Sunday, March 18, 2012

Weekly Photography Challenge: 'K' - We'll say his last name starts with K...

No, I'm not cheating, the model just asked that his last name not be, we'll just have to vouch that his last name starts with 'K'.  This challenge all started when we found a Google+ photographer's interpretation of an aging man, called "Ages of Man".  We were able to find with a little research that he had posted an article how to create the image.  If you are interested, his Google+ page can be found here - Mike Shaw.  PS - This is going to lead to an extremely interesting T4T post this Tuesday!

We were intrigued by the stunning B&W photograph results from a seemingly innocuous photograph and we couldn't resist trying to recreate it for this week's challenge. 

The final result is located here - but we are a little disappointed in the results when dropping the size of the file image down to Facebook file size (generally we try to keep them under 2Mb) - it introduced some noise into the black that is not there in the original full size photograph.  So we'll have to continue experimenting until we get it right at all sizes of files.

Perfect Photo Suite Post Processing Black and White Portrait by Dakota Visions Photography LLC
Post processing creating stunning B&W photograph

And here is the original photograph - straight out of camera.

Straight out of camera w/cropping & watermark

So as you can see, dramatically different results from the same photograph with some post processing technique.  A few quick notes that Mike left out of his article - remember that black is not the absence of color, but all the colors combined.  It creates a large file in Photoshop.  The computer processing time and power increase as the image becomes darker.  We'll also try front lighting the next time we take the photograph along with stronger lighting so the ISO is down to either 100 or 200 to help alleviate the extra noise.  And for artistic license, we would also have the model grow a little bit more stubble to create a very interesting effect from the shading.

So, we hope to have another photograph to show you when we get to 'K' in the alphabet again!  Until then, don't forget to join us on Google+Facebook, Pinterest, or at our portfolio site at Dakota Visions Photography, LLC!  We'll see you behind the lens...

Subscribe to See you behind the lens...


  1. Remember my original shot was an exterior shot so the light is stronger and I did shoot at ISO:100, something I do at every opportunity. I like this though, the noise is an issue but I think you can overcome that by working with a very large file blown up to see where the noise might come through. Try to have the light at the front of the face or the focal point more, for me this is a little too central.

    1. Mike,
      Thanks for the comment and glad we found your site on Google+! As you can tell, we are strictly a wildlife & landscape photography shop, but decided to do a weekly challenge this year to get out of a rut and out of our comfort zone. The only portraits we like to take are of buffalo and antelope because they seldom talk back.

      I agree on your analysis of a frontal light source and indoor vs. outdoor. We continue to strive to do new things each week, so that our own core photography & processing skills continue to grow. Technology and equipment keep getting better - so we figured we better start keeping up, too! We can't wait to try this technique on something more up our alley - like an antelope or Rocky Mountain ram...we'll be sure to share when the moment strikes us!

      Thanks Mike, once again for the inspiration, and see you behind the lens...

  2. What a striking image, my friend, well done!!

    1. Thanks Scott! We always appreciate your eye. Keep up the good work at your blog, too!


Feel free to comment on See You Behind the Lens... We will be reviewing your comment and post shortly. Thanks for joining in the conversation!

Dakota Visions Photography, LLC