Sunday, 18 December 2011

Exercise: Black & White

This exercise explores the interpretation of a subject with a view to making a black and white image.

The scene I chose had several elements that I thought would work well in Black & White. Firstly, the sky was a good deep blue colour which could be darkened or lightened and the clouds burned in more for a more dramatic effect.

The gravel path and fence posts would look good with a high contrast applied and finally the trees already have a great level of shadow detail and highlights which could be brought out more in black and white.

To begin the processing I converted the image to b&w in the raw converter. I then adjusted the sliders to make the blues darker, I did the same for the yellows and greens a little to darken the grass. Finally to lighten the path a little I reduced the reds slightly.

Once open in photoshop, I used the burn tool at 3% exposure to burn in the shadows and mid-tones concentrating on the sky, trees and grass.

The bottom right hand corner needed a boost in contrast, so with a selective levels adjustment I boosted the contrast.

Finally I used the dodge tool, again at 3% exposure, to bring out the highlights in the trees, clouds and the sheep, also paying attention to the pathway.

I think that the resulting image is certainly aged and produces a pleasing version that is more interesting that the colour version.

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