How to Create Black-and-White Photographs with Color Accents

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How to Create Black-and-White Photographs with Color Accents: Author's note

There's a saying that posits all writers really just want to be photographers, while all photographers want to pen bestselling novels. I'll admit to being in the former category; whenever I can take out my DSLR and snap a few photos as part of an assignment, I'm a happy, happy writer. Maybe it's the writer's frustration of trying to paint images with words, or the photographer's struggle to capture an entire story in a single moment; the two mediums seem to complement each other, telling richer stories together than either one can on its own.

While researching this piece, I stumbled across the Web site of the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas, which houses in its collection the first photograph ever taken. Joseph Nicéphore Niépce, a French gentleman of means, created the image in the spring of 1826. The blurry, grainy view from Niépce's villa window is hard to see in the Web site's gallery, but the ghostly image still made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Who would have thought that a random sunny day in the French countryside would be captured, frozen on a dinged metal plate and preserved for generation after future generation to stare at in wonder. It's a visceral, immediate magic that differs from the slow, steady burn of powerful writing. The two are beautiful in their own rights, but each certainly plays to its own strengths.

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  • Ghodke, Prakash. "Creating Impact with Partial Colour." Photo Tuts+. Nov. 10, 2010. (Feb. 13, 2012)
  • Greenspun, Philip. "History of Photography Timeline." Jan. 2007. (Feb. 9, 2012)
  • Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin. "The First Photograph." (Feb. 9, 2012)
  • Morton, J.L. "Basic Color Theory." Color 2011. (Feb 13, 2012)

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