Sunday, April 26, 2009

Color indexed B&W

Sometimes color just doesn't do it for me.
I know that sounds odd, but black and white photography can bring out details that we miss because of the way we emotionally respond to color.

To illustrate, I've taken the photo of the yellow tulips and huge wooden shoe from my last post , and played with it a bit. I love the results!

You can just hit a button and turn any photo to black and white using the free software that abounds out there. This is what you'd get:


Black and White

Not terribly exciting, eh? So, try color indexing instead!
Color indexing means that you tell the software what is white and it adjusts the rest of the spectrum for you.

For example, this is what I got when I told it to index on yellow. All the yellows turned to white and the greys work down to black from that point.

Pretty blah. That's because there is SO much yellow that when it turns to white the photo is rather blown out.

Instead, I chose blue as the index color. Because there is little blue in the picture (just the shades mixed with the green of the stems) the flowers suddenly have a lot of detail - all that yellow is seen as shades of grey.

I think the result is fabulous. (And a bit eerie!)


The Churches said...

Beautiful! What a great idea!