After a fairly non-typical cool and often wet spring and early summer here in Porto, finally as we enter August we get a sweltering, energy sapping heatwave.
Photography? The sun is bleaching the world into a binary mix of white and shadow, a light with a punch so hard that it floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee
Writing this article? Frankly I feel like shutting up shop and spending all day by the pool sipping endless iced cocktails until dehydration carries me away to a better (and hopefully cooler) place.
The flaw in this plan is that we don’t have a pool and my cocktail making abilities don’t even stretch to a Molotov.
With a dearth of new Fujifilm images, and on childcare duty while the child’s mother works, I had to rack my heat soaked brain a little this week.
I wondered about writing a Simpsons style clip show of old images, indeed I even started to do so.
I looked through my 2016 X-Pro2 catalogue and found the following photo (which long term readers will have seen before)
I was struck by that famous quote from Ted Grant
“When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in Black and white, you photograph their souls!”.
Now for me…. This is a colour photograph all day, every day, 365 days of the year. The caps and clothing these guys are wearing is as much of their public image as the facial hair and piercings.
In case you’re tempted to write in and laugh at me for going against the famous advice of a legendary photographer, I’ll just pop in the little nugget that a perusal of Mr. Grant’s online portfolio reveals he isn’t adverse to the occasional colour photograph of a person 🙂
But that said… I did find myself wondering how this might look in black and white, and not just in black and white, but in all of the available Acros simulations.
So after making my base colour edit above, I next cycled through each of the available Acros film simulation modes, which you can see below.
De-saturation of colour using colour channels
I like the Acros simulation, very much.
In general my personal favourites would be the standard (no colour filter) Acros or the yellow one. We can debate which Acros simulation looks best on this photo all day…
But my personal choice here would actually be the desaturated colour channel version. I think now most (all?) of the fully featured RAW applications offer the ability work with individual colour mixing when we desaturate the colour channels, certainly LR, C1 and SilkyPix does.
That Fujifilm offer us so many so colour and monochrome modes is fantastic, they provide SOOC jpegs that many are rightly delighted with, and also a great starting point for working with RAW from.
But don’t let this superb baseline dissuade you from your own experimentation with colour or monochrome.
You may or may not think that only black and white photographs capture a person’s soul…. but what about your soul?
You provide your own soul in the way you see and frame the image, but why not seek to have a little of your own soul to the colours and tones within the image as well?
Just a thought from my heat soaked brain…
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