Black and white and red all over*

Fiddling around with photos is so not my thing.

I am probably too impatient, so it’s see something, click, and onto the next pic.

What works well enough will do.

Nor can I understand the fascination with HDR-ing things, shooting RAW, photoshopping right left and centre. I haven’t got enough time for all that.

But when I took this pic – I did think it was crying out for a fiddle. I so wanted to black and white the stonework and have the red flowers standing out even more starkly. Trouble was I couldn’t do it.

Gladioli in the Alameda Gardens

So my good pal Vic of Vics Pics and More offered to do it for me with her excellent photographic and photoshop skills.

I love the way the black and white background brings out the velvety red of the flowers, I can almost touch them.

Duotone liked it too, as I got a much better background this way. The original was a pale green – linky to previous post, I’d been hoping for exactly this shade of deep red.

Thanks V.

Maybe there is something to be said for Photoshop after all? 😉

* The title comes from one of those strange childhood riddles – What’s black and white and read all over? (A newspaper, if you didn’t know).


14 comments on “Black and white and red all over*”

  1. Hm… I don’t usually go for photoshopping colours on monochrome, but I must admit that the new version does look better RSITM! Perhaps I am now converted…


    • I can’t even do it! I just thought it cried out for the red to stand out. But as I know nothing about photography, I am open to all views.

      Did you mean photoshopping colour on monochrome, or – monochrome on colour which is what actually happened (I think) ?

      I could see that pic in my mind and so wanted to know if it would work. But as a pedantic historian, it’s where the borderline of recording something is blurred and becomes something else. An image in its own right. Oops, it’s only Monday, no time for all that sort of philosophical nonsense.


  2. Ah, yes… I meant using photoshop to turn the colour into black and white. Since you mentioned the ‘philosophical nonsense’, let me launch into some… I think that the original full-colour version has a ‘reality’ about it that the eye accepts easily – whereas the one with the added monochrome mentally pops up a little sign that says “this has been ‘messed with’, and is now an ‘artwork’ of some kind and not just a view of ‘reality'”. Although I do use photoshop ‘magic’ to tweak colours a bit and ‘correct’ verticals and horizontals, I generally like my pictures to at least look un-messed with. Still, I think yours works really well, and is now not a ‘photograph’, but is an ‘artwork’. How about that?


    • Indeed. I would have written that myself had I worked out how to do it. A bit like the PSing.

      In fact, with Vicky shopping my photos, you writing my thoughts, I can lie back and do nothing 🙂

      I wouldn’t say it qualified as artwork though. Just a photo that has been fiddled with to satisfy my curiosity. And of course it does look unreal, which is what I wanted to achieve. It’s ok, though, there won’t be a glut of photoshopped pix on here. I’ll go back to scanning in pix from the past.


  3. That’s all rather technical. It’s a nice picture but a shame it wasn’t purple then you could have used it for photo challenge! A bet Photoshop could arrange that for you?


    • I’m not like you – I don’t get sucked into those silly challenges all the time.

      Actually of all the other colours that would have worked, purple would have been one, I reckon, eg a vivid iris, or a deep blue.

      I’ve only got boring old pansies and violets in purple and I’ve posted those before so unless something purple suddenly comes to mind, that will be another one I don’t play at. Horrific pic of me as a bridesmaid in a ghastly Victorian purple frock? No, I think not.


  4. Thanks for the mention.
    I do enjoy fiddling with photos, especially something like this one.
    Photograph or artwork?
    To me, a photograph is always an image of what the eye sees through the lens, if it changes in any way, apart from a bit of cropping, it ceases to be a photograph.
    I have dabbled in the past with photographic paints, to add colour to black and white photos, but doing this, is like painting, which to me then makes it art. Using Photoshop is just the modern (and easier) way of doing the same, so I guess on these grounds, I’d say it’s art.


    • Well, I didn’t want anyone to think I was clever/skilled enough to do it!

      A good summary of the difference, and a nice easy definition. More or less mine too. Cropping is fair game. Boosting saturation/contrast? Fiddling and improving so maybe borderline – but not changing the essentials of the photo. Any more than that is definitely not photography capturing the moment (eg HDR comes to mind).


  5. Beautiful! I would say it is art, too – and couldn’t have expressed it any better than V or DW already have. I also think, IMNASHO, that any image, even if it has not been PS’d, still has the photographer’s unique view through the lens – the composition (a solo flower in a field of grass as opposed to that same flower against a sky of blue, or a macro of a few of its petals presents three unique portraits of the same blossom), the focus, the lighting, shutter speed etc are each an artistic expression and unique interpretation of the reality of the actual flower. Fiddling afterwards, or not, is also an artistic decision.
    And your assessment of DT is spot on.
    I remember that riddle from many years ago. It was then followed by: What is black and white with a cherry on top? And the answer to that is – or was – a police car. Nowadays they are predominantly white with only a bit of blue detailing, or is it black? And the cherry is usually not on top, but inside the rear and front windows. 🙂


    • Thanks p&k. I think there is a fine line between photography and art, but in part that boils down to the reason for the capture. If mine are to illustrate stories or events – which they invariably are – they fall more in to the recording visually what’s happening category. But other subjects lend themselves to being fiddled with, and that’s when the boundary is crossed. In terms of photographic technique – you may call it artistic expression, I would call it skill and knowledge, which in my case isn’t there 😀

      If you looked at the pale green link you will have seen what a difference there is between that one and this lovely rich crimson (?)

      I’ve not heard the other riddle! My partner has though. We’re now struggling to remember what colour police cars were in the UK and we’re not even sure what they are in Gib – he seems to think they are white and yellow! I can however tell you the colours of the three different police force cars in Spain.


  6. Simply stunning Kate. Thanks for sending this.

    Liked by 1 person

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