Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Black swans and natural colour popping

click photo to enlarge
How ironic that a few days after offering my first and probably last photograph featuring "colour popping", I should take a colour photograph that looks for all the world like it has been colour popped!

That didn't occur to me when I was taking the shot of this black swan in a public park at Bourne, Lincolnshire, but when I brought it up on the computer the comparison was obvious. I took the shot on a fairly dull, overcast day, with the bird near the water's edge under some trees. The water, despite the disturbed reflections of the overhanging branches, was sufficiently light for me to see that I could make a silhouette of the curve of its black neck and head. And I certainly wanted the red beak and eye to be the visual focus of the image. However, I hadn't noticed that the water was, to all intents and purposes, black, white and grey. If you look closely, both the neck and water have a hint of brown to them, but at first glance everything is monochrome with the single splash of colour.

Just out of interest I copied the photograph, converted everything but the red beak and eye to black and white, and set it side by side with the colour original: there was a difference, but it wasn't very large. So, here we have it, a new photographic departure and technique - "natural colour popping" without the intervention of Photoshop, in this case featuring a striking antipodean bird captured on a cold day in Lincolnshire.

photograph & text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Olympus E510
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 150mm (300mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f5.6
Shutter Speed: 1/250
ISO: 400
Exposure Compensation: -0.3 EV
Image Stabilisation: On