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2017 Arizona Renaissance Festival Black and White Photos

December 18, 2017

Hi everyone! In my post about converting the color photos I took at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum into black and white photos, I talked about wanting to converting more color photos I took this year and convert them into black and white photos. While looking through the photographs I took in 2017, I found the photos I took at Arizona Renaissance Festival photographs. Even though I didn’t take a lot of photographs at the Renaissance Festival that I believe I could sell as prints on Society6, I still wanted to try converting the color photographs into black and white just to see how they would turn out.

All the photographs I converted to black and white are my “good” photographs from my two trips I took to the Renaissance Festival in February 2017 and March 2017. Even though they are my “good” photographs, I critiqued the way I took some of the photographs I took because I could recognize things I can improve on when I take photos in the future.The first photographs I converted to black and white are the photos of signs outside the front gates…

These photographs are my favorite photographs I converted to black and white. The colors on the signs transferred into black and white very nicely and you can still see what they are and what they say. I eve liked the photographs of the signs that are back lit! I suspected that they would look as black and white, so I’m happy I recognize certain photographs will look good as black and white without playing with them in Photoshop for a long time only to discover they just won’t look good as black and white.

The second photos I played with are the photos I took of the Tardis…

I need to say before I continue I always liked the second photo more than the first photo. I did since I took it because the first photo was actually a cropped version of the original photo. So, it’s not my favorite photograph of the Tardis outside the Renaissance Festival.

That being said, when it comes to how well the photographs converted from color to black and white, I like the way the second photograph converted more than the first. The reason is because when I took the photograph, the sun back lit the front of the Tardis. This makes the front of the Tardis very dark, but the background and surrounding area very bright. It looks better in color, and it does not look as bad as other photographs I converted to black and white, but compared to the second photograph and the balance of the colors after conversion, the first photograph did not convert as well as I hoped it would.

The last photographs I converted to black and white are of the joust…

Initially I thought the photographs I took at the joust would not turn out well, but after playing with the contrast of the photographs in the black and white converter function, they turned out fairly well. The problem I have with the photos I took during the joust is the sun. I took these photos during two different jousts, the first at noon and the second at 1:30 PM. If you are familiar with outdoor photography, you probably know the best time to take photographs is an hour after sun rise and and hour before sunset, nick named “golden hour”. The worst time to take outdoor photos are during the times when the sun is the most intense, which is at noon through 4 PM. Since I took these photographs during the worst time to take outdoor photographs, I think I did ok taking them.

As for converting them to black and white, that’s another story. Like with the Tardis photographs, there are some of the photographs I liked more than others. The photographs I dislike the most are the photographs when they are ridding into the area and the ones that show the sunlight reflecting off the knight’s armor in an obvious way.

The worst photographs of the black and white joust photographs is this one taken while the knight waited to ride out onto the joust area…

And this one of the knight’s armor reflecting the sunlight…

Looking at these photos I after editing them, I think they look nice, but when I tried to convert them to black and white it was difficult to get the contrast balance right. I don’t know how many use Photoshop Elements 12, but the program automatically pick a black and white setting that would be best for the photographs. When I normally work on photographs, I use the suggested setting and play with the contrast just in case it can help the photograph color balance better. When I worked on the previously mentioned photographs, I had trouble picking a setting.

When I worked on the first photograph, the setting Photoshop suggested made the wood fence behind him clear and the black and white contrast look good, but it made the knight look so dark I couldn’t see him clearly. I ended up choosing a different setting and played with the contrast until the knight showed up. Unfortunately, when I made the knight look clear, the fence behind him became washed out. Since it was the best I could do, I just left the photograph alone.

As for the second photograph, I had problems with the shine from the armor. The suggested setting focused on the armor shine, but nothing else. I didn’t think the photograph would turn out well, but after picking a new setting and adjusting the contrast more, it turned out ok.

Well, that’s about it for this post. Although I do not think most of these photos would make great prints (Or at least follow the aesthetic that I want anything I want to be sold as prints should be) I’m glad I converted the Renaissance Festival photographs to black and white. I learned a lot and can see what makes, not just a good black and white photograph, but also a good photograph in general. I still want to try converting other photographs I took this year to black and white just to see what else I can learn about taking better photographs in the future.

Thank you for reading!