There are numerous methods of converting a colour image into black and white. The simplest is desaturate the colour. Those results however are not the best. More complex methods make use of Photoshop or Lightroom layers which adjust contrast and textural effects, replicating black and white film filters. The red filter was the most dramatic, orange was medium, and yellow was moderate. They had differing effects on sky, rock and greenery which are the prime components of landscape photography.

Some years I used Photoshop dodging and burning which refers to enlarger manipulations. You would block the light in some places, increase it in others, as you exposed the photographic paper. You might use your hands, or shaped pieces of card you’d made beforehand. I mostly avoid that now. There are more efficient digital methods making use of layers.

There’s something beautifully Zen-like with a shot which works better in black and white. I wonder if this is partly because of the colour image saturated world in which we live. The colour version of this is effective but not as powerful. Black and white is restful, simple, elegant.


Corsica Photography: Near Lac du Renosu Monochrome

Thursday November 5, 2015