Photography with Monochromatic Color
From a restricted range of colors in a
picture, it's just a short step to a monochromatic image. Many natural
phenomena create scenes of a single color: smoke, for example, washes a
landscape with a near-uniform grey.
The camera, though, provides other ways
to narrow down the range of colors in a scene. Colored filters, for
example, transmit light of just one color, and absorb light of
contrasting colors. Deep-colored filters eliminate all but one hue.
Diffusion filters create monochromatic
images in a different way, by spreading the highlights of the pictures
into the shadow areas. So by diffusing a landscape scene that features
a bright blue sky, you could tint the whole image blue.
Exposure provides a further control.
Normal exposure records colors in their "natural" relationship, but
altering exposure distorts the colors in the scene. Cutting exposure -
by setting a faster shutter speed or a smaller aperture - is like
mixing black in with a brightly colored paint. The darker pictures that
result are suffused and unified by their muted earth hues.
This approach produces somber, low-key
images, and increasing exposure is perhaps a more useful technique. As
you'd expect, deliberate overexposure is like adding white, and as the
hues in the scene get lighter, color conflicts are erased, and the
picture becomes increasingly monochromatic.