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Keith_A_Howe
02-09-2011, 06:14 PM
Color Balance supplies harmony to an image. An image in which the tones work together, effectively supporting the image, can enhance its emotional appeal. Color balance is not always harmonious and can be used to evoke diverse feelings for effect.

So let's see some examples of using color to enhance the concept. I'll start with one of mine. I am pretty sure I've shared this before but this time look at the color. If the sky had been a red sunset, I would have lost the the feeling of cold and desolation that I feel helped make this image successful. The deep blue sky really enhanced the story of this one warm light place in the vast world. The title "Last Light" perpetuated that idea.

http://i131.photobucket.com/albums/p308/imager410/Lastlightphotobucket.jpg

Keith_A_Howe
02-10-2011, 01:12 PM
Come on guys, lets see some examples. This is one of the easiest elements to my way of thinking. Or maybe we should drop this whole discussion of each element if nobody is interested anymore?

Keith

ChontelleBrown
02-10-2011, 01:53 PM
I am interested and follow these threads, but I've only entered b+w. Please don't stop educating us.

Tss1203
02-10-2011, 02:23 PM
no no no, don't stop, I'm still enjoying it! Let me see if I can find an example...

Keith_A_Howe
02-10-2011, 02:29 PM
Chontelle

Black and white is still a color choice. Care to maybe share an image and tell why you felt b&w was the right choice?

Keith

Mark_Katz
02-10-2011, 03:02 PM
Chontelle

Black and white is still a color choice. Care to maybe share an image and tell why you felt b&w was the right choice?

Keith

I'll bite on this. This was an image that really didn't do anything for me in color:

http://members.iapc.net/~daveedo/markkatz/ppa/Cowboy%20C.jpg

But in B&W, it told a story. Isn't that the point?

http://members.iapc.net/~daveedo/markkatz/ppa/Cowboy%20BW.jpg



(FWIW Keith, I appreciate these kinds of threads. Many of us, just really want to see others post images before we do.)

GregYager
02-10-2011, 03:55 PM
Here's one I've been working on lately that I seem to be having color balance issues with. I'm very close to monotone here with the skin being the only prominent color. The stroke color is taken from her eyes but I'm not sure that's my best choice here.

The problem I've run in to is her skin. I used this image to run some test prints at a Kodak lab and they came back yellowish and blotchy. Basically her nose and cheeks looked like they had mustard stains is the best way I know how to describe it. I realize you're talking more color harmony than color balance but I was hoping this was close enough to warrant a look into what's causing this. It could just be the fact that I've seen my work on Fuji for the past year and I'm not used to the warmer skin tones of Kodak.
http://mymorganfield.com/CompetitionImages/BabyBluesLowRes.jpg

Keith_A_Howe
02-10-2011, 04:13 PM
Mark, I completely agree with you on the B&W. Do you (or anyone else) care to elaborate on why the B&W "tells a story" so much better then the color?

Greg,
I am seeing the yellow on the nose, cheeks and armpit, not a lot but a little. I am seeing it in the shadows more so then the midtones or highlights. Did you do any color correction on the file that effected the shadows more then anything else? FWIW I printed a copy on a color laser and it's more evident in the print then on the moniter. The stroke is probably the actual gray blue of the baby's eyes but I would fake it a little and make it a little less gray and a little more pastel blue. That will also make the baby's eyes look more blue. The size of the stroke is right so don't change it.

Keith

GregYager
02-10-2011, 04:18 PM
Excellent news Keith. I had forgotten about the original color correction I did when I first process the file and I was using my pen. I know better than to do this because sometimes a slight tap on the color sliders with my pen causes a jump of 10 or more which is probably what happened. Adjusting it back now. Also gonna make my stroke more pastel blue as you suggested and see if that helps.

GregYager
02-10-2011, 04:36 PM
I reduced the yellow in the shadows and very slightly(1 click)in the mid tones to make it gradual. I then lowered the saturation on the nose, cheeks, armpit and palm because color balance alone didn't quite do the trick. I also adjusted the stroke color to more of a blue. I'm finally starting to like this image.

http://mymorganfield.com/CompetitionImages/BabyBlues2LowRes.jpg

Keith_A_Howe
02-10-2011, 06:13 PM
Greg,
Don't forget to soften the bags under the eyes. I know you have said in the past that you like to leave the bags in but for competition I suggest you retouch them a little.

Keith

ChontelleBrown
02-10-2011, 07:01 PM
Chontelle

Black and white is still a color choice. Care to maybe share an image and tell why you felt b&w was the right choice?

Keith

hmmmm......because everything I do is b+w. :) B+W images speak to my heart; the timelessness....captures the soul of the subject.

I will try to post one tonight from the past year of two.

Chontelle

Mark_Katz
02-10-2011, 07:01 PM
Mark, I completely agree with you on the B&W. Do you (or anyone else) care to elaborate on why the B&W "tells a story" so much better then the color?...

