I am color blind — more specifically I am deuteranopic. So, as a photographer, post-processing can be challenging to say the least. In 1989, I started taking pictures with my first camera: a Nikon FM2. I soon graduated to a Canon EOS 650 with auto-focus. In those days, I was very selective when it came to film and who processed it. I eventually learned some dark room skills, but I stuck with black and white.
I must admit, these days I think I’ve become a bit complacent. My rationale is if I focus on shape, design, and form, I can fix most problems in the digital dark room. I think that despite today’s amazing technology, a photographer should still understand and practice the fundamentals. Composition aside, the quality of the image is of utmost importance to me. Unintentional blur due to camera shake is unacceptable to me, and I really beat myself up about not paying closer attention to exposure. White balance is challenging for me, and I have had mediocre success with the automatic white balancing (AWB) setting when indoors. I usually use my 18% gray card to properly set my Canon, but when I post-process pictures, I have a difficult time ensuring proper skin tones — among other things.
I rely greatly on histograms to visually see the tonal range of my images. For those of you who aren’t familiar with histograms, here is the definition from the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom manual:
A histogram is a representation of the number of pixels in a photo at each luminance percentage. A histogram that stretches from the left side of the panel to the right side indicates a photo that takes full advantage of the tonal scale. A histogram that doesn’t use the full tonal range can result in a dull image that lacks contrast. A histogram with spikes at either end indicates a photo with shadow or highlight clipping. Clipping can result in the loss of image detail.
I think black and white images are classy and can be dramatic. For me, they are certainly much easier to work with. I recently purchased a Carl Zeiss Planar T* 1.4/50mm ZE lens. I love my Canon 24mm f/1.4L II lens, and I am quickly falling in love with this new Zeiss lens. I received the lens on Friday, and I have taken a few pictures over the last few days. Here are some of the photographs (If any of the colors are off… let me know!):