Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Colour and Black & White

I was out during the late part of the morning when I took the photo above and getting the colour right just wasn't working. Due to the bright mid-day sun everything was washed out including a lot of the colour in this shot, so I figured I'd give a black and white conversion a try. In some cases I would have just come back later and retaken the shot when the light was better, but when you are traveling with other people, waiting for the right light isn't always an option. The first thing I noticed as I pulled down the colour was the amount of detail in the clouds and trees that I was able to recover, or enhance. I added a little contrast, and played with the way the conversion from colour to b&w worked and came up with this result. Overall I rather like the look and feel of this conversion.

I've always felt that black and white photos were very powerful, but I wasn't sure I wanted to dive into that myself. On the few occasions that I have converted an image to black and white in the past I wasn't overly pleased with the results, but I think it is more of a learning process to find the right combination for the subject in your photo. The lighting of the primary subject seems to be far more important in black and white photography, and I don't think the shot I posted today would have been as dramatic without the brightness of the light that day.