Bone and Rock

Another cow skull from the cactus garden on the grounds of the Norton Art Gallery. The photo is apropos of how the great outdoor experience has been lately: 1) it’s inappropriately hot and suffocatingly  humid despite being in a drought, 2) the haze from the aforementioned weather has forced me to get down and close to get any clarity on anything. On a beneficial note, the heat wave has helped catalyze more sentencing from our two-year old twins as one came to me all red-faced in the yard and said, “give water me please.” Nothing like a little desperation to get communication going.

As for processing, this is another dose of the luminosity masking I’ve been working on lately and used in the last two posts. Since I’ve gotten the process down I was anxious to use in a black & white mode. Most of the literature on the process I’ve studied exemplifies it with color photographs, but from the outset, I really thought it would have strength in a monochrome situation since really you are working with the light components of one color. This original color version popped but the initial black and white conversion came out flat since most of the pixels were red orientated. After converting to b&w using Adobe Camera Raw, I brought it into PS CS5 and masked out 5 layers of luminosity. I applied a Z curve to the “midtones” luminosity to get the initial contrast and then tweaked the other 4 layers to get the light and dark contrast to separate, bringing out the detail in the rocks.

2 thoughts on “Bone and Rock

  1. I really like this image. I really like the way the skull pops out against the background, I suppose it’s proof that luminosity works equally as very (maybe better) in B&W. Excellent!
    Astra Wally

  2. Thanks, Astra. Monochromes remain a favorite and I was pleased with how well the technique worked. My next is to try it on some underexposed or low key B&W.

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