Themes 2014-2015, #41 Single Color on Black and White

This post is my ninth entry for the LWRDPC 52-Week Theme Photo Challenge, and my theme selection is #41 Single Color on Black and White.

(This is a second go at the image. See notes below.)

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(First try…)

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This is a portrait of Beka, our six-year-old female mini-dachshund. This was taken at the TailWaggers agility trials at the Turner Center in Arcadia, Florida. The Turner Center’s large covered arena gets a layer of clay for rodeos and the like, and while it is set up that way, dog clubs rent it out for agility trials. The interior lighting is pretty strange artificial light, and low level to boot, which ended up with a pretty striking orange cast in my shots. I was thinking about the “single color on B&W” theme and how pretty much everything I’ve seen so far for this theme has used the color as the main feature of interest, and I wanted to see if I could make it work to utilize color as background instead. The fact that it covers a diagonal is what helps this out, I think.

Beka sometimes gets a bit suspicious of things out of the ordinary, and this shot captured her with an expression she often gets in that mood. Advice I’ve received from many sources over the years is that so long as the eyes are in focus, lack of focus elsewhere is forgivable. I think this could be an archetypal image to test that claim.

Technical photography data: Panasonic GF2 camera, Navitar 50mm f/0.95 lens @ f/0.95, ISO 800, 1/60th second exposure. Post-processing in GIMP: levels, lasso mask with feathering, invert mask, desaturate, invert mask, gaussian blur (64 pixels), and scale (Sinc/Lanczos).

Update: I thought folks might be interested in seeing the original and another derivative.

First, this is the image with levels, some color correction, and scaled.

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This is the image run through GIMPressionist.

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Looking over the image again today, I got the impression that the “desaturate” operation left the image overall too dark. Looking into it, I found that GIMP can get to a grayscale image in different ways, and the one offering the most control appears to be via the Channel Mixer. I had to add plugins to GIMP to get it, but that resulted in the image that is now up top. I also used discrete clicks to position points defining the “lasso” mask of color rather than just click-and-drag drawing.

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