On Colorizing and Different, Not Better

NB: Unknown photographers, various magazines. I do not own the rights to any of these images.

Original monotone:

Here’s a colorized version produced by Photoshop’s colorize filter. (internal link) Corrected the skin color a bit, that’s all.

Comment: I think Kate’s skin looks better in color but Mr. Dog appears to be a black and white job. The original monotone may have been inspired by that.

Original monotone:

Colorized:

Comment: Okay, here’s one reason not to use color. Sleek and stylish and glossy do well with black and white. There’s a vibe or ambiance the photographer is trying to set with the monotone. Color simply sets Kate back into the everyday world.

I’m too rushed in the field to decide whether to shoot in color or black and white. My correcting is in post. Does a studio photographer take the time to decide? Or do they also convert later?

Because some subjects are just doomed to look bad in black and white from the beginning. But how does one know that beforehand?

Here’s Bellucci in color as the original magazine cover shows:

And here’s how it would have looked in monotone without any adjustments:

Yikes! That has a more documentary look than a fashion shot. Is that a lesson here? Emphasize seriousness with black and white? While avoiding the other conclusions that monotone implies . . .

So, sometimes one choice is better than another.

And then there is different. Converting this original to black and white at first seemed listless at best.

The monotone version:

Still, something seems there for me. Without color cues, texture of the chiffon seems dominant. Well, Photoshop does have texture filters. Here’s one experiment.

I’m not saying this is better, rather, that it presents another path to wander down in the creative process. This is by trial and error; I wonder if a real photographer can see these paths before beginning.

And we could put this B&W back into the colorizing filter once again. I adjusted the saturation to pink since that is what I first think of with chiffon. Not blue as in the original. But I’m a guy. That material may actually be silk or taffeta or whatever. Whatever!

About thomasfarley01

Freelance writer specializing in outdoor subjects, particularly rocks, gems and minerals.
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