Exercise 16: Strength of interpretation

Task: Choose 2 photographs that would best suit the following adjustments:

  • a strong increase in contrast that will include clipping in at least the shadow areas.
  • Low or high key in which the entire brightness range is shifted

1. Strong increase in contrast

The first two images are of P & O’s Oriana cruise ship. I increased the contrast to as high as it would go. The black and white version has created a more prominent outline of the hills and the ship. The highlights are also much more obvious in the second version giving more shape and form to the image. Also the darker tone for the water makes it more apparent.

High Contrast Colour

High Contrast B & W

2. High Key

The second image I chose was of Pompeii with Mount Vesuvius in the distance. At first I tried to create a low key image but it became too dark and the subjects were difficult to make out. Therefore I increased the brightness to create a high key image. The colour version has become ‘bleached’ with few details visible. However the details of the columns and brick work are much clearer in the black and white version. The shadows are much clearer and the linear shape of the ruins contrasts well with the curvature and lighter tones of the volcano behind.

High Key Colour

High Key B & W

At first it was difficult to find two images suitable for this exercise. Something with a bit of colour but without too much white areas to be over exposed or dark to be under-exposed. I was surprised at the difference in the quality of the images when comparing between colour and monochrome. This is something I will consider more when editing, especially before discounting colour images I am not pleased with.

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