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Thread: Colour/Monochrome Roxy

  1. #1
    Roxy's Avatar
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    Colour/Monochrome Roxy

    Here are a couple of images from our recent Caribean trip. Picture taken of Atlantic at Bathsheba Beach, Barbados
    Same scene plus my first attempt at conversion from colour to Black & White (in PSE7).

    Colour/Monochrome Roxy

    Colour/Monochrome Roxy

    I'd appreciate comments please on

    a.. the image itself
    b.. preference as to colour or B/W

    c.. if the B/W is preferred,could a more pleasing B/W be achieved with a different/more sophisticated technique?

    thanks roxy
    Last edited by Roxy; 2nd May 2009 at 06:57 AM. Reason: add copy

  2. #2
    David's Avatar
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    Re: Colour/Monochrome Roxy

    Hi Roxy - You raise a perennial question regarding colour or monochrome (B/W). I'm not an expert so the following are simply my ideas. The colour image shows waves dashing against rocks with a background of rocky and hilly landscape. While there is colour in the image, there is little variation, no bright reds, deep greens, vibrant yellows. However, there is marked tonal variation from white (?blown) water to almost black rocks with mid tones in the sea and the landscape.. To me all this would be described as an image with a restricted palette (of colour) but a goodish tonal range. Thus, it would be a candidate for monochrome as the colours are not that critical to the message of the image.

    Now looking at the B/W image, I do think the whites are clipped and there appears little detail in the waves themselves. Perhaps that is an artefact of these posted images and your originals have more structure in the waves. However, the tonal variation is there and, to my mind, an enhanced sense of cold and wet and energy. In the Ansel Adams zoning score there are probably 5 or even 6 zones covered from light to dark, so that's not bad. Whether the tones are compositional well arranged might be another matter, but you can't ask the sea to conform to such a matter. Thus, I prefer the B/W.

    Could the B/W image be enhanced in any way? Probably yes.There are two general techniques to consider: toning and filtering. You could apply a very mild blue or green tone that might add to the feeling of the sea. You could try dual toning with two different shades of blue (or whatever). Without actually doing this myself, I not sure of the outcome.

    Or you could apply a B/W filter to augment portions of the image. No matter what filter you used, the whites will be white, but applying a blue filter might lighten the sea and darken the land; applying a red filter might darken the sea and so on. (I may have got that round the wrong way, but it's the idea.) If you haven't got it, check out Virtual Photographer from OptikVerve Labs for an excellent colour/monochrome manipulation plugin. (It' FREE!!!) You can use this to play to your heart's content with different filters.

    Finally, another possibility would be treat the image using HDR software to create a monochrome image. I've tried this using Qtpfsgui and the so-called Manntiuk algorithm and it can lead to some pleasing effects.

    I hope these points are useful.

    Cheers

    David

  3. #3
    Roxy's Avatar
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    Re: Colour/Monochrome Roxy

    Thanks very much Dave for this comment, analysis and advice .. I will be looking closely and will have a go at the software you suggest.
    Your remarks will be in mind as I try more B/W conversions.
    roxy

  4. #4
    crisscross's Avatar
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    Re: Colour/Monochrome Roxy

    Don't know what the technical description is, but I was put on to a technique that sometimes helps. This is by adjusting colour temp (ie blue-yellow scale) at the RAW/NEF end and then choosing complimentary/contrary filter colour to return to neutral.

    Agree with David on the waves and that monochrome always means very slightly tinted, not absolutely de-saturated. (Filter>photo effects>tinted in NX2). Can also put ordinary filter, ie cyan-red, magenta-green scale in counterpoint to the final one.

    Not sure that I would be bothering had I just been to Carribean tho

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