Norman s.k. Lau
About 20 years ago, an advertising photograph of a film company deeply impressed me. It was a picture showing a musician playing a brightly shining trumpet at an outdoor concert. The glittering instrument with the most colorful band uniforms contrasted with the monochrome tone audience in the background. The photograph could not have better illustrated the capacity of the film in handling the colors and their range. I was so impressed with the image that I tried very hard with the effect of selective color images on black and white photography.
I have encountered numerous failures and creativity dissatisfaction in the darkroom process because of the uncontrollable nature of zoning in black and white photos to match color images.
Today, with digitalization of images, the effect can be achieved with ease. This photo, “Early Dawn” was taken at daybreak on a small island in the South China Sea. The black and white negative was colored using a computer and color was only applied to the girl. The contrast to the sky and four corners of the photo was increased. The disposition of rocks and ocean was emphasized by the panoramic view of the fish-eye lens. The exposure of the nude in color and beauty of nature in photography are therefore infinitely enhanced.
With the rapid development of megapixel digital photography and the versatility it offers, digital cameras are popular and affordable now. The images can be stored electronically on a CD-ROM and viewed on a monitor with permanent archiving ability. Photos can be manipulated in any way with image-editing software. The color prints of digital photography or conventional photography can also be enhanced by a professional output service. Color modes like gray tone or monochrome can be achieved with just a click of the mouse.
Norman s.k. Lau,
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