Wood curves – color, or black and white?

I’ve been trying different black and white conversion techniques lately. Every time I take a monochrome image, I make a note to try a black and white conversion. One method is using Nik Silver Efex Photoshop plugin; another is a combination of contrast enhancements using Tony Kuyper’s luminosity masks and a Black and White adjustment layer in Photoshop. Then I compare the B&W versions with a color one. Sometime the differences are pronounced, sometimes they’re subtle.

Here’s a conversion from the Nik plugin using a High structure adjustment:

A color image with a contrast adjustment using a luminosity mask:

And a B&W conversion of the color image that has stronger contrasts than the Nik conversion:

The darks come out more strongly in the last two, but you may not see difference depending on your monitor. Every time I look at them I change my mind about which one I like best!

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7 thoughts on “Wood curves – color, or black and white?

  1. The Color image is the best. The reason is your two black & white images still lack “pop.” For example that upper darker curved line and those two thin dark lines below, can make great statements if you could “kick them up.” Good effort, I see where you are going. Nice.

  2. I go for the colour version too, but that might be a response to the beautiful tone of brown.My eye does find more detail in that shot and the lighter banding does stand out more for me.
    And, I totally agree with you about the monitor affecting our perceptions – mine is not a great monitor, but when I look at some of my pictures on a lesser monitor I have at work I cringe. I would not have published them like that if I was seeing them with that hardware, and I would have edited them totally differently. It is so hard to know what many of our viewers will actually be seeing when we hit that publish button.

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