Color In A Black And White Photograph

I Love Bali. A couple by the shores of the sea in Bali Indonesia.

I was running a photography class recently and a question came up about how to remove color from an image, except for a particular area like a flower, hat, etc. This is a simple procedure in a program like Adobe Lightroom.

You can see the technique illustrated in the above photo. It's a candid snap made in Bali. I spotted this young couple and anticipated the amorous advances of the young guy. I was, after all, young myself once.

More Cheese Please

While I was too far away to see there faces I could see the heart shape on the bag and recognized the irony as I saw the image forming in my mind's eye.

The colors inherent to the scene were not particularly interesting. Removing all the colors didn't help all that much. But by removing all colors except for red, which existed only in the heart shape on the young ladies bag, the relationship between the heart symbol and the two young lovers is emphasized.

A simple image to be sure. But an example of the power of irony and how the process of photography (including post processing) can allow you make something out of nothing.

Time For Redemption

While successful, as far as the technique of local or spot color is concerned, the photo at the top of this post is still pretty ordinary. Fortunately spot color can be applied on more interesting images in a way that only heightens the mood explored.

Brightly colored canoes amidst the tranquil setting of the Swing Bridge and Swing Bridge Cafe on the Erskine River in Lorne, Australia.

Photographing The Swing Bridge And Boathouse At Lorne

Late afternoon light and very little breeze provided great conditions for this image of the Swing Bridge, the Swing Bridge Cafe and Boathouse in Lorne on Victoria’s Great Ocean Road. Nestled by the shoreline, at the mouth of the Erskine River, these structures are icons of the township.

I composed the image in such a way to make a pleasing arrangement of the various focal points (i.e., bridge, building, canoes) and their reflections. I hope the design of the image serves to bring the individual elements together in a pleasing and cohesive form.

Processing The Swing Bridge And Boathouse Photograph

I suspect that, for many Victorians, the photograph of the Swing Bridge and Boathouse is as much about memory and nostalgia as it is about the bridge and buildings. Certainly the concepts of memory and nostalgia were very much in my own mind when I processed this photo.

Initial image processing was conducted in Adobe Lightroom, prior to final tone and contrast adjustments being applied in Adobe Photoshop which I also employed to remove color throughout the image, except for the canoes and their reflections.

A subtle green and yellow split tone was then added to further enhance the nostalgic nature of the image.

Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru