Artistic Decisions

Boosted Colour
Boosted Colour

People often ask me about the choices I make when I draw or work on a different kind of project. Some things are instinctive; some choices are planned. Some are creative challenges decided before starting; some are challenges created by limitations in the environment upon arrival.

“How do you know when it is finished?”

I just know. It tells me.

“How do you decide what colours to use? How do you decided where to use what colour?”

Sometimes it depends on what colours I have brought with me or how I limit myself. I can also see the bright colours that I am using in the subject. I can’t help it; I do see them.

One small choice can have a great impact. For example, colour, saturation, and other factors can change a photograph of the same subject in very subtle ways. I do not use PhotoShop and I do not manipulate my photos much at all. All I did here was use a filter to change the colouring. Which one do you like best?

DSCF5558

This was the original photo taken in colour. All of the other photos have been altered by changing the colour.

Colour photo altered to black-and-white
Colour photo altered to black-and-white

For some reason unbeknownst to me, lights and shadows appear differently when a camera is set to colour vs black-and-white. When actual negatives were used to print on paper, printing black-and-white photos on paper made for colour copies often gave a pink tone to the finished prints. Subtle changes are seen in digital prints, too. The shadows are not as strong; the greys are more delicate. That could just be my imagination…

Sepia
Sepia
Colour photo altered to black-and-white with boost
Colour photo altered to black-and-white with boost

This was a colour photo but it looks more like a photo that I could have taken with the b&w setting only after I punched up the shadows with one quick click.

Colour photo antiqued

Next are two photos of the dead lotus plants in a pond in Ueno park. Both photos show the same subject from similar angles, but the colour is different. With that one small change, I knew that I wanted the reflection on the water in the black-and-white version and a focus on the lush green leaves in the colour.  Almost the same but yet so different.

Hasu Ike (Lotus pond) near Ueno Park, Tokyo in autumnal colour
Hasu Ike (Lotus pond) near Ueno Park, Tokyo in autumnal colour
Hasu Ike (Lotus Pond) near Ueno Park, Tokyo
Hasu Ike (Lotus Pond) near Ueno Park, Tokyo

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One thought on “Artistic Decisions

  1. Opps I sent my comment via the contact form, sorry about that! I wanted to say that I love the b&w photo of the lotus pond, the contrasts in dark and light, are really beautiful.

    Like

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