Julie Mak » Photography by Julie Mak

Photo 52 : Within the Frame / Tonality – Creative Use of Tone

In the first three weeks of this month, we took a disciplined approach to tone in composition. We explored the effects of enforcing consistency of tone in our backgrounds and often even our subjects:first bright/high tones, then low/dark tones, then a middle level. The resulting mosaics of our collected photos were remarkable for their cohesiveness and harmony. This week, expect some more variety as we each explore mixing tones in creative ways. Some of us will reintroduce dramatic contrasts to our compositions by combining different tones. Some may toy with the expected mood conveyed by tone, for example with a serious expression from a subject in a light, airy high-key photo. Others will play with tone in post-processing,perhaps with split toning of black and white photos, a technique that goes back to the days of the darkroom.  The “split” part of the technique introduces a color cast that can be isolated to highlights without affecting the mid-tones or shadows, or vice versa.  The result is a cross-processed look or a duotone effect that can give a little extra punch to a monochromatic image.   I like the retro effect it adds to this image of the boys, which reminds me a little of my own childhood photos.

Julie Mak-14A_6194

To view this week’s dynamic gallery of split tone photos, please click here.

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