Ever since I downloaded Topaz B&W Effects, I’ve had a renewed interest in making black and white images. I’ve been reading a lot about, and experimenting with “seeing” in B&W.
Most of us as photographers see in color: tones, saturation, combinations and even “favorites”. Like bees to flowers, we are drawn to colors. So much so that we sometimes forget to see other important photographic elements, like textures and shapes, light and shadows.
But seeing in black and white is another matter. When we train our eye (and brain) to see past the color, we are able to see these other important elements.
On a recent weekend trip to Mystic, CT, I made a concerted effort to see past the colors, and to look for interesting elements like patterns and contrast that would render well in B&W.
All images were shot in color and converted later in post production, which I recommend even though your camera may have a B&W mode. The reasons are two-fold: First, when you shoot in B&W mode, the camera makes the decisions about how to convert the tones in the scene. But when you convert in post, you control the conversion, and solid B&W converters like Topaz B&W Effects or Nik Silver Efex Pro give you loads of options and infinite possible outcomes. Second, not every photo will result in the perfect B&W – but may be excellent in color. Keep your options open.
Like the blind person whose other senses become more acute, our goal is to see through the colors, and fine-tune our ability to see lines, patterns, shapes, and textures.
I’m still learning and welcome your feedback. Share your experiences in seeing in black and white and your favorites too. And thanks for visiting 2 Guys Photo. Posted by Ed