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  • OK, I feel this image stands as strong enough to warrant a “process” tutorial.

    Before I even start, I want to describe the way I approach an image. Every time I press the shutter button, I’m creating an image, and every image I’ve created has a life of it’s own and a personality. Not all images are goung to be perfect, they’re like people. They still have their place, and value, even if they aren’t worthy of immediate attention. I never delete, or dispose of any images I’ve created, they may have elements that are still of value. If the composition is off, or the exposure wasn’t right, or for any other reason I decide not to use an image immediately, I save them for portions that I might use in a manipulation later. Just like people, a ‘bad’ image isn’t all bad, and the good ones aren’t all good.

    Now, I’ve chosen an image from my files, and I have decided I want to present in a black and white format. The first thing I’m going to do, is process the image as if the color version is what I’m going to use. Black and whites are only as strong as the image you start with, so if the image doesn’t work well in color, it won’t make a good B&W. If it doesn’t pass my muster, I stop right here, and file the image for later uses. (I don’t organize these files, I just remember them like people I’ve met in life; both good, and bad)

    With a good strong image in color, then I go to black and white. There’s a little more to this than just rendering the image. Same as with a color presentation, there’s some adjustments to be made. Dodging, burning, contrast, brightness, etc. The image in black and white is going to be different in values depending on the colors that are being reduced. Red and green set side by side may loose their differences and wash into a single object in black and white; that is they may have the same intensity, but will not seem different in black and white.

    Next I invert the image. As with the B&W reduction, I make adjustments to the image. The ‘frost’ or ‘vignette’ can either be added to the B&W here, or to the invertion respectively. Remember, the frost or vignette will switch with inversion also. I preffer adding this at the B&W stage.

    Things get simpler from here, the adjustments have been made, and then ‘fine tuned’ already, so it’s all like turning a switch from here. I add tint to the image. In this case, all i did was adjust the color temperature, but adding another color can be done as well. One needs be aware that the next step will reverse that color, so an understanding of colors, and their opposites helps here. If there’s any ‘fine tuning’ done here, the dodge/burn process will change the color balance where used. This isn’t a ‘no no’, it can actually be used to add some subtle color variances to an image, but it’s also a little more complex and would make a better tutorial by it’s self.

    Lastly, I polished the polish; what iI actually mean is , I inverted the tinted inversion. In this case, I flipped the final image horizontally to present alongside the B&W tint version at the last stage.

    Now I have the image I wanted. Looking back at the original, I can tell that the personality of the image isn’t completely changed, just it’s best elements are enhanced, and distracting elements removed or played down. Again, like people, I took my image for it’s whole (good and bad) and concentrated on it’s finest aspects. Like people too, if we only had good images, we’d never recognize them without the bad ones to compare. This contrast in images or people helps also in culling the bad from the good in an individual image or person.

    So; I’m done boring you all, now you all can go to recess.

    Afterthought: When I took this image, I wasn’t thinking just black and white. I was focused on the fold in one of the petals. That on a white rose suggested to me a “flying nun”. I think that’s the title I’ll stick with.

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