Giraffe Experiment

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.

Color Study – Giraffe

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.

Straight Black and White Conversion

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.