152/365 An Attempt At Black & White
I remember the day. I remember walking along a path and coming upon this incredible convoluted set of branches reaching out way beyond other branches. It took my breath away and I tried, oh how I tried, to capture what I saw. I failed. I only had a 50mm f/1.8 lens on me so I couldn’t get a wide angle shot. In order to get the expanse of the limbs, I had to back up. That made the limbs small and inconsequential. Up closer though, I lost the breadth of the limbs. I tried it at an angle, but, again, lost the breadth so I stopped photographing it and took my losses. But the memory of its strength persisted.
After that, though, every time I looked at photos of it, I was disappointed so I avoided it. I pretended it didn’t exist. And yet, in the back of my mind I thought there must be SOME way to make it work.
I took many other photos that day and I would have used one of them for today’s post, except I already wrote about them. (Astonished By The Story) So today, when I realized I would be using a photo from this set of photos, I thought I’d attempt to salvage the branches.
My first thought was that all the color detracted from the branches. The green grasses and evergreens, the yellow flowers, the blue sky, and even an orange cone in the distance all fought against them. I thought I’d convert it to black and white. I use Photoshop CS4 as my photo editing application. I don’t remember all I did but I know I took it into LAB at one point, applied contrast, curves, and played around with the various channels. My results are so-so, some of it is because this really isn’t a good photo to convert to black and white. The main reason, though, is because I’m not used to working in black and white. Tonal values are important and I feel like I missed out on this photo.
However, all that being said, I made an attempt and now I’m curious as to how to convert a color photo into a decent black and white one. I have a book buried deep in a box that I remember had a great section on black and white conversion. It’s very technical and convoluted (hence, the reason it’s buried deep in a box) but I may pull it out again and review it.
Here is the original color version.
I think it’s just too messy. Ultimately there is too much going on. Oh pooh! Forget all this and just go to the link above (Astonished By The Story) and see the better photos.