Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Luminosity Control In Photoshop
What does it take to visualize luminosity in black-and-white and color photography, then see and control it in Photoshop?
Both Land and Adams are talking here about the same thing. They’re talking in general terms about the two types of light that a photographer has to deal with: the light reflecting from a subject (reflected light) that causes its texture and form and the light falling on the subject (ambient light) that causes the overall "mood" or aesthetic character of the image. The quality of light both reflected from the object and the ambient illumination falling on the entire scene are represented in the photographic print by luminosity alone.
Taking time to visualize and control the luminosity in a photograph will pay rich rewards in the print. The first tool that I use for this purpose is an item borrowed from traditional photography that helped photographers visualize a scene in black-and-white before taking the picture: a Kodak Wratten 90 monochromatic viewing filter.
The Tiffen #1 B&W Viewing filter is essentially the same filter, just in a fancier (and handier) viewer. The filter itself is amber, but it cancels out color and turns the world into a monochromatic view that shows the contrast relationships and tonal mergers that will occur in black-and-white photo-graphs. This filter also is used extensively in the motion-picture industry for the same purpose.
The 90 helps us to see a world that we have trouble visualizing. It’s available in many forms, from the original Kodak gel to the specially made viewers by Tiffen.
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