I’ve said it before, but it’s worth saying again: B&W is a much more tolerant medium than colour. It allows us to exaggerate contrast, to distort the tonal range, create mood, and at the extremes produce images that, I recall three decades ago, were referred to as ‘soot and whitewash’. And very powerful those images could be and can still be.
Today’s image is of a portion of the football stadium in Milton Keynes. I liked the geometry of this as I walked round the exterior of the building – the skewed reflections, particularly of the lamp-post. It was always going to be a monochromic image. Here’s the original un-edited RAW image.
Back home, my first task was to re-align the image, correcting vertical and horizontal lines and in particular deal with the slight curve to the horizontal lines of the background building (which is circular) using the Transform tool. Then it was time to convert to B&W, accentuate contrast and adjust levels. I then made a selection of most of the right half of the building – the part that leans and reflects – and solarized that and then inverted the solarization. That process accentuated the tonal range and then reversed it. And that final reversal, I think, makes a substantial difference to the character of the building – although I must admit it is no longer entirely true to the tonality of the original building.
And so, the image loses its right to be a true documentary image of this building. But I think it becomes a more balanced and perhaps a more successful image. Well, that’s my opinion – you may think differently. Do make a comment.
Click on any image to see a higher quality enlargement.