Greig Houghton Photography
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Irish Landscape and Travel Photography Blog

Black and White

They say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself" Andy Warhol

The two photos which form the above diptych were gathering virtual dust on my hard drive destined never to see the light of day. If it was not for a period of boredom through which I decided to tidy in my Lightroom Collections and add in the folders from mid 2012 backwards, they might have ended up staying there.

They 'black' photo is definitely an ode to Joel Tjintjelaar and Julia Anna Gospodarou. Neither the photos are long exposures, but the influence of these two artists are directly attributable to the processing of this photo. Indeed, an article and photo by Julia in Vision No 2, a magazine by Vision Mongers, entitled 'black' was the creative spark. Somewhere along the processing line, the idea of 'white' was born and the diptych began to formulate. Unfortunately, 'white' was not as straight forward as black and I had a first attempt that I was not satisfied with. The photo I first used had a few dark clouds which were problematic in getting to white. The problem was the lack of contrast between some of the cables of the bridge and the sky behind which was a nightmare to separate in photoshop. So much so, that in my second attempt in processing I actually gave up and the idea was nearly left in the dustbin leaving black as a stand alone image. Undeterred, I tried again this weekend, but this time with a different image.

For this photo I had similar issues with the separation of the cables and the sky, but after a bit of research, I used a different photoshop selection tool, colour range, which got me 95% of the way there. A final bit of brushwork on the layer mask allowed me to get the sky to white while retaining the detail in the cable. These were first shown to my local photo club as individual images (they act as a peer review to many of the photos before they are released into the open and often have great ideas and constructive criticisms), but I decided to go the full way and combine them on a single lay sheet with title.

Had it not be for an afternoon of boredom or the inspiration of a brilliant photographer, then this diptych would have never been born. Old photographs, new ideas.