It may have been all my recent trips to the museum, but I have the impulse to try and work in color. This shot is from 2005. As you can see, they sit in the hopper for a long time before I find some use for them. This is in Carl Schurz Park. This was shot with the Canon 20D with a 100mm prime, ASA 800.
My color phases don’t usually last long, but every so often I give it a try.
It is one of the things that is different with digital photography (or to some extent scanned color negs) that current processing tools allow a much greater control over the properties of individual colors, such as saturation, lightness, and tint. In this shot, the dog with the raincoat in the upper right corner, barely registers in black and white, but I can easily change the color of the dog’s jacket to draw attention to it, or not. The same for the frisbee, or just about any sold color element.
In the old days, you could do color masks, which were very tricky, and adjust overall cmyk or rgb. (I’m going back a long way when I worked as what was called a commercial c printer).
But to individually tune specific parts of a color print was nearly impossible, or at best tedious (with contrast masks etc.) Whereas, from the start, in the black and white world, you really did have a lot of control in the darkroom over the tonality of specific parts of the image. (They called it dodge and burn). And there were other techniques (bleaching etc.)
I have to admit, I didn’t work very hard on this image. Just a couple of minutes, but I might go back to it again. It doesn’t seem saturated enough. I’m still looking at some color shots to see if there’s one that’s worth a serious post-processing stint. I’m also not sure about the two yellow markers. I think I’d remove them entirely. And the frisbee is too magenta for my taste. On the other hand, the sense of this being played in the rain seems better than in the b&w version.
Of course, the b&w version isn’t bad either – but it doesn’t feel “as joyful” as the color version. On the other hand, it removes those yellow markers, and the bright red thing the girl is wearing which I find annoying. But the frisbee doesn’t read as well. And there’s this tiny streak of red paint in the reflection beneath them that I like a lot and would want to bring out.