Black & White Theme

Black & White Theme

B&W is always an interesting and challenging topic for our monthly Theme Challenge with plenty of new opportunities to learn another approach to photography.  There is much to learn about B&W other than simply taking a photo in black & white or using LR to make a color photo into a B&W image.  What makes a view of the world look better in B&W than in color?  How can you “edit” an image so that it stands-out in B&W more than in color?  These articles can give you a boost to create black and white images that standout.

B&W Photography Tips: 5 Cornerstones  in GuruShots– I typically begin each Monthly Theme Article page with an article the is pretty basic.  But many photographers view B&W as a pretty basic theme: just change a photo from color to monochrome.  But this article goes way beyond basics and will help you see that B&W photography is challenging but beautiful !  The author explains the importance of exploring the 5 Cornerstones of true B&W photography: Contrast, Tone, Shadows, Shapes, and Texture.  AND the author shares many photos of each cornerstone that will grab your attention.  Start here and you will see B&W photography from a new position. 

PhotographyLife is always a good place to start and their article “Complete Guide to Black and White Photography” by Spencer Cox has lots of good ideas.  It addresses the 5 Cornerstones that GuruShots explains and adds Composition and Emotion.  This article does not explain HOW to create B&W in Lightroom or Photoshop but it goes into the same discussion as the GuruShots with a little added history with a credit to Ansel Adams.

PhotographyLife also has “How to Take Better Black and White Landscape Photos” by Spencer Cox says, “When color is no longer a relevant force, your viewers eye is drawn to a new place in the image” so the key is to draw the viewers attention.  He discusses the importance of shape and contrast, shadows, midtones, and emotion in B&W landscape photos.

“How to See in Black and White” by Andrew Gibson in Digital Photography School is  basic article that focuses on tonal contrast, simplicity and Negative Space  Good article to help you think differently.

And another article by Andrew Gibson in Digital Photography School, “How to Convert Photos to Black and White in Lightroom”  is a good article to teach you how to convert your photos in LR.  The conversion is fairly basic but Andrew explains a bit more than just the basics.

.6 B&W Photography Tips – This article is a somewhat simplified version of the 5 Cornerstone article with Shoot Raw, Look for Contrast Shape and Texture, Long Exposure and Filters.

There are often some confusion about whether to have the camera turn the photo into B&W of wait and make the color-to-B&W later in LR or Photoshop.  Here is an article from Tim Grey that might help you decide “Black and White in Camera or Post”

And if you would like to see how to use Lightroom to modify your B lack & White photo, take a look at a Tim Grew YouTube that goes into real depth on how to upgrade your B&W photo with “White with Lightroom Classic”

And if you’d like to see some great B&W examples of our backyard you might want to check out our friend Mike Jackson’s Best of the Tetons.

And I thought this online article might give you a boost about winter photography.  These aren’t all B&Ws but they may give you some ideas..  This Photo Argus article on 60 Beautiful Winter Photos could be seen as inspiring.