Yellow oil Part 2

One of the benefits of being part of the WordPress on-line community is that fellow photographers make suggestions when they see an image they like.

When I posted the full colour version of this, Linda Grashoff who I have known now for over five years (click here to view her blog) said she thought the image would look good in black and white.

I have to admit that I had never thought of translating an image of Rapeseed into B&W because the whole point of the image is the fantastic mix of blue sky and yellow field. But when people make suggestions I will follow them up – and today you see the results. And certainly there is drama in the B&W, provided that during the conversion to B&W a method is used that allows the tonal range to be tweaked to ensure that ‘yellow’ remains light in tone and ‘blue’ becomes dark. The way I convert in Photoshop is to use Image/Adjustments/Black and White and either move the sliders to adjust the tonal range manually or select a preset from the drop-down list.

I’ve also attached below what one might call the half-way house version of de-saturating all the colours except yellow.

As always, it would be good to hear your comments, and remember to click on either image to see a higher quality enlargement.


About LensScaper

Hi - I'm a UK-based photographer who started out 45+ years ago as a lover of landscapes, inspired by my love of outdoor pursuits: skiing, walking and climbing. Now retired, I seldom leave home without a camera and I find images in unexpected places and from different genres. I work on the premise that Photography is Art and that creativity is dependent on the cultivation of 'A Seeing Eye'. I'm not averse to manipulating images to produce derivatives that may sometimes be far removed from the original.
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17 Responses to Yellow oil Part 2

  1. MELewis says:

    I have a penchant for black and white – although the yellow mix is also nice. Don’t know much about the technical side but the B+W version really brings out the depth!

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks for your comment. I started out as a B&W worker in my youth and that passion for the medium never goes away. I love the way that B&W creates tonal depth and drama – the results are often surprising as with these interpretations, although as an image of ‘Spring’, the colour version wins every time.

  2. paula graham says:

    Sorry, for me in this instance it is indeed the yellow and blue..and composition of course that do the trick.

    • LensScaper says:

      No need to be sorry, Paula. As an exposition of Spring, the colour version has to win every time, I agree. The B&W version is really an exploration of tonal range and contrast – something that the monochrome medium often does so well – it’s different and effective but it loses the evocation of ‘Spring’, I think. The processing is always fun and absorbing, and never wasted time.

  3. oneowner says:

    I’ve always had a fondness for selective color, especially when it;s done so well. Nice work, Andy.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks for your kind comments, Ken. Experimenting is always good for the soul, and actually it’s when we experiment and try out something new in processing that we learn most. Personally, I feel a bit ambivalent about this half-way house – it will sit on the desktop for a while. I find that after a few months of ‘maturing’ my opinion can change: sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse.

  4. Wow, look at the variety of preferences in your commenters. I think you have tweaked the B&W version to perfection, Andy. The glory really comes out in the enlarged version. But I can’t say whether I like it better than the full-color version. It’s just different—and terrific. Sorry to disagree with Ken: I do not have a fondness for selective color, even when It’s done so well.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Linda – glad you liked it. As you say: the B&W version is ‘different’, and as I said in a previous reply it becomes much more an exploration of tonal values and contrast, divorced from its original content.

  5. Draining the vibrant yellow from a photograph of rapeseed is quite a bold move, but it’s certainly effective, Andy. I haven’t spotted any of this in my new patch of Manchester…

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Mike. Farmers seem to plant Rapeseed in large open fields. I suspect the country around Manchester and further north is notable for smaller fields with traditional drystone walling. Certainly I’ve never seen it grow in the Lake District.

  6. shoreacres says:

    I’ll have to stick with the first image, as you probably would predict. The black and white image seems to drain the life and drama from the original, and the second seems a little harsh. I do like that technique, though. If I were doing it, I’d probably tone down the rapeseed a bit, and allow just a touch of color in the rest of the photo.

    But isn’t it fun to have such a glorious image to play with?

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Linda – I have to confess that as an image of Spring, i refer the full colour shot. The B&W appeals because it is, for me, classic B&W. There’s always that sense of the unknown when I start to process an image. There is still a part of me that will always be a maverick – I experiment and try something, safe in the knowledge that a button press is always reversible.

  7. Chillbrook says:

    Great leading line to the tree. Rapeseed is such a beautiful crop. I know some people hate it but those fields of yellow in spring really cheer me up. I really like both versions of the photograph Andy, but like you said to Lynda, as an image of Spring, the colour has the edge.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Adrian. I agree on all counts. Colour is everything in Spring – yellow adds to the spectrum. It soon disappears as do all the subtle shades of green.

  8. bluebrightly says:

    Not having seen the original one first, maybe I lack a certain prejudice. In any case, I love the black and white!

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Lynn. I was in two minds as to whether B&W would work. It certainly has worked as an image with an attractive tonal range, but somehow it’s lost that iconic Springtime feel without colour. I just love the B&W medium.

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