Friday, March 17, 2006

Black and White Portrait

Meet Shin Lim, the Malaysian intern working in Paul's studio as well.

I was not really thinking of doing any personal work while in Chicago, but I like this portrait of Shin that goes together in a pair. Vintage Heng I suppose. A paired image of something sharp in the foreground and the opposite happening in the other image. Hope I am not being too predictable.

However, this was actually an exercise to try out Greg Gorman's rocking black and white conversion. To be technically correct, duotone conversion. Here, we manage to get a mid tone punch, where the skin tone is, without having an image that is too contrasty overall.

Up until now, black and white conversions tended to be either flat or too contrasty overall. It is nice to have skin tone contrast while letting the rest of the image do what it wants. It just looks more organic and is pretty good for portraits!

Just in case you are wondering, I did add grain to make it even more organic. :)


pfong said...

Wow. The skin tones are beautiful. I love every freckle. This shot is very moving for me. It evokes an emotional response and not just an intellectual analysis of lighting or composition.

Kuang said...

Hey Ngiap heng, it's Kuang here. Sorry got to write to you on your blog, but I wasn't sure if your regular email was working or not. Anyway, just wanted to say hi and see how things are going in Chicago and I think you blog pretty much answered everything. Looks like you're having a blast and learning a lot. Love the pics. They're really perosnla and i would like to start something like that soon. I'm envious that you're having such a great time. Tell us more when you get back ok. Take care in the meantime.

ead said...

hmm.... theres a difference but i cant tell whats in the portrait that made it that way. or maybe im seeing things.

Heng said...

Hi Paul and Eadwine, the steps for this b/w conversion is so complex that I really do not understand it. But the results are quite spectacular for portraits. :) I don't think we are just seeing things. What we are always aiming for is life in the skin textures, and this is what this particular conversion does.

Hi Kuang, my regular email works but I am blogging my trip for the whole world to see. I am not trying to make people envious. I am trying to get people off their asses, let go of their limiting fears and live life well. I will be happy for you when you spend time in the states and create work that speaks for who you are. :)

Keep the vision and the faith. ;)