Exercise – Colours into tones in black and white

This exercise is a taste of how understanding colour and putting it to work in black and white imagery gives a powerful tonal control, and allows you to emphasise certain objects in a scene while suppressing others.


The principle of this exercise is most clearly demonstrated in the traditional way, as used with black and white film. I have used digital processing software to achieve a similar effect using different digital coloured filters – neutral yellow, red, blue and green.

I have arranged a single still life with the four above named colours and also a grey piece of card to see how the tones varied in the shots. I have shown below the original image (in colour), and the other copies with the coloured filters as instructed. See my results below.

Original colour image.



Neutral / yellow filter.





Red filter.



Blue filter.




Green filter.



From my images shown, if I were to criticise my own work, I would say that my images have not been as successful as i would of liked. The example images in the exercise wording show a different effect to what mine do. I’m not sure if it was because I used digital processing as opposed to the traditional black and white film. However I do feel that i have learned from this exercise and will practice with coloured filters in the future. 


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