Saturday, 11 December 2010

Exercise 18: Colours into tones - 2

The aim of this project was to make practical use of the channel adjustment to achieve a specific effect. I opted to use a portrait in which I lightened the complexion without significantly altering the tones of the rest of the image. In addition I had to prepare the image taking advantage of a default black and white conversion offered by photoshop.

The image I settled on was a portrait of my son taken during the portrait exercise in Project 1.

Original Colour

This is the original colour version.
Default Black and White

Alteration using one of the default settings within CS4, I chose to use a Black and White adjustment layer. The background appears to be darker, in this particular instance, when  converted to black and white. Skin tone also appears a little darker and the image to me, looks slightly flat. The subject no longer appears so "separate" from the background.

Default Channel Settings

These were the Channel settings before being adjusted.


After Adjustment

Not being too sure what effect each colour slider would have on the overall image I took a note of the original values and experimented, discovering the following for this image: -

Reds - made very little change to the overall image but significantly altered the complexion.
Yellows -  affected the majority of the image including the complexion.
Greens - a minimal adjustment to the background.
Cyans - again minimal adjustment to the overall image.
Blues - altered the white highlights in the background and the shirt collar.
Magentas - only seemed to affect the shirt collar.
 As I did not want to alter the background at all I decided to use two B&W adjustment layers. For the first layer I did not alter the channel sliders at all but only applied the layer mask selectively to the background. The second layer  both the Red and Yellow Channels values were increased; Reds to 126 and Yellows to 98.

Side by Side to Compare

Placing the two images side by side for comparison  shows how very subtle alterations to the Channels can improve default conversions. The changes made to Red and Yellow have made for a more natural looking complexion and helped to make the main subject stand out from the darker background. This exercise has also shown me how some Channels can effect more of an image than others. Converting to Black and White and making use of the adjustments available in Channels can make a seemingly uninteresting image more appealing/atmospheric and even allow you to rescue other photographs where you would be unable to correct the colours/tonal range without making the final result look fake.

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