While I don’t shoot black and white images exclusively it is my favorite form of photography by far. It is my default when creating my work. However, I recently had the chance to get rather close to some animals and this image of a giraffe was one of the results.
Actually, the image below was the initial result.
The image is nice if not very dynamic. I like the warm tones both in the animal itself as well as the background. There really isn’t much post-processing in this image other than adjusting the white balance and just a touch of work around the eye to help it become a focus.
It’s okay but a bit clinical. I wanted to see if a black and white conversion would help.
The final image at the top of this piece is the result. Is it better? I’m not entirely sure. I like it just a bit more but, like I said, I tend to prefer monochromatic images so it just may be a personal appeal.
The image is far more manipulated. As you may have guessed, such a warm image filled with such similar shades of yellow and orange fell apart when converted to black and white. The entire image was just flat and uninspired.
A tight crop and several filters later I ended up calling it done. It was an interesting experiment that I could have continued with longer but I realized I was heading down a long road to nowhere. While, at first, the image is interesting simply for the fact that seeing such a close-up image of an interesting animal can be appealing. But there was no avoiding the fact that it was clinical and the more I manipulated the image it simply became overworked. It was trying too hard to be something it was never going to be.
In the end, the exercise was not a failure. I expanded my skills and was reminded of a valuable lesson that is so often hard to recall in the field. Just because you have an interesting subject the art isn’t always going to be there with it.