Sunday, May 25, 2008

I haven't had any spare time...

Excuses, excuses. I have been trying to find time to say some more about black and white. I have been turned on by colour photography from a very early age - it must have started with "The Wizard of Oz", you know that bit where it changes from black and white to colour. Well I am prejudiced I suppose. But, once you have selected black and white on your camera settings, thats it - a lost opportunity. Now then why not have the best of both worlds. You see, if you shoot with the black and white setting it converts the colour channels to the same grey scale. This prevents you making any changes to the relationship between colour tones. If, on the other hand, you shoot in colour you can make these changes mimicing the effect you would get if you had shot the subject using colour filters. For example, a portrait of a male subject might benefit from use of a blue filter to make his skin tone rugged and weather beaten. Or a portait of a female subject might benefit from a red filter to neutralise skin tones making them softer. A landscape with a blue sky would benefit from a yellow filter to make the sky contrasty etc, etc. All these things can be done to an colour image - after the event, whereas in the days of film you had to use a filter at the time of shooting. I have done a compilation image of a pastoral scene that shows some of the possibilities.

I have labeled these images to show how they were done. The two on the right show desaturated and the other is the Photoshop CS3 Black and White setting. The black and white image on the left is how a green filter would look. Both Photoshop and Lightroom give you endless variations of filter changes and even the older versions of Photoshop can be used to provide an infinite choice by changing the colour relationships with "Levels" before desaturating the image. This is not the only way but with Photoshop one method of doing some change is as good as another (most of the time).
I will try and update more frequently now I have found a subject for my black or white blog.

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