Color or B&W, that is the question   Leave a comment

I waited nearly three months to photograph this church in my neighborhood in Bakersfield, making at least six trips without shooting until I finally found the sky I wanted. The 665nm, enhanced color IR converted Canon EOS 20D with a 20mm f2.8 Canon lens and Tiffen circular polarizer gave me an image that made both an awesome black and white and color photo. I asked my friends on Facebook to vote for which one they liked better. Color won by a small margin. I’m still undecided. But the moral of the story is that even a 665nm conversion, which is geared more toward color IR than B&W IR, can still yield very strong images both ways.

Both photos underwent minimal processing. In Photoshop CS5, I set a white point and black point in levels, then used the channel mixer to finalize the photo. For the color photo, I did a simple red/blue channel swap to obtain the color Wood effect. For the black and white photo, I checked the “monochrome” box in the channel mixer, then used the red, green, blue and constant sliders to obtain the desired effect. Use the red and constant sliders to adjust your mid tones and blacks, and use the green and blue sliders to adjust your highlights.

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