Keith

Unfortunately, I'm not a verbose kind of person, but I'll give it a shot.

When I looked at the image of the cowboy (or any image) in color, the colors were distracting from the mood. All I saw was an older man, standing, staring outside. In B&W, his face reveals a story of years of hard work, while working outdoors under a damaging sun.

I don't think this same statement can be said if the image is viewed in color.

Does this help?

GregYager
02-10-2011, 07:05 PM
Done.

http://mymorganfield.com/CompetitionImages/BabyBlues3LowRes.jpg

Keith_A_Howe
02-10-2011, 08:51 PM
the colors were distracting from the mood.

I would agree with this, but care to go one step farther and say why the colors are distracting in this particular image? It's the same reason why in B&W your attention is drawn to his face I'll give you a hint - contrast.

Keith

GregYager
02-10-2011, 09:15 PM
I think Mark's image is better in black and white not only because of the contrast(face is actually 2nd brightest part) but because of the texture. Like he said it's the texture in the face that tells the story. When the color is there you eyes bounce around looking for a center of attention. Darken the hot spot on the hat and the greatest point of contrast will be where the face meets the background with the face being the brightest part of the image.

Keith_A_Howe
02-10-2011, 09:30 PM
When the color is there you eyes bounce around looking for a center of attention.

Why does your eye bounce around in the color image? That's the answer I am looking for. Remember the hint was contrast and this is a thread about color. I feel like I am hammering this but once you understand the why, it's easy to see it in future images - and sometimes use it to your advantage.

Keith

Mark_Katz
02-10-2011, 10:32 PM
I would agree with this, but care to go one step farther and say why the colors are distracting in this particular image? It's the same reason why in B&W your attention is drawn to his face I'll give you a hint - contrast.

Keith

I had never really worked on the cowboy image in color. I just knew I wasn't thrilled with it. I just added some contrast, toned down the hat (thanks Greg).

Here are all 3 again (so you don't have to scroll as much). Does it look better with more contrast. I think I still like the B&W more, but the color image certainly looks better now than before. Even though it looks better, as Greg says, my eye wants to wander around the image.

AHAAA! I think I see the problem.

It is because of the competing colors, whereas in your image of the lighthouse, there aren't any competing colors besides the blue.

http://members.iapc.net/~daveedo/markkatz/ppa/Cowboy%20C2.jpg


http://members.iapc.net/~daveedo/markkatz/ppa/Cowboy%20C.jpg


http://members.iapc.net/~daveedo/markkatz/ppa/Cowboy%20BW.jpg

Keith_A_Howe
02-11-2011, 12:17 AM
I

AHAAA! I think I see the problem.

It is because of the competing colors,

Bingo! Your eye goes to the area of greatest contrast. In the color version it's the contrast between the cool blue shirt and all the rest of the image which is warm tones. In the black and white your eye goes to the greatest contrast which is his face and hat.

In my lighthouse image, the white buildings are the minority of space (the minority will stand out, the majority will blend together), are the greatest contrast and are what I want the viewer to look at. The blue shirt in your color version is also the greatest contrast and the minority of area but are NOT what you want the viewer to focus on. So knowing this you can use that idea of contrast/complimentary color to draw the viewer where you want them to look. Not all merit level images use complimentary colors but it's one more tool in our tool box.

So anybody got a great example of a fairly monotone image? How about an overall red image or a predominately pastel image. There isn't a right or wrong color scheme to use. It's about perpetuating the concept.

Keith

ChontelleBrown
02-11-2011, 01:30 AM
Here's one of my comp images from this past year, made the general collection. This does not have the same impact in color...at all.

http://www.cottonblossoms.net/extra/comp_laughlin_final.jpg

GregYager
02-11-2011, 03:30 AM
Now you've got me thinking.....

As you know I've been reworking this image ever since it bombed at state. It's another very monochromatic image and it received many compliments from the judges but still only came in at a 78. One comment made by a judge was "with just a few changes this would definitely be a merit print". I'm wondering if one of those changes would be to print it black and white. I went back to the original RAW file and started over. Based on how this image looks now would you score it better as a color or black and white? The title is Heartbeat Lullaby.

http://mymorganfield.com/CompetitionImages/HeartbeatLullabyDistrictLowRes.jpg

http://mymorganfield.com/CompetitionImages/HeartbeatLullabyDistrictBWLowRes.jpg

GregYager
02-22-2011, 05:19 PM
Sending my images to SEPPA next week and still undecided on this one.(Heartbeat Lullaby) I wanna send it to the lab today but I'm torn between color and B/W. If I go color I'm wondering if a watercolor paper would help it any or if I should just stick to gloss.

Stephanie_Millner
02-22-2011, 07:47 PM
This one was a Loan Print this year, and entitled "Grey and Balding"... both a play on the monochrome cat, and the baldness. (I was lucky it was an all-one-color cat for this to work!)

http://www.stephaniemillner.net/blogimages/5124643_grey_and_balding.jpg