I recently wrote a post about how a lot of reefscapes tend towards the brown and how many aquarists strive to create reefs with colors from across the rainbow, which don’t necessarily reflect reefs in the wild.
I also mentioned that I typically ignore some subjects that tend towards the brown. Take clowns, for example. A clown in a typical brown anemone will be ignored, but find me a red anemone and it’s a different story. However, clowns, even in brown anemones can make interesting subjects in black and white. In fact clowns are superb for a bit of tinkering in photoshop.
The image above shows A. bicinctus in a bubble-tip, which was incredibly dull in color, but take the brown away and you focus on the shapes instead. In contrast, removing the color and upping the contrast in the image below focuses our mind on the contrasting textures between the corals and the anemone.
Converting clownfish images to monochrome is easy, but it requires a little tweaking to get it right; sometimes a straight conversion causes the image to lose detail, so you might want to use presets or sliders to tweak the conversion. The yellow slider is quite useful to maintain detail in the fish.
This is a good example of an image where I’ve kept detail around the mouth of the fish, but sadly the stripe is overexposed and lacks detail. This was not as apparent in the color version.
In this image I adjusted the Levels sliders to darken the background, accentuating the cuteness of this very young clown.
I quite like this image, which I’ve never tried in monochrome before. This ‘nem is actually a red one, but I enjoy the composition in monochrome.