Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Mixing Black and White with Color Photos

Some people would ask why you would want to mix black and white with color photos. It was a recent assignment for me for Get It Scrapped. When I receive my assignments, I have learned that there are often trends involved. Perhaps the mix of black and white photos is one of the latest upcoming trends. There is also the element of how it effects your design, so much so, that it is worth considering it as a means of enhancing your story.

Homemade Rain by Christy Strickler Supplies| Patterned Paper, Die Cuts: My Little Shoebox; Alphas: Colorbok; Brads: Basic Grey; Buttons: Pink Paislee; Border: Sassafrass; Soft Gel: Golden; Other: Acrylic Paint, stencil

I began my memory keeping journey with the need to create two page spreads. For a long time, I considered it almost kin to blasphemy to create anything but two-pagers. Over time, I permitted myself to create two separate one page layouts. However, I required the use of the exact same materials on both layouts. I then made the big jump to creating two separate one page layouts and I allowed myself to place them next to each other in the album. I found that I liked it. For a long time, I didn't make two-pagers and that was ok.

I now find that I like to mix two page layouts with one pagers in my albums. However, as I have developed, I feel less confident about my skills with the two pagers. I tend to keep the overall design simple with few embellishments. Part of this choice centers around the often active photos. Two page layout generally involve activities or events with a lot going on.

When I created Homemade Rain, I wanted to find a way to add some calm amidst all of the activity. There were moments when each child was highlighted in such a way that their personality showed through. I could have created separate layouts for each of the children and one showing the activity of the water hose fight. Instead, converting some of the photos to black and white allowed me to highlight each child while still showing them within the context of the group activity. I was able to unify the photos with the others by using my fledgling photoshop skills to bring out the blue of their umbrellas.I placed the photos to bracket the action shots.

Mixing black and white photos is not something I would intuitively think of on my own. I am glad I had this opportunity to consider it. I think it's a technique I may use again in the future to highlight a specific photo while letting other photos lend support to the story. I find it works well for both single and double page spreads. In this case, it allowed me to create one two page spread versus several one page layouts. This was both a time saver for me as well as a means of enhancing my two page layout.

 If you print from home, it's easy to convert a photo to black and white using photoshop. You can also use photo apps such as Instagram to convert your photos. I invite you to consider this technique for a future layout. I think you will find you like it. It's a wonderful tool to really bring focus and meaning into your layouts without the need to heavily embellish them.

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