Sunday, May 30, 2010
BLACK AND WHITE TONED
I do very little black and white photography, even though I appreciate the medium. When I find a subject that I feel will look good as a b & w image, my first impulse is to add a tone to it. When photographers used the darkroom instead of Photoshop, we toned images using sepia, selenium, and other toners which produced a variety of brownish colors. Today, with Photoshop, we have the entire palette of color to choose from.
Toning is a process where the blacks are replaced with color. This is different from tinting, where the whites are replaced with a color and the blacks stay primarily black. These were terms we used when working with paper and chemistry. In Photoshop, there are many ways to tone (or tint) a photo, and the picture you see here taken at the Clonmanoise cemetery in Ireland was done by simply using the hue/saturation dialog box to reduce the image to black and white by moving the saturation slider to the left. I then chose Image > adjustments > color balance to add the color. Finally, additional contrast made the picture have more visual impact.
To get this kind of dynamic perspective, I used a low point of view and a 24mm wide angle on a full frame sensor camera. I darkened the sky to make it more dramatic using the burn tool, and at the same time I lightened the foreground grass with the dodge tool. These tools are considered by Photoshop pros to offer less control than other methods used for making these kinds of adjustments, but in some situations they work very well with very quick results.