Black and why?

Why do we still shoot (or rather: process) in black and white?

Here’s why.

  1. Black and white (B/W) takes away distractions: you concentrate on the subject, nothing else.
  2. Grey tones are beautiful.
  3. In black and white processing, you can apply “filters”, in effect making any colour show as light or dark (you can turn a yellow shirt into white, black, or any in between).
  4. Skin tones are easier to fix – you can get rid of skin imperfections by brightening the red and orange parts of the original image in the B/W conversion.
  5. Mixed colour light (eg tungsten mixed with flash) is no problem in B/W.
  6. Finally: black and white is much more forgiving. If you have under-or over-exposed, you can fix it in B/W without showing much degradation.

That’s why.

And as to how: I strongly recommend that you shoot in RAW and convert to B/W after the fact, on your computer. That way you can decide on your “colour filters” later (in Lightroom, Photoshop or Aperture – but I recommend Lightroom), and you can try different settings.

My suggestion: go convert some images to B/W now!

 

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