I am very excited to see the entries for this weeks "I Heart Faces" challenge. The theme for the week is "Dramatic Black and White". Photographers are to submit a photo with at least one person's face, that shows "dramatic, sensational and/or moody" Black and White. Conversion and editing technique is important for this theme.
I have been studying Black and White photos (and conversions) over the last decade. My "style" for Black and white conversions comes from classic film and vintage photography. In the pre-digital photography days, photographers carefully considered backgrounds, textures, and contrast. Photographers thought out and could plan out what areas of a photo would look dark and what areas would be light. Colored filters with black and white film could be used to control what colors "looked" the lightest in Black and White.
Color photography doesn't remind the photographer to remember what a background will look like in a photo - will the greens look dark or light compared to the subject. Will the blue sky look darker then the skin, or lighter? Some photographers strove to make the skin (of a Caucasian) look creamy and light, a point sometimes overlooked when converting a color photo into Black and White today. Today's photo kiosk Black and White conversion frequently leaves skin looking too dark, which the eye perceives as gray. These details are the reason some people are vaguely disappointed when converting a beautiful color photo into a black and white photo.
My current philosophy (tendency) in converting a black and white photo is somewhat classic - make the skin one of the lightest components in the photo (again, for a Caucasian subject). When you have a bride or subject in a white dress, make the white dress the lightest (but still show fabulous detail in the lace and beading); and then make the skin light, but significantly distinct from the dress.
The High School senior image I choose for the challenge shows my current philosophy of black and white conversion. The result does not feel vintage - with the relatively modern white backdrop paper, I believe the look is contemporary and stunning.
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I am participating in these memes:I Heart Faces (Week 13, 2010) Click here to see the winners.
(I was entry no. 6 out of more then 1250) I think this is a record for the number of entries to I Heart Faces.