Sunday, September 25, 2011

black and white conversion of digital color photos

For so many years I took photos with my Canon AE1 or Pentax K1000.  The world of black and white is not new to me.  I still use those cameras occasionally.  But, this world of converting color digital images to b&w is a new to me.  I had no idea there were so many methods, and that each method had a different result. Oh great! Perfect for someone with OCD tendencies.  So... the assignment for this week (10 photos converted to b&w) ended up taking me a helluva long time because I wanted to see the differences based on the different techniques (each of which has many subsets of techniques). One could spend gazillions of hours doing this, right?  Last night and today I tested converting directly to grayscale....using the hue & saturation layer...the twin hue & sat method...the gradient map methodology..the channel mixer method (like this one)...the b&w adjustment layer method (like this one)-- and with these methods, tried curves, contrast, blend modes, masks.  Added grain to all of them.  Worked with one image (the bark) just in RAW. So.... guess I found a few I prefer.  Here are a few of my favorites from that shoot.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

OK, so for our first assignment, I obviously was into mirrors

3 of the 10 chosen shots for the first class assignment were mirror shots (2 of them are above), plus, of course, I got a reflection of The Plaza in the glass decorative ball shot.  One of the things I like about photography is that it helps us see places differently.  I don't just want a snapshot - I want an image that will remind me of a moment or a feeling.  Take, for instance, sad Elvis, looking almost frozen.  He is constantly seeking the approval of the faceless crowd, and the money as well.  I know that to an extent we all put on faces to the rest of the world.  However, to put on a face of a "famous" person, and then hope for the same (or similar) response that this person receives/received from the public, is sad to me.  It's hard enough to be oneself. I can't imagine trying to be someone else. I really can't imagine being an Elvis in a town full of them.  I particularly like the image of the man walking in a seemingly empty area. Can you tell that I took this shot into a large glass window that reflected behind me? If one looks closely, one sees a man in a wheel chair, hidden by shadows, and another man looking in a shop window. There is another person walking towards me, whose partial image conveys more  solitude.  I'm a fan of Edward Hopper and his influence pervades a number of my photos.  Hopper could have created some amazing paintings in this town.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Another blogging experience

So, here I go again, musing publicly.  A blog almost cost me a job, but that was because I was working for pinheads.  I don't expect any repercussions from this blog. Should be interesting figuring out how this site works.  Seems like I constantly am learning new software, new websites, new music, new photography ideas and techniques, etc. etc.  Today I had to re-learn how to do a batch in PS.  Also, with Kristen's help, finally got a simply copyright for my photos.