the headshot – color, black and white and posterized

Last week, I had the privilege of shooting again with our friend, Ainsley.  Those of you who saw my photography exhibit in the Fall will recognize her – she actually appeared in 4 images in the exhibit.  This time, we shot a wide variety of pictures, but I wanted to focus on just three – or more accurately three versions of one image.  The first one, above, is a photograph that appealed to me for several reasons – the subtle colors, the “Mona Lisa” smile and the flattering lighting, mostly coming from above and centered.  See the catchlights in the eyes – you can always tell a lot about the lighting setup from the catchlights. We were trying for a simple, classic look in this shot.

But – what else could we do with this image? Well, immediately I thought of black and white.

Usually, my black and white images will be a bit darker and have more contrast. For this headshot, I kept the tones fairly bright, with the idea that Ainsley would be luminous and her skin would be smooth and pale.  There are, of course lots of choices one faces when editing an image in Photoshop – some are a matter of taste. It’s always a good idea to ask: what are we trying to accomplish with this picture – and how do we get there?

The last version is a posterized version. Think: Peter Max.  These images are definitely not to everyone’s taste. I’m drawn to this style because the image is reduced to its core components and has a graphical quality that can be quite striking.  This posterized effect in available in Photoshop as an “artistic” filter called cutout. 

Have a close look at all three versions.  Try to respond to each one individually.  Does it hold your attention?  Then think about which one of the three is your favorite.  I’d love to hear from you, either with a comment on the blog or an email.  As always, thanks for reading my blog!


1 Response to “the headshot – color, black and white and posterized”

  1. 1 sally johnson
    December 17, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    Great head shot and I love the B&W — so classy. ox

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