Exercise- Strength of Interpretation

The removal of the element of colour has a useful and interesting effect on processing. Basically much more can be done in interpreting the tonal range. You can make much more aggressive changes to the overall brightness and to the contrast than would be reasonable with colour. To demonstrate this, take, or choose from images that you already have, that you think would suit the following adjustments; Strong increase in contrast, and low or high key treatment.

High Contrast Colour- For both examples below I used Curves, and produced a pronounced S-curve in order to create very high contrast images. The result was two very extreme looking coloured images, with very high saturated colours, and loss of detail through clipping in places. However, once converted to black and white, the images don’t look quite as extreme, and actually appear quite pleasing to the eye due to the strong contrasting tones.


High Contrast Black and White-


High Contrast Colour-

1 high contrast

High Contrast Black and White-

1 high contrast (2)

High Key Colour- I used high key treatment in the images below. To do this I used the histogram in Levels, and shifted the entire brightness range to the left. This resulted in very washed out images, as shown below. The washed out coloured images appear a little flat, and look rather strange and unsatisfactory. However, once converted to black and white, the washed out colours now create muted tones, resulting in pleasant soft images.

3 HIGH KEY (2)

High Key Black and White-


High Key Colour-


High Key Black and White-1 HIGH KEY BW1

A very useful exercise which shows the flexibility of converting an image into black and white. I have learnt the large variety of effects which can work in creating different feels to a monochrome image.


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