I love the beauty in a black and white image. You can take something rather flat and mundane and make it extraordinary. All it takes is some brilliant highlights and deep shadows…..
So firstly you can see the original and somewhat uninteresting image. You can see exactly what it is, what colours are used to compose the image, what the weather was like; everything, no real mystery. But by simply making the image devoid of colour, all you are left with is the bare bones, the deep shadows and brilliant highlights.
By playing around with your shadows, highlights and contrast you can change the make up of your original image and even try and get a little ‘arty’ with them! I try but it doesn’t always work for me.
This image looks a little flat and lifeless, so I decided to decrease the exposure and reduce highlights so more detail can be seen. Then I increased the contrast and clarity before using a simple black & white filter on my editing app.Tees Barage – 2016 – Nikon D3300
For this image the composition seemed quite dark, so in the post edit I increased the exposure and highlights and decreased shadows, to highlight the foreground. Again I increased the contrast and clarity before adding the black and white filter. These simple edits have enhanced the image and made it more dynamic.Coulby Farm – 2016 – Nikon D3300
With this image I wanted to enhance the sky in the background and give the clouds definition as well as enhancing details in the brick work. Ideally the subject of this composition could do with being highlighted a little more but I will leave that for another day. As with the other images, I increased contrast and clarity, deepened shadows and decreased the highlights so more definition can be seen in the clouds. From an image on an overcast, dull day to this somewhat dramatic image with what looks like an impending storm approaching.Bamburgh Castle – 2016 – iPhone 6
This to me is still a beautiful photo and a rather personal one of my family. I just wanted to enhance the beauty and the charm of this image. The process was the same as the others, increasing contrast and clarity, deepening those shadows and enhancing those details. This will always be my favourite image and love how wistful it is.Bamburgh – 2016 – iPhone 6
You may disagree with me but I do love a black and white image; it doesn’t have to be colour all the time. An image with no colour doesn’t mean dull and lifeless and can be just as vibrant as an image with colour.
So the next time you take an image, whether that be on a DSLR or your phone, see what it looks like in black and white. Those highlights and shadows might surprise you!