Colours into tones in black-and-white

This is the final exercise in this part of the course. For this exercise, we are asked to take a photograph of a still life arrangement of brightly coloured objects. We were then asked to convert the image into black-and-white and apply digital coloured filters to scrutinise the effect this has on the colour tones.

I chose to arrange a diverse selection of work tools in a studio environment and to achieve a bright and clear exposure; the less shadow in the image, the bolder the colours seemed to be.

Original

Original

This is the original image, not manipulated, and clearly shows the colours red, green, yellow and blue. I framed the image quite tightly for a better composition and to avoid any unattractive background being in the frame.

Filterless

Filterless

This image is an accurate representation  of the tonal value of colours in this arrangement. It has only been converted to monochrome, no further editing occurred.

Blue filter 

Blue filter

For this image, I have converted the original image into monochrome and digitally applied a blue filter. The blue objects, such as the box on the right and the handles in the fore part, are lighter. The tones on the box, which were originally red and blue, are now virtually the same.

Green filter

Green filter

For this image, the original was converted to monochrome and a green filter was applied digitally. This has made the green cap on the copper valve lighter; only a little more than when using the blue filter. The roll of wire on the left appears to be lighter as well, although, this is yellow with only a thin green stripe down the wire. I don’t believe that the green valve is true green, but perhaps closer to blue.

Red filter

Red filter

Taken from the original filterless image, a red filter was applied, and from this you can see that the red items are m much brighter than in the previous images; a good demonstration in this image is the box on the right, which is much more contrasting to the blue, as the blue was to the red with the blue filter. This is a much more distinct illustration of the effect that using colour filters has on monochrome images.

Yellow filter

Yellow filter

A yellow filter was applied, digitally, to the filter less black-and-white image. The rolled-up wire in the top left and the face of the copper coil are now more exposed than before, the pencils are also slightly lighter, although they are orange, they have been exposed more when using both the red filter and the yellow filter. This is because the colour orange is comprised of a mix of red and yellow.

Conclusion

In this exercise, I have learned that applying a colour filter, whether before or after the exposure, allows photons of the matching colour through to reach the sensor or film surface; rendering the corresponding colour to be more exposed than using a different coloured filter. Colours that are further away on the colour wheel than the colour of the filter used are less exposed, rendering a darker tonal value. I have also learned that secondary colours can reveal a similar tonal value with two different filters; the two primary colours that make it. I will use this process in the future to manipulate the contrast in a black-and-white image, as you can give an image more depth and prominence when the tonal values are altered.