Friday, February 11, 2011
Storms Peak- Breathtaking Black and Whites
This image of Mills Lake, Storms Peak, and Thatchtop was taken at midday, using the same lighting conditions favored by Ansel Adams. Often when I talk about HDR processing, I mention the processing Adams used in his darkroom. What many people don't realize when they see one of his images, is that he "processed the hell out of 'em." He, and others, would dodge and burn and use all sorts of other techniques which I cannot intelligently speak about. But suffice it to say, composition, exposure, lighting: the "camera-side of photography"--is only part of what makes a fine art image. Processing is the other part.
You can check out my video tutorials to see how I process my HDR images using Photomatix Pro and Photoshop. To make rich Black and White images, I do more than just desaturate or apply split-toning in Adobe RAW. Though that is a quick way to yield a nice B&W. Instead, harking back to Ansel Adams, I create pantone Black and Whites. The easiest pantone for most people to recognize is sepia.
Pantones, tritones, and duotones exist because in the early days of printing, it was near impossible to get completely black and white. So, using mixtures of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Key (i.e. black) (CMYK), for example, I can create a much richer black and white image.
The process is simple. In Photoshop with the image open as an 8 bit image, go to Image>Mode>Greyscale
Then click ok to discard color information.
Then go to Image>Mode>Duotone.
It's THAT easy. Once you select Duotone, a window will open with many preset Duotone, Tritone, and Pantone options. Find one that feels close to what you want. It may require some adjusting per color, but that is easy enough to play around with too.
THIS IS IMPORTANT THOUGH!!! Once you get your image pantoned the way you want it, you must change the image mode back to RGB if you want to save your image as a jpg or tiff, or do any normal levels or curves edits.
I hope that was easy enough to follow. I may go ahead and make a video tutorial for this.
Thanks for visiting!