Bison and Coyote

I literally just processed this in black and white for the first time last night, and I think it would fit the bill as a holiday card. Our own holiday cards usually involve some silly scene involving our son and a hedgehog (previous pets), but if I used my nature images, this could be a candidate!

I have another image from this sequence in which the coyote is sitting and howling. I converted that to black and white years ago to emphasize the OOF snow flakes in front of the bison, but in general the conversion wasn’t as extreme. Shadows, grass, and imperfections in the snow are visible.

In this case I opted for a more extreme, higher contrast look in large part because I felt the parallel profiled animal shapes should be emphasized against a cleaner palette. So I even did a bit of dodging (something I normally don’t do, even in b/w), and I was pleased with the result. Different from my usual documentary style, but as I’ve written in the past, I don’t mind explore my artistic side more in monochrome.

Canon 7D Mark II
Canon 100-400mm
ISO 400


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This looks great, Max. As strong as the image is, I find it has more impact on me scroll cropping to eliminate the coyote. The simplicity of just the bison and snow flakes I find extremely powerful. It is an enjoyable image either way and should make an excellent holiday card.

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Max, what a great take, with the Bison and Coyote posed so well. I expect that going b&w emphasizes the paired pose, especially in the white world. I do wonder if letting a few bits of grass show through the snow would add a bit more to the artistic drawing feeling.

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This is a lovely black and white image, Max. I love it the way it is, as the parallel of the two shapes is a storytelling contrast. Yet I also can see just the bison surrounded by falling snow - that would be awesome too! I don’t know if you had any grass that Mark is mentioning in his comment, but I think it’s fine as is.

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Thanks, everyone.

Sadly, the few bits of grass that were showing didn’t add enough texture to help. Had there been a more consistent pattern of grass, I could see that working, but the volume and location of the random bits sticking out weren’t all that helpful.

I understand you wanted to make this image look as perfect as it turned out to be! I’m not into big post processing myself, but I understand why you dit it. Absolutely gorgeous and original result!
Grt, Ingrid.