Playing with Crayons

July 18, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

EA-18G Growler on or above NAF El CentroEA-18G Growler on or above NAF El CentroPhoto call at NAF El Centro

A couple of articles ago I showed a "before, during, and after" series of my taking a blah photo and making it work with brightening and emboldening and a bit of color punching. The result was reasonably realistic while attracting a viewer's attention in a way the original never, ever would.

This time, I share a few examples of pushing the color to the edges and, maybe, beyond. Above, an E/A-18G lights out of NAF El Centro. I converted the original to boldly contrasty black-and-white for the entire image save for the flame from the Growler's afterburners. My eyes dart about the image, but always back to the flames.

Phoenix PD AS350East Valley Wildland Fire training

In a comparatively muted example, this Phoenix PD AS350 is headed for water as the crew trains for wildland firefighting. The colors here are natural but pumped up just a bit.

B787 main LGaircraft and details

Technically the colors in this Boeing 787 main landing gear are natural, but have been pushed so far they've fallen off the reality chart. Eye-catching, yes, though not always appropriate.
A-10 at Libby Army Airfield
This A-10 got the none-but-one color treatment, which brings the simplicity of black-and-white but with a color kick. This technique can be used to unify graphics thematically, applying either the same color to other images or applying complementary ones from a coordinated palette.

B787 engineaircraft and details

Wrapping up, I've moved to two complementary colors. In this case the term "complementary" means not "nice together" but, rather, "opposing" as in, on opposite sides of the color wheel. This pairing brings an electric vibrancy to the image that definitely grabs the viewer by the eyeballs. As always, that is the primary mission for a photo in service of marketing and, even more importantly, for advertising.


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