Hello everyone welcome to another session of the one and only PhO-TAYgraphy Club, the unofficial Photo Club of Kinja! I'm your host Nach and this is our third themed session! Now everything will be a bit gloomy and sad, cause we are taking the colour away from our photos, Yes, this is the dreaded/beloved B&W session of the Photo Club! (just don't focus too much on those Rural & Urban pictures heh!)
I'm not a fan of B&W photography (although for their absence of colour, they do have a special edge that brings a extra oomph of atmosphere if the photo is taken right), for me colour is so important that ignoring it just doesn't make sense to me, not that I'm saying that B&W doesn't make sense though (whether it's photography, films or even video games), it's just that it requires more effort to make them stand out, and umm... well I'm not saying I'm lazy, it's just that... ermm I don't like editing my photos! I just try to take my photos the way I picture reality, plus post-production feels like cheating to me. I have to admit though, I did learn something about colours and contrast by searching for my header photo, and this journey through the process is something I want share with some of you guys.
Some of you already work in B&W, and some of us have to go through the hassle of processing them using some editing software. Initially I was going to use Aperture for Mac Os, but I really don't feel comfortable with that program, and that program doesn't make my 6 year old MacBook feel comfortable either, so to avoid overheating and killing my laptop, I went with the safe route and use Photoshop, cause I love Photoshop
What you see here is the typical Photoshop CS3 interface, and what I used for processing this photos was the processed using the Image > Adjustments > Black & White route, and it's pretty simple, you have 6 sliders for the two most common colour models RGB and CMYK, the idea here is to augment or diminish the presence of each colour in the photo, and find the right balance for each and one of them, the cool thing is that Photoshop already has some presets (and I believe that all of the photo editing software out there have that feature too, well at least Aperture does) for filtering those colours.
Here's a demo of the variations that PS offers for B&W editing, there are a few more than these 8 presets I used in this montage. It's not perfect but will help you understand how each filter works, for example using the default desaturation will give you a bland image where there's almost no contrast and shadows tend to blend in, the same for the Darker and Lighter variations. In the bottom section of the montage is where I believe it gets a bit more interesting, notice how some colours tend to fade away in each of the settings, and how it affects the quality in general, for example the red filter takes away the detail of the skin, since you know white skin tends to reflect the colours that it perceives, and the prominent colour in this photo is red.
For the header image it was a bit easier, since half of the job was already done, it was taken against the light source, so I already had a lot of shadows, and the colour present wasn't that pronounced. All I really wanted to do is highlight the faces of the central subjects, the rest of the picture would remain the same.
So... umm yeah that's about it, it wasn't as terrible as I thought it would be, the B&W does add a nice albeit different energy to the photos, and once I found the ones I wanted to work with, it became quite easy, obviously it's more than just a few sliders, there are many other settings to consider like lightness, contrast, curves, etc. all these will help you achieve the perfect photo you are looking for, my advice is play around with these settings until you learn how each one affects the image, and eventually you'll find a balance.
It is now your turn to show what you've got! Share your pics after the jump and if you feel like it... maybe share the process (if any) on how you achieved the balance in your picture, or just... you know keep it simple and just tell the story behind the photo =) it's fair to use older photos, no need to go out and take new ones ;)
Venture back into the real world filled with colour:
- There are many other amazing posts at photography.kinja.com (and lots of car pictures too...)
- Check some other adventures and ramblings in TAY Classic!
- Do you need a break from this monochrome reality? Well, Battleborn will be back today(maybe?) sharing his take of the 5 o'clock(ish) news round up TAY Time Chat, today!
- Did you guys know that there's a magical place around Kinja where people just talk about food? Well of course you do there's TAY's own SnackTAYku and I just found out about this other place called FoodSpin!