Effective B&W Conversions
I am a fan of Black & White photography. Photography started with the capture of light which later was transferred on paper as a monochromatic image. Many of the great eye-catching fine art photographs in history are great because of their composition and visual attributes. Photographers in the past had very little options but to shoot black and white. It was the only technology available at that time. Today's photographic technologies are much more varied and still many talented photographers continue to create monochromatic images. To me, a black and white photo generates an emotion of timelessness. Through the elimination of color we almost completely remove the time stamp. The photo could have been taken 50 years ago or just yesterday. The viewer not only is concerned about the visual elements that make the photo interesting such as composition, lighting techniques etc. etc...
My photographic portfolio contains a handfull of black and white images. In the beginning I did what just about every starting photographer does at edit time and hit the B&W preset. As I began to appreciate photography and began understanding post process I quickly realized that effective Black and White conversions were not just about removing color.
There are so many shades of gray between all black and all white. Effectively being able to show the minor differences between tones can result in a much more interesting photo.
There is a wealth of information on the internet that can guide you through the black and white conversion process. I would like to make mention of Craft & Vision's "The Power of Black White" eBook as a tremendous source. The book clearly shows how to create stunning black and white photos by using Adobe Lightroom 3.
As you become more familiar with the software adjustments you will begin to see the differences in the quality of your B&W conversions.
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