Thursday, 7 June 2012

Colours into tones 1

The original image used in this exercise was taken with my film camera and colour negative film. I then scanned the negative into the computer which resulted in these lovely vivid colours. This provides the perfect tonal range for this experiment where we will be lightening and darkening the grey scale tones of the dominant colours, in this case, blue and yellow.

The original image.
Before starting work on the individual colour tones, I have carried out a standard black and white conversion using the software defaults. The software conversion is very safe but not very exciting and can be seen below. This will serve as our reference image.

A standard black and white conversion by the software.
The first edit (below) emphasises the yellow tones and subdues the blue areas. As can be seen by the inset settings panel, several sliders have been adjusted to maximise the effect.  Yellow, green and orange have all been  reduced to darken the yellow tones. The blue and aqua have been increased to maximum to lighten the sky area. The resulting image can be seen below. It has been necessary to adjust more than just the main colour as different shades start to spill over into other colours.

Darkened yellow tones.
To reverse the tonal range from above I have now minimised the blue and aqua controls and increased the yellow and greens. This has produced the strong 'negative', almost 'infra-red' style image below. Note how the sky area in the image above is much larger than the equivalent dark sky area below. In both conversions I have tried to get the contrasts as extreme as possible without losing any detail. I have allowed a tiny amount of clipping in both the blacks and the whites.

Darkened blue tones.
Creatively there is a major difference between these two images. The image with the darkened yellow tones is maybe a little extreme but nether-the-less still a realistic black and white rendering of the original. The picture with the darkened blue sky is abstract and surreal. Here we have changed the meaning of this image from an unusual view of a group of trees to something other-worldly.