Friday 19 March 2010

Seeing Things in Black and White

For those of you who have not sussed it out by now, I am currently taking a Photoshop course. This week was black and white conversions. Who knew that there were so many ways to turn a colour photo into a black and white version? And who knew that you can generate an almost infinite variety of different black and white photos, depending on the conversion process used and subsequent editing? Well, I do now, and after a little messing about with Photoshop at 2am this morning (it is amazing what you can get done when you can't sleep), here are just three versions of a photo that I took of the Altiplano of Peru.

I am not entirely sure which one I like the best - it seems to depend on my mood. The top and the bottom photos have both had slight tints added, so they are not 100% monochrome.

Next week - how to make anyone look good. Not sure if I will even go to that class, given the almost complete lack of people in my photos. Let's face it, even when I do include a person, it is usually yours truely and since I am such a shy and retiring person who shuns the limelight, I always blank my face out. Besides, aside from removing very large, obvious and embarrassing zits, I am not a big fan of photoshopping someone's image until they look great, but absolutely nothing like themselves.

Oh, and for anyone who is interested, here is the original image before the B and W conversion.


Sistertex said...

I am still in school, having gone back for a degree after many years of being out of it, and will finally get that degree this year. Have had classes that have had PhotoShop as a huge part of it. What I have found from taking these classes is that learning about it is practically endless.

One way to think about your next class is that for people who are new to it (and taking classes such as yourself) it is filled with surprises. Though you may be learning to make people look better, you may discover through the process of your learning this, something else that might really be useful to you for other things.

I have been using it for years in my classes and for other projects and I still feel like a layman with it.

I rarely use it for photos in my blog, unless I want to overlay words on a photo. Or need to change the file format in order to post it.

DBM, you should go! You may discover some further tools in the process you can use elsewhere!

I love your photos and each one, with just the subtle changes you have made coveys a bit of a different mood. I think the third of the b&w series is the most 'unearthly' feeling....moon landscape. Very cool!

Cortes said...

The effects you can create with this PhotoShop are quite amazing. Actually I like all three of the photos, each one conveying a different feeling. The one I like best is the original. I love the shades of blue in this photo.

The bottom line of this whole exercise, as I see it, is that PhotoShop requires a excellent photo to work with, and yours are. Hard to improve on perfection!

Kate said...

I like them all - your photos are so good that Photoshop doesn't make them better - it couldn't.... but it does make them interesting - I love black and white photos anyway they have a clarity I find fascinating!

Suldog said...

All of the B&W photos have an eerie quality that's compelling. Nice.

Don't Bug Me! said...

Sistertex: I know what you mean about feeling as though you will never learn it all - I don't think anyone can! What is really starting to bug me is that I just learn how to do one thing and then the instructor says "well, you could do it this way instead." A bit later on, he will then show us another way. When you ask which is the best way, the reply always starts with "That depends on......" Last week I think my head nearly exploded after the fourth method of doing a B and W conversion! I will go to the class next week, if only because I have paid for it, but you may well be right, there probably will be a technique that I can use in a different situation. My goal so far has been to just pick up one good thing per week. That seems to be all my brain can cope with these days!

Cortes: You are too kind. No, really you are. Just because you are my friend and I buy you lunch every now and then, you don't have to always be nice!

Kate: Yes, I always find that I really like the atmosphere of a B and W photo that you just don't seem to get with a colour photo.

Suldog: Thank you.

Baino said...

I'd love to do a photoshop course. Then I live with a graphic designer so she's given me a few tips but I don't play enough. I like the semitone one on the bottom but then again, when you have such an amazing subject, how could it not look good in any light? Do the touch up class for fun if nothing else. Clare once had to change the dress on a particular model for a website she was designing and you'd never know that it was the same photo manipulated for different outfits. Saved the client a fortune on photography and modelling.

jay said...

I think Sistertex is right - you'll probably learn something very useful, even if you never do wish to manipulate faces to 'airbrush' them or whatever.

Me? I love the third of the monochromes. It's eerie, for sure, but quite charming!