Colours into Tones in Black and White

Aim. To create a still life using the colours, red, blue, green and yellow then convert it to black and white and apply several filters.

I found the colours I needed in this bouquet of flowers, add to the mix the blue garden ornament and I had my photo. Including the grey card in the background.

I first used the grey card to take a reading for the white balance. This was the resulting photo, a little too sunny for the tones I was aiming for.


I tried again this time setting it for auto white balance and taking a reading from the grey card for the exposure on the auto setting.


Next I converted the image to black and white.


Red Filter


The red is brightened considerably but not as much as the yellow which is brightened until it’s almost overexposed and hardly any detail is retained.
Sliding green down cast the image in darkness, I imagine this is due to the wide expanse of greenery in the photo. The same applies with the blue.

Yellow Filter

For some reason when using photoshop elements I wasn’t given a yellow filter option, only red, green, blue and contrast. But if I had been able to use it I assume the yellow would have darkened the blue and green. I followed the link my friend suggested and saw that adjusting the yellow filter could give the photo that extra lift without being too noticeable, bringing detail into the sky.

Green Filter

href=””>Flower in B&W

The green was darkened considerably causing the yellow to stand out more, the blue was also reduced to a very dark version of its former self and the red was rendered quite pale.
The image also seems to lack a lot of brightness.

Blue Filter


The blue ball is rendered a very dark colour and the filter levels rely heavily on the red being fairly high so as not to cast the whole image in complete darkness. Blue filters are supposed to make everything darker yet I still feel everything is not as dark as I wanted.

I’m not sure I’m completely pleased with the result of this exercise. Perhaps I didn’t use the photoshop filters correctly, but my results seem to differ from my other course mates, they don’t show as much contrast. Perhaps the background was too distracting so it couldn’t focus solely on the flowers. I think next time I will set it up indoors with a neutral background.

Now I am moving onto Assignment Three and will start researching. I’m also shooting ahead to do Assignment Five as well as the perfect opportunity for storytelling, a wedding, is happening in March and I need to be prepared.


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