First things first, I have to admit that I don’t do a lot of black and white photography. I enjoy using vibrant colors in my photographs, but this does not always work or is simply not possible. It is not as simple as removing the colors from a photograph to create black and white images. Because we are forced to focus on the image’s story, a strong composition is required. In this article, I will discuss what to look for in a photograph and how to decide whether to convert it to black and white.
If your photo has strong lines, circles, or geometrical shapes in general, it is a good candidate for black and white conversion. Take a look at the Eiffel Tower photo below. The strong lines and curves, as well as the light, draw the viewer’s attention directly into the photograph.
A high contrast scene with rich black shadows and bright white areas works well in black and white. Color draws attention, so removing it allows you to focus on the scene.
Minimal photos with strong and simple subjects can also benefit from black and white treatment. When there is only one point of interest in your photo, such as the leafless tree in the image below, you can experiment with removing the color. The blue sky in the background makes the tree stand out even more. However, if there is too much information and texture in the scene, as in a forest, color is required to separate the elements.
Black and white can really change the mood of a photo and make a dull image look really dramatic.
It’s always a matter of personal preference when it comes to converting a photograph to black and white. In this tutorial, hopefully, I’ve helped you decide which of your images should be converted to black and white. When you’re doing so, make sure your blacks are black and your whites are white, so your photos don’t become a sea of grey.
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