Sunday, February 27, 2011

Ex. 17 Colours into tones - 1

Having read ahead a little I have already started to use these techniques on my current B&W work, and find them very powerful (see my last blog entry).  For this exercise I have tried to select an image that contains a broad range of colour, but that will also be very amenable to the treatment suggested.  This was taken yesterday in the Hofgarten on a cold but very clear day, beautiful colour and excellent crisp shade for B&W.

For the colour version I have cropped, sharpened and increased the saturation.  This picture has 3 basic colour groups:

  1. Red - The roof of the building and the brown in the bushes
  2. Blue - The sky and the domed roof of the foreground building
  3. Green - The grass
A basic desaturation produces a very uninteresting image:

In Lightroom there are 8 sliders and typically colour modifications are best done moving 2 adjacent colours at the same time, but by differing amounts.  My first tone adjustment is to greatly brighten Red/Orange and reduce Aqua/Blue.  This really deepens the sky and also darkens the roof in the foreground, whilst greatly brightening the roof in the background.  As I have left the Yellow and Green at 0, this does not greatly change the middle ground tones.

Doing the opposite totally changes the character of the image reversing the toning of the roofs and sky.

Both of these images are much bolder to the eye delivering more punch.  I prefer the middle image with the darkened blues, however, darkening the sky with a tree in front of it has created some visual artifacts which detract from the image.  An "ideal" conversion would be a little less aggressive.

A useful technique and one that I am now using on many of my latest images

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