Colours into tone

This so far has been the easiest of the exercises in part 3 which does make me question whether I have got it right, or maybe I just chose a suitable image to work with.

I went back to my pictures of last summer’s Bristol Balloon Fiesta and chose a colourful shot of a number of balloons tethered and waiting to fly.  As required by the exercise there were a number of bright contrasting colours and I chose to work with red and blue.

Original coloured balloons

Original coloured balloons

I  had experimented with sliders in an earlier exercise but hadn’t really focused on the impact of using particular sliders with particular colours so this was a useful activity.

Default black and white

Default black and white

Red slider moved to the right (100% red filter)

Red slider moved to the right (100% red filter)

As I moved the red slider to the right the red tones became weaker, almost disappearing by the time the slider got to 100% and at the same time the blue tones became stronger.  The reverse was the case when the slider was moved to the left to the point that red tones became black when the slider was moved to -100.

Blue slider moved to the right (100% blue filter)

Blue slider moved to the right (100% blue filter)

Exactly the same happened with the blue slider; the tone became much weaker as the amount of blue was increased and black as the slider came back to the left resulting in this case in a very dramatic sky.  A similar effect, although not nearly so pronounced, was achieved when using the orange and purple filters.   So in summary, the colour slider, or colour filter will weaken the tone of similar colours and at the same time strengthen complementary colours, so this is a tool that could be useful in achieving certain creative moods in black and white photography.


About Anne Bryson

I live in Gloucestershire with my husband Iain and West Highland Terrier, Isla. I enjoy golf, photography and my grandchildren, not necessarily in that order! Having completed a 10 week digital photography course with the Open University in 2010 and wanting to take photography further, I enrolled on the Open College of the Arts BA (Hons) starting with 'The Art of Photography' which I thoroughly enjoyed. Next came Digital Photographic Practice followed by People and Place. In April 2016 I progressed to level two with Documentary and in June 2018 enrolled on my latest OCA course, Landscape.
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