like the door in colour but I find the upper right corner lacking in detail. In the b&w it has more detail and is more pleasing to me.


Jul 7, 2010
betwixt and between
First reaction: #1 in black and white as it is stronger and makes a more impressive statement with those shadows, textures and lines. #2 at first in color, but now I'm not so sure. I keep wondering what it might be like in both color and b & w if the upper right corner were not quite so faint. You have probably tried this yourself and chosen the light to be the way it sort of bleed off into white, and if so then I'm thinking it works better in black and white. Now I'm going to click on them and observe them in Flickr in their larger glory. I'll report back if I change my mind... I feel they deserve to be seen larger to appreciate either way!

P.S. I'm going to go with black and white for both. I will say that the black background that flickr gives when you click on the photos really makes both pop even more. I think that the classical lines and subject matter of both, are even stronger in black and white. Don't dislike the color at all, and I can see why it's hard to choose. So my vote is B&W!:2thumbs: Both are striking and beautifully framed, Mark.


Hall of Famer
Dec 24, 2010
Brisbane, Australia
Light Study 75: B&W, if you are seeking to emphasise the contrasts and patterns of light and shade.

Light Study 77: I like the colour of the door, but the blown section at the top right works better in the B&W. Maybe the colour version if a small amount of tonal contrast was applied to the highlights


Super Moderator Emeritus
Nov 5, 2010
Down Under
Thanks so much to each and every one of you for your feedback. Your responses were pretty diverse - little wonder I was finding it hard to make up my mind.

I have to say though this was a classic!
I like them both in colour. In black and white the first one is too like a zebra's bum. I like the tones, a nice gentle warmth.
Well said Heather! :laugh1: I have to ask though did you mean there was "nice gentle warmth" about the "zebra's bum' - spoken like a true Vet! :wink:....or was that referring to the colour versions?

I have a thing for the B+W versions but agree that the colour version of the stair and door study does highlight the door a little well as the highlights being distracting. I have adjusted the highlights a bit and here's my second take on it. Love to know if this is preferable or changes your preference.

Again really appreciate the C+C VERY VERY VERY MUCH!!!

View attachment 37914
Light Study 77 - colour - highlight adjusted by stillshunter, on Flickr


Administrator Emeritus
Jul 12, 2010
Philly, Pa
The new color version works much better. The composition in itself is difficult. It has the classic "S" curve, the rectangle shapes all over and then the warmth of the door against the spindles.....
well handled.....
I like them all and think they work equally well in colour and black and white (just differently). This is probably a series where I would not show the colour and black and white side by side as I feel the two treatments gives a perspective and appeal to different emotions.


Super Moderator Emeritus
Sep 28, 2010
Sofia, Bulgaria
First one in colour. The soft, muted colours that you have here are beautiful. The B&W version, while it does accentuate the structure and the shadows, is too harsh for me.

Second one, first version, I agree with the crowd that the top right corner suffers in the colour version and therefore the B&W version is preferable for that reason alone. However, I prefer your reworked colour version to the original B&W version since the colour of the wooden door and the colours within the stonework make for a great image.

PS There is a photo critique forum for precisely this type of question:)


Super Moderator Emeritus
Nov 5, 2010
Down Under
PS There is a photo critique forum for precisely this type of question:)
Ooops, sorry Olli....and here I was agonising over whether it was in the right image thread category. :blush: I'll know better next time so thanks for the gentle tap...

All (including Olli of course): Thanks so much for the additional and detailed feedback. Without your help I might have printed out the first colour version of the Stair and Door study without being mindful of the delinquent PP still pending. Funny, how my eye must have been so caught up in the door and marble texture that it missed the bleeding obvious blown highlights.....I mean they only take up 20% of the frame!! :blush:

Mods: Can I please trouble you to move this to the correct location?

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