Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Monochromatic fire dance

As I started looking over the photos from my recent photo shoot with the firedancing group Incendia, I noticed that the textures in several of the photos were by far the most eye-catching part. Experimenting a bit with black/white treatments, as well as twiddling the white balances and the saturations — just to see what an extreme modification might do to the picture — I ended up settling for this particular look for a handful of my pictures.

Photoshop and Photoshop Lightroom have two different approaches to saturating and desaturating images: one straightforward, and one that tries to care about skin tones (vibrance). As it turned out, by some experimentation, aggressive desaturation complemented by aggressive vibrance increase lends us this look, where the fire loses its saturation, its coloration, and fades into these almost black/white textured streaks, while skintones and the clothing of the dancer stay clear.

This treatment highlights the texture in the fire, while simultaneously emphasizing the dancer in the photos where she shows up clearly and cleanly, boosting the contrast between the moving fires and the (relatively) immobile dancer.

As for the composition of the collection, the two calligraphic-looking shots form a nice diptyk, framing the entire series; with the Parallell Transport a nice and directional way to lead the eye inwards, and the swirling picture a good, balanced and … centralized centerpiece.

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