December Week 2: One Four Challenge of a Burmese Monk

Both Ben Rowe of Aperture 64 and Robin G. of Captivate Me suggested I try black and white to give my out-of-focus image of a Burmese monk new life.

Since I rarely use black and white this ended up to be quite the challenge for me. The black and white photos that I love have super-sharp almost surrealistic detail, and this image didn’t qualify in any way.

Initially I edited it in the free app Photoshop Express. I liked the Memory version best especially after I added a Film Emulsion ‘Edge’.
Shwenandaw Monk in sepia with a frameThe resulting image reminded me of a bunch of old photos of my family that I had scanned. Almost all of them were out of focus, not to mention torn, age-spotted, faded and with all the character that comes with time.

To ‘fix’ those photos I experimented with overlaying textures. My thought was that this technique might possibly work for this photo of a monk as well. (Links to the textures are on : Weekly Photo Challenge: Creating Nostalgia with Textures.)

My first attempt at a texture overlay via the ‘Blending Mode’ Multiply didn’t work as this particular photo was so dark that the texture didn’t show up.

I then went into Photoshop’s Black and White ‘Image Adjustment’, and lightened up the photo, which in this case meant lightening up the reds and the yellows. The first time I did this I ticked the ‘Tint’ button as well, as the default setting turns the photo into a great sepia tone. Later I went back and changed it into plain old black and white as the texture added the sepia tones in a more natural way.

Lightening monk and adding a sepia tint Then I pasted the texture onto the monk and tried a variety of ‘Blending Modes’ until I found Hard Light.
Blending Mode Hard Light The final result:Shwenandaw Monastery Monk with a texture applied and 'Hard Light' Blending mode. More on Robin’s Week 2 December One Four Challenge.

15 responses to “December Week 2: One Four Challenge of a Burmese Monk

  1. Pingback: Cosmic Photo Challenge: Night into Day | Elizabatz Gallery·

  2. Pingback: One Four Challenge December Review 1 | Elizabatz Gallery·

  3. Apart from the color magic that ages the photo by decades, I also like the torn effect at the edges. Good job here! Now I’ll wait for your week 3…

  4. Eliza, I really like the idea and your result of achieving a nostalgic photo. I’ve been pondering on your image. Always good when something makes you look twice 😃
    How neat that your old family photos gave you inspiration. I really like that your focus is on the overall image. A great week 2 😀

  5. I love this effect. It seems to work well with the image. Good choice. Now what will you do for week 3?

  6. This certainly gives it the look of an old photo taken from a pile of old photos that have been left on the table in the sun too long and only occasionally looked at, hence the mottling. If you get where I’m coming from. I do like it after all that waffle on above 🙂

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