I’d be willing to guess that when you think of the color gray, it brings up ideas of groom, boredom and other rather negative concepts. But, if you stop and thing about the color itself for a moment, you might be surprised and intrigued.
Let’s break it down from a creative perspective.
What is gray in its essence? It is a basic combination of two colors, white and black. Sure, everybody knows that. But, did you ever ponder what happens when you combine those two?
White = The presence of all colors in one.
Black = The absence of all color.
In combining these two, gray has the unusual quality of being both all colors and no colors at once!
What do you think of that?
Black and white photos can be beautiful…
but at times, it can be a challenge to bring out the features in the shots without the use of color. Here are a few tips that you may find useful.
Make use of contrast
If your subject is dark, try to shot it against a lighter backdrop. Do the first if the subject is lighter.
Capture shadowing a light streaks
Featuring these elements can showcase depth and texture.
Use different types of black and white
Most photo editing software allows for a number of different levels and variations of black and white. Check out the different options rather than just setting for a default setting.
I don’t know about you but, I really enjoy the skill and artsy that goes into creating a quality pencil sketch. And while I have played around with this art form myself, my creative abilities seem to be focused elsewhere to say the least.
That being the case, I learned of a method that allows me to take any photograph and turn it into something of a pencil sketch. And now, this is the newest service I am offering through Fiverr.com.
Check out the pick of this cute dog below:
When I shoot with models…
I love to work with all sorts of looks. One of which, if you’re even a casual reader of this blog you probably know, is alternative models. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, that commonly includes women featuring body art and subculture styles.
Another really cool style is the classic pin up look that came out of support for U.S. troops during the wars and battles of the mid-20th century.
So, why not combine both for an amazing model photo session?
The photos below are from a recent shoot with the stunning Brittany Jordan. They were taken at my studio location in Pittsburgh and I hope you enjoy them.
This one makes use of a cool, classic vibe with the retro bar stool and the black and white coloration.
This one uses a spot color effect on her vibrant hair mixed with a classic pin up pose to have an almost Andy Warhol like quality.
Moving away from the pin up look for this one, it has sort of a sexy / naughty teacher theme if you will.
The spot color effect with a pose that accentuates the models chest makes for a fun, flirty photograph.
Last but not least, this one lends a little edge to the model’s look with the cigarette and the black fedora.
Once in a while I like to experiment, specially when I have aopportunity to do so at no cost. Such was the case with a recent photo book promotion. I had the chance to make an 8×8 hardcover book and pretty much customize it to my specifications. That being said, I did so today. It is 100% black and white or spot color in nature and I think it might just have turned out pretty nice. Feel free to check it out at the link below:
The fastest method, can also use the shortcut Command+Shift+U on macs, and Control+Shift+U on PC’s
Select your layer, then navigate to Image>Mode>Grayscale
When prompted, select the discard button. We can always use command+z to undo any steps, so don’t worry.
By navigating to Layer>New Adjustment Layer> Hue/Saturation you can change the image to black and white while maintaining control over values. This method is also referred to as “nondestructive” because it can be reversed at any time (as long as it’s saved as a PSD).
With the Hue/Saturation sliders on hand, lowering saturation, hue, and lightness values can give you a customizable black and white image.
Tutorial provided by CJ, a talented Photoshop enthusiast and intern for Three Rivers Creative Arts .