Bifurcation 2

And now for something completely different :upside_down_face:.
This was an interesting experiment for me. It is rare that I’ll take the same raw image and post process it separately and intentionally in monochrome and colour. This black and white version loses the bucolic, Hudson River School feel of the colour but, instead, presents with a more stark and ominous mood. Without the benefit or, perhaps distraction of colour, the graphic lines and textures inherent in the image are all that are left to define it. In that sense, it is stripped bare to its essence, which, I think, gives it a power all its own. When I look at the monochrome and compare it with the colour, I end up with a pain in my neck from turning my head back and forth. In that regard, I am pleased because, for me at least, they defy comparison since they represent two very different visions and, for that reason, are much better seen separately (which is why I didn’t post them together in the first place). I would love your feedback – impressions, comments - aesthetic or technical - and if you have the urge to compare the two, please feel free to go right ahead.

Is this a composite: No

You’re right. This is very different. I think you decided to darken the darker clouds. I find myself drawn to the lighter clouds for the richness of their tonal value. I wonder if there’s a way to draw out greater tonal variability out of the darker areas of the dark clouds. Or maybe that’s taking it in the wrong direction.

I was immediately caught up in the graphic nature of this one, Kerry. Nicely done.

This looks quite good in B&W but for me, the color version all the way. The color provides more layering and depth and contrast in feeling and mood of the various layers in the scene really come across better in color. Far more impact for me.

I suspect you are looking for comments on the B&W version as a standalone image. But I’ll start by saying I strongly prefer the color version. It had so much more emotional appeal, with it’s warm, romanticized version of this moment in nature. It was easier to engage as a viewer with the color image, the B&W version comes across as somewhat heavy handed for me, the harsher contrast makes it harder for me to get into the image on an emotional level . To me, the strong contrast overwhelms the subtle nuances of luminosity that I found so appealing in the color version.

I wonder if a lower contrast B&W version of the image might hold more emotional appeal. I took a stab at a rework in that direction, pardon me if this is not your vision for the image. Iused your final color rework as the starting point. I like how the luminosity of the trees comes through in this rework.

@Igor_Doncov , @David_Bostock , @Harley_Goldman, @Ed_McGuirk - First, thank you all for taking the time to look and comment.
After taking a couple of days to not look at this black and white version I have come back and here’s my critique: “No offence Kerry, but it’s a dog’s breakfast.” Ooh, that’s harsh … but true. The reason is, I think, because I let my post processing (what I’m most comfortable with) direct my vision instead of the other way around. When I think of black and white, my mind typically goes to high contrast. A lot of the time, that’s a good choice but clearly not in this case, at least not from my perspective. And yet, I kept pushing it according to what is familiar instead of letting go of my way of doing things and let the image lead me elsewhere as needed. Now, it may be that this picture isn’t really suited to black and white – certainly the colour image was much more successful. But then, with the colour version much more than the black and white, I was open to following the bouncing ball and seeing where it needed to go rather than my pre-conceived notion of where it “had” to go. So, this little project of doing both colour and black and white has proved more valuable than I originally imagined, not because of the difference between black and white and colour but because of the difference between listening to where the image wants to go rather than forcing it to conform to my agenda.
P.S. @Ed_McGuirk - Ed, thanks so much for going to the trouble and taking the time to show me another possibility. It doesn’t really work for me, but it does open up my mind to other possibilities. I tried tinkering, pushing sliders around and such with what I had until I realized that I needed to put it away and maybe come back to it at some other time. Your notion of using the finished colour version as a starting point is interesting and I may play with that although, I have to ask myself, why try to do in black and white what I’ve already done, and probably more successfully, in colour.

The color version of this is awesome, no doubt. But I still think there is something to be had in B&W too. The raw ingredients of strong texture and luminosity are still there, and they often lead to something that works in B&W. I agree with you, take some time to distance yourself mentally from the color version, and then tackle the B&W again.