You Didn’t Ask For It, But Your Getting It Anyway!

So last night I stayed up a bit later than I had originally planned because I had become slightly obsessed with the notion of playing with some software and doing something new and different. No. Not ‘new and different’ as in no one had ever done it before, but ‘new and different’ for me. Which means short of anything other than tweaking the pic it would be new and different.

So that I wouldn’t forget the new high I had gotten smokin’ that photo-editing software, I took a quick trip through my posted images on Flickr and looked for a few that I thought might do well with the same trick as I had done the night before. I found a few and check ’em out!

Andy Warhol Gas Pumps

Brilliant Butterfly

I’m actually very, very happy (and proud) of both these images. I think I picked the best pics possible for this treatment. And they are pretty much stock images (I worked from the actual uploaded JPEG files on Flickr) as I only increased the saturation for the butterfly to really make him stand out and left the gas pumps alone.

The funny thing is that while I was looking through my pictures I was thinking about the sorts of issues that I was discussing in my other entry from yesterday. I was considering what would be the impact of my actions with the photo-editing software and trying to ‘see’ it and then decide whether or not I thought it would fly as an image. Drat. I’m on the road to artist, aren’t I? I’ve sold my soul and it’s all over. Oh well.

Also, I gave the simpler b&w only treatment to a picture of the daughter, as seen here:

Bug in b&w.jpg

and I feel that this one didn’t work. Or didn’t work as well as I had hoped and/or expected. In other words: my vision and output didn’t match. So the question is, “What did I do wrong?” To that end I have placed this picture in a special Set titled Your Assistance Please on my Flickr site. Like a fellow photography enthusiast I know, I opted to create this set for pictures I wish folks to offer some help and/or guidance. So if you have any ideas or thought, please feel free to comment as such as I’m looking for opinions.

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7 thoughts on “You Didn’t Ask For It, But Your Getting It Anyway!

  1. I think all of them are great. I am really REALLY loving the gas pumps. The one of your daughter is very pretty. What exactly were you wanting to do with this one? Perhaps you could colour the blanket a bright colour, two-tone it even. Just some thought there. Now, had this been a photo of me (that I wanted to work on), I would have reddened my hair (more than its natural colour) and made my eyes the colour of emeralds. Of course, having green eyes already, it’s easy to do. Not sure about her’s. They look very dark brown to me.

  2. Bug’s are brown, but I wasn’t looking to do a b&w AND colour image with her pic. I was hoping to get a good b&w out of it as the original colour image seems contrasty enough to convert to b&w.

    It just doesn’t sing the way I had hoped. My vision and results do not match. Poop.

  3. In my opinion the background is still a bit distracting, and too gray. You could add more contrast, darken the background even more, and brighten her face. She already has lovely sparkless in her eyes, but these could be brighten up a bit too.

    The first photograph is absolutely gorgeous. Although I am personally no fan of selective coloring I really like these rather desaturated colors.

    Wouter

  4. Just a thought, and I really don’t have a clue what I’m talking about when it comes to b&w, but…

    I seem to recollect this isn’t the first time you’ve mentioned “contrast” in the context of giving a pic the b&w treatment, as though high contrast is a necessary or desirable quality for such treatment.

    Which set me to wondering. Is that truly the case? Wouldn’t a shot that’s somewhat less contrasty but with lots of different tones/shades work just as well… or perhaps (perish the thought) even better?

    Knowing how you love to play around with these sorts of things, might be interesting to give it a go.

    šŸ˜‰

  5. @fotdmike: I personally think a B&W photograph can become strong when the photograph contains some sort of textures/structures, have contrast (the amount can be different, I agree), rich tonalities, and subtleties. You can always selectively adjust a particular region of a photograph (dodging and burning).
    I think there is no necessity to go for high contrast at all time, but at least give it some sort of contrast. A B&W photograph without contrast can often be too flat and gray in my opinion.

    And your thought is pretty much appreciated too Mike šŸ˜€ That is way it so much more fun to learn.
    Wouter

  6. I definitely like the two b&w/color pictures a lot…and yes, the subdued colors on the gas pumps.
    I used to do these sorts of photographs a couple of years ago (for a couple of years before that). It works with some photos, others not so well. But what I like about the process is that you choose where the viewer’s eyes are going to go first…and then they discover what is “behind” it.
    I found myself looking at potential images and thinking in both b&w and in color….running the image through my head in these terms. I found that it increased my sensitivity to how images would appear. I wonder if you manipulate it in your head first or if you shoot a photo and then manipulate it afterward.
    Eventually, I took some fairly demeaning flak about manipulating my photography and moved on to less manipulated work, if at all. I turned to a more contemplative period….zen-like photography.
    THEN it dawned on me: what the hell does he know?? It’s art and it’s MY art and that is what the nature of art is: whatever the H**L anyone feels is the soul of their work! (sorry, minor rant, there…)
    So, I do like your b&w/color imagery. Keep doing it!

    As for the b&w of your daughter…I do like it. I agree with Wouter… work with the contrasts, textures, and tonalities. When I shoot, more often than not I don’t use flash and never even on the stop: I always shoot at least a stop under, which, in my opinion, brings out what you are really looking for…the depth of something. It adds grain, which, for me, gives an image a type of depth that many don’t shoot for….sometimes the more grain you’ve got adds a mood that boosts the image**, rather than making it “the same” as many others. So, try under-exposing…shoot a stop under or even a stop and a half.

    Just a note….I’ve never seen your page before…I’m pretty new at this. But I sure like what I see. I definitely don’t see anything I don’t like!

    I have a few photos posted at my blog but not many yet. Check out my website for a more expansive display of what I do…you’ll find some of the b&w/color images there…and the “electric” pieces I am working on these days. http://www.sambissell.com And let me know what you think.

    ** In my portraiture section on my site is a photo of “Beauty in the Dark”. The only light available for the shot was the kitchen light in the background. I shot it with a Canon SD400 (?) (I used the camera so much the letters are worn off.) It’s an excellent example of what grain can do for a shot.

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