624 – It’s OK To Listen To The Gray Voice

Ted won’t say so, certainly not. Sorry Ted, even I did not intend to do B&W today. It just happened 🙂

The Image of the Day is from yesterday afternoon, and what attracted me were of course the reflections on the street. The other two images are from the morning, the first 50 meters from home, just in front of where I shot “622 – Stormy Weather“. I had already posted it in a color version, but somehow I was not satisfied.

When I did the second image, I also tried color, but there was not much to begin with, mainly shades of reddish earth tones, and so I tried B&W. I frequently do that, just to see how it looks, and normally I revert to color, but in this case B&W did well, because it emphasized the already abstract nature of the image.

Frequently I tone B&W images, and most of the time I use the actions from ePaperPress. That’s Tom Niemann’s site, the guy who brought you PTLens. While PTLens is a commercial product (but the price tag of $15 is more or less symbolic for what this program does and how well it is supported), the Photoshop actions for toning are free. Try them, they are great.

As I said, normally I use these actions, lately I tend to tone myself with a Gradient Map layer over the B&W conversion layer. I did so this time, and playing with colors and the gradient’s mid-point brought exactly the tonality that I’ve had in mind. As a result, I copied these B&W conversion layers to the other two images, adjusted tonality, but let the tone intact. There you have it. Three identically toned images, all shot with the Sigma 70/2.8, none originally intended for B&W, all victim of my curiosity 🙂

I really wanted to talk about creativity today, but, sorry, these images got in my way. I also wanted to post one more entry with my the images of today, but that won’t work either. It’s already past midnight, maybe I get two entries posted tomorrow. We’ll see.

The Song of the Day is “It’s OK to Listen to the Gray Voice” from Jan Garbarek’s 1984 album of the same name. No lyrics, only saxophone 🙂

2 thoughts on “624 – It’s OK To Listen To The Gray Voice”

  1. B&W is the last refuge of the color challenged. It is a surrender to the complexity of chrome. It is retro in the sense of typewriters and quill pens. It where we find the sort of people who wear spats, carry walking sticks, and wax their mustaches.

    I’ll grant that it is quaint the way a little Scott Joplin is quaint. The way player-piano rolls are quaint. The way that silent movies, wooden teeth, and pompadours are… There are set pieces that are best done as costume epics, with bustled women and straw hatted men… and black and white photographs… captured by large wooden cameras in a puff of flash powder that soaks your clothes with its acrid scent for weeks.

    In all of these ways black and white is a charming place for some people to escape to… when the real challenge of COLOR BECOMES TOO DIFFICULT….

    Um… but of course i have no firm opinions regarding B&W and remain quite open minded about the entire subject 🙂

  2. Ah Ted, I couldn’t agree…less. In our world in which even the biggest pettiness comes along puffed up like a peackock in rutting season – B&W sometimes is soo refreshing. Clear, simple shapes, forms – essentials, you name it.

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