Manitoba Skies

Lately, I have been doing quite a bit with monochrome images. They fascinate me, and they bring me back to my photography roots.

In my last post I mentioned that I got my photography start working in the graphics department of a biomedical lab. I ended up building a darkroom in the basement of a place I was living while in college. It ended up being my favorite hangout.  I only had black and white processing equipment as I just didn’t have the budget to process color with it’s more sensitive requirements. One unplanned toilet flush upstairs, and there went my film.

So, the monochrome definitely brings me back, but I also just love it. Once again I was looking for an image to convert to monochrome, and found this shot from Manitoba.

I took this photograph in 2017 during our trip to Brandon, Manitoba for my wife’s Canadian Arabian horse national championship show. The shot is on Manitoba 10 heading north out of Brandon as I was going to Riding Mountain National Park.

That morning was stormy, and I remember being attracted to that tree on the left. The skies were really impressive being in the Great Plains. It was actually rather warm, so the clouds have a totally different tonality and character than those in a winter storm.

For some reason, I had passed over this shot when I was going through my photos. Anyway, I thought this photograph might lend itself to a monochrome image, so I did some new processing. Here is what I found.

Manitoba skies BW wp

Now to get this black and white image, I used the infrared conversion tool, and then darkened the reds and blues more than the standard conversion.  That took the white clouds down just enough to bring back a little detail in the highlights, but I kept the greens more bright.  Next I slightly increased the overall brightness and brought up the contract just a touch.  Lastly, I added an 81 warming filter with a 36% concentration to give the image a slightly warmer overall tone for more of that summer feeling.

Here’s the thing, however.  I like this scene better in the original full color.  Why?  The color image shows more of the subtle color tones in those storm clouds.  I think the deep green grass makes a nice contrast to the dirt road with its warmer tones.  And the little yellow flowers just seem to add a little more “pop” against that darn green grass.

What do you think?  I would love to get some opinions and feedback here.

Well, I hope you liked my little trip back to Manitoba.  With the COVID mess, we won’t be going this year, and frankly I miss the place as well as our Canadian friends.  Thanks so much for stopping by my blog.

3 thoughts on “Manitoba Skies

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