Black and white
I shoot almost everything in color. But there’s something about a nice black and white photo that often seems just right. My oldest daughter loves black and white pictures. They are all over her house. (See her blog http://swoon-interiors.blogspot.com/2011/02/displaying-photographs-in-your-home.html). I’ve shot some of them in black and white and she has converted color pictures to black and white.
In today’s post I want to show you some different ways to produce black and white photographs. My favorite way is to set my camera to monochrome; that way I can see what I’m getting as I shoot. On most cameras switching to monochrome or black and white also lets you set a black and white filter. Each of these produces a slightly different look. (Remember that if you’re shooting in black and white, as long as you’re set to RAW + JPEG, the camera is keeping the color information for you too. RAW + JPEG.) Of course lots of times I’ve shot in color but would at least like to see what a black and white version would look like.
Here’s a color version of an old truck I spotted in Julian California
I would crop this to eliminate the blue car but I’m leaving it here so you can see how both the truck and the car show up in black and white.
Here’s the standard no filter monochrome shot
Using the yellow filter
And the orange filter
The green filter
And…get ready for this, the red filter
Jus take a look at the difference between the green filter and the red filter. Finally I applied a sepia tone to the green filter version
adjusted the exposure a little bit and cropped it to my liking
I did all of these from the Digital Photo Professional program that shipped with my Canon camera (starting with the RAW file of course).
But the fastest way to see how your photo might look in a black and white version is to bring it up in Windows Live Photo Gallery (see my introduction to it introduction-to-windows-live-photo-gallery). It has a nifty tool at the top – just hover over one of those buttons and instantly see what your color photo would look like in black and white or sepia.
If you’re using only Picasa you can try out a few different looks on the effects tab
If you’re using Photoshop Elements there are several ways you can go. Choose Guided Edit and then Urban Landscape
or Vivid Landscape
Here’s the color version of the photo. I chose it for this illustration because it has many colors, a lot of sky and a light colored building.