Colour Key

Beyond Layers – day 14 – 31/05/12

A new assignment: revert a picture to b/w and bring a little colour back into it, a phenomenon in photography often referred to as: Colour Key.

To be honest, most of the time I’m not quite fond of that technique.  I often  find it  exagerated, without adding any real value.  But sometimes it works.  And for me it works when it’s done in a subtle way, or when the coloured element is so striking that it benefits from the coloured touch.  One red umbrella in a crowd of greyness f.i., giving extra meaning to the grey, rainy day and emphasizing the positive point that can be found almost everywhere.  But, I didn’t have an image with a red umbrella… don’t even have a red umbrella :-)

So, I went for the subtle approach and chose this picture of a wild daisy put in a small grey vase on a white table cloth against a white linen background.  The original image is almost b/w in itself except for the daisy.  I converted it to b/w with Nik sw, gave it a bronze tone and added some grain.  In a layer mask I removed the b/w from the flower itself, a tiny bit from the stem in such a way that it fades to black, and from the fallen petals.  I applied some rather significant vignetting too.

My watermark brush already existed, I just had to stamp that on.  When I was taking the picture a couple of days ago, that little child’s rhyme “he loves me, he loves me not”  already came to my mind.  So, when Kim spoke about the brush-thing, I thought it would fit the occasion, plus, the picture had some nice blanc space where the text could go.  I typed, made a brush of it as explained, so now I have it for ever and a day and, that was that.

Hope you like it!

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