So, in the last of this series (and to be honest this one is a little late in appearing), I’m going to take a brief look at colour, or to be precise lack thereof and share some information about black and white conversion.
In my other posts on headshots, I have talked about many different things to consider when putting together your profile shot, what you can do for yourself and what you can do using pro equipment (and possibly even a pro photographer!).
As I write this however, access to a pro photographer is a bit limited and without that haircut, we might not be presenting at our best – unless you have a hairstyle like mine of course, nothing that a handy pair of clippers can’t put right.
You will have photos though, and one technique that you might like to try is to make them into black and white, just to freshen them up a bit and present a new you.
Even if you only have access to more elementary photo software, you should be able to find a simple one-click black and white and make a difference like this
In some ways, an instant result and depending on the software you use, you may well get something you like. However, for me, this image is lacking something and is rather dull, so it needs some further adjustment, and this is where the colour channels come into their own. Sounds odd right, when you want black and white, but it is the case. That, and a bit of contrast. This image has a lot of red and orange in it and a fair amount of blue, very little green and yellow. So adjusting the red and orange particularly, makes a big difference to the skin tones in the photo whilst preserving other parts.
I’ve made two further versions here. One generally more suited to male faces with harsher skin tones and the other version which favours the female with softened skin tones and a little more “glow”. Please don’t think me sexist here, either style works for either gender and we all have our preferences, what I have stated is the oft held view. The picture on the right has the softer tones, and with a touch less blue the t shirt is noticeably darker without affecting the rest of the image – which do you prefer?
It’s always the case that less is more and very easy to overdo the effects, so be mindful of that.
Furthermore, there is the middle ground which can help you to stand out some more and that is the muted colour effect, just draining some of the saturation out of the image to give something like this
Personally, I like this style, but there is no wrong answer and that is one of the beauties of photography.