Monday, November 14, 2005

fun with Photoshop

Greetings all, welcome to Nerdz 'R' Us. It's snowing tonight in Boulderland, there's single estate Darjeeling in the Chatsford infuser, and WinAMP Shoutcast is serving up a voluptuous combo of Elvis, Stone Roses, Glenn Miller, and Black Flag. Puts me in a downright amicable kinda mood, ya know?

These are some of my favorite shots, that also happen to translate well to duotone manipulation. My deepest apologies to
this guy for basically baldface ripoffs of his ideas, but anyone who knows anything about this whole venture, knows that's where I get most of my inspiration, insight, information, and the kick in the prat to try photography in the first place. Hell he's the one who bought me the Stylus 500 that I use for all these shots, it's an amazing camera, from an amazing dude.

I'll let youall decide if this is art, or crap, or just pathetic slavish copycatting. I'll load the original RGB file, then the duotone. In some cases, I've done a little tweaking with filters. Decide which you prefer, and enjoy.

First, the full color RGB of some aspens I shot up in Maroon Bells Wilderness back in mid-October:

Now, a duotone of the same shot. Cropped, levels adjusted, with a very low opacity film grain added to give it a slightly antiqued look:

Now a nice shot of the bridge from the 'Playing Hooky' post, RGB:

And the duotone. Little bit more manipulation with this one, did a bit of filtering, and added some dust/scratches. This bridge has tons of potential, I can't wait to ride the singlespeed out there with new fallen snow on... by then I should have a DSLR camera to really get nerdly with.

A sweet shot of the Indian Peaks after an early season snow, with late summer greenery in the foreground - you'll notice the original needs a bit of work straightening a not-so-level horizon:

Same shot, straightened, cropped and duotoned. The truly savvy might notice that I don't always use the same Pantone brown for these duotone shots, or even the same levels. These aren't true sepia shots anyway; they're channel manipulations in a duotone mode, using various Pantone browns as the secondary channel. True sepia is a much warmer orangey tone, these are more along the feel of... eh old silver gel shots, tintypes or something along that line. Most digicam software offers the possibility to do sepias automatically. I happen to enjoy fiddling with them manually in Photoshop (I use version 7, call me old-skool, cos I am). The aspens looked better with more black levels in the midtones, the bridge looked better with less, and so on it goes.

Last but not least, just a kickin shot of some teazle, with the Indian Peaks as backdrop. Teazle makes fun dried arrangements, sticks in yer sox, and scrapes the merry hell out of your shins when you fly thru it on open space singletrack with the 'crossie or MTB.

And now the duotone. I personally think this one came out best of all. I don't know why, perhaps it's just the proportions. I really like this shot. Feel free to tell me what you think.

As we fade to black on this snowy, chill November eve, let the dulcet gospel tones of Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush crooning 'Don't Give Up' envelop you in a warm, wistful lullaby.

'Night all



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