I'm so glad you found me! I'm a San Francisco photographer, and this blog charts my journey in the ever-evolving world of photography. One of the things I love about photography is that it's a journey, not a destination. I'm constantly learning and meeting wonderful people. Please peruse the blog to your heart's content, then check out my website and feel free to contact me! (I love hearing from you.)

“Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow." – Imogen Cunningham

“A portrait is not made in the camera but on either side of it.” – Edward Steichen

Black and White Reveal

Bet you're tired of this photo by now!
In the end, it seems that most commenters chose the color version as their favorite, and I can't say that I blame them. What prompted me to do all this blacking and whiting was a very interesting article by Mr Jake Garns about the 'unsupported' nature of most digital black and whites. His point was that in most black and white printing of the past, other colors were introduced into the process, whether in the paper or the inks or what have you. This created a richness that digital black and whites simply don't have. He suggests using the duotone feature in Photoshop to give more richness to your blacks. The tutorial is here. I suggest you check it out.

So I decided to do my own experiment. I gave you the color image (1), then a duotoned image (2) (which most of you referred to as 'sepia' in the comments, close enough). And then the image with a black and white layer added to it in PS (3), with a curve to bring out all the details in her eyes and clothing and give the contrast I felt the image needed.

My favorite was the simple black and white conversion in Photoshop. I'm not sure if I did the duotoning process wrong, or chose the wrong colors for the image, but I felt that it lost a lot of detail and became pretty muddy. However, it's not a tutorial I'll forget. I may look it up one more time.

Confusing all of this, of course, is the issue of monitor calibration, and the fact that these images probably looked pretty different depending on which monitor you looked at them on, since there's a lot of fine detail in the highlights that could easily be lost on an overly bright screen.

And then that brings us to image number 4, the one in this post, which I processed in Silver Efex Pro. I feel like this one captures the detail on her face best. But is it my favorite? I'm not sure.

*Still not sure about this new comments option. Lots more people did comment on the last post than usual, but it seems not to be working for some people. Let me know.*


  1. I see you went back to the old way of commenting. I found the new way discouraging, and if my husband didn't swing by and decided OpenID is useful and showed me how to get one, I would probably gave up. I did not have the log in to any other site, either. Also, maybe you can write a few sentences what benefit the new way would give, to you or to you readers? I am sure I overlooked something.

  2. Bah, color... over rated IMO.

    In all seriousness though, color has its place I just think it speaks to some better than others. For me, it's either a whisper or shout.

    I think the B&W works very well for this image.

    And color calibration? I have nightmares about that still :|


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