Exercise: Strength of interpretation (DPP)

Choose two photographs that I think would best suit the following adjustments:

  • A strong increase in contrast that will include clipping (loss of detail) in at least the shadow areas. A pronounced S-curve is the standard method.
  • Low key or high key treatment, in which the entire brightness range is shifted down or up the scale. Curves or levels are equally useful in creating this effect.

Create these effects, one for each image, but in two versions – in colour and black and white. You should find that the effects can be produced more strongly for the black and white images than for colour.

For the strong increase in contrast i’ve gone with this image:


With the strong contrast applied, the colour image looks like this:

Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 12.55.00

As you can see, the red is extremely vivid, to a point where it’s too much. Some detail is lost to the shadows (you can just make out a leaf edge above the main bud in the original colour pic) The black and white version however, is able to withstand the increase of contrast better:

Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 12.58.57

While I still feel that this would be perhaps be too much contrast, the B+W can sustain it much better than the colour. The detail is still lost to the shadows though.

For high/low key adjustments i’ve chosen this image:


With the high key adjustments:

Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 13.17.09

The colours now ‘pop’ more than in the original un-edited version, I’ve not applied so much that the image blows out, but I think it has enhanced the colours significantly.

Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 13.17.58

This transfers well in to B+W also. There’s a nice range on tones within the pebbles. Any higher though and the image would be blown out.

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