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Black and white experiments with Gradient Map in Adobe Photoshop

Haystacks, lake district, ennerdale, buttermere, gradient map,

Desaturated image edited using Gradient Map in Adobe Photoshop

One evening last week I decided to play around with some landscapes I shot from Haystacks of Buttermere Valley.  I have always enjoyed playing around with black and white images, sepia toning and cyanotype. It has probably stemmed from being one of the last of the privileged few that was taught photography with film. Since shooting with digital it is rare that I de-saturate an image, only a few portraits mainly or a good architecture shot.

After desaturating the landscapes though, they just didn’t seem to have the punch I wanted so I decided to import them into Photoshop and hunted about the house till I found a digital camera magazine I had knocking around. It is worth me pointing out I feel that this is not a regular read of mine there just didn’t seem to be much of a selection in the supermarket.  Living in an area where internet access is limited to 28kbps on dial up, radio signal is limited to a fuzzy BBC Radio 1 and television only available via satellite (which I don’t have!) you always need a plentiful supply of reading material and I wanted something for the blog!
I had never really looked at gradient map in Adobe Photoshop and so I set about experimenting.  I fiddled about with the settings not very confidently at first, watching the preview turn some alarming colours till I had the desired effect. Although I like the overall render I have achieved I am looking forward to going out and shooting with this technique in mind. Sometimes you can achieve some really good effects in Photoshop with the pictures you have but I am looking forward to shooting with an effect in mind so I can put together a series of great images display together using this technique.

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