This month's theme for my p52 project is Black and White - which had I known in advance, I may have not posted as many b/w images in February! C'est la vie. I find this to be an interesting choice, as most b/w images these days are simply conversions to b/w during editing; the only truly b/w image I have taken (probably ever) was last summer when my baby bump changed some settings on my camera without me knowing and I discovered the change when reviewing the image I just took!
The small group of photographers that I am working through this p52 challenge with debated the merits and purpose of b/w when we heard what the theme was. Can any image be converted to b/w? Do you just convert an image to b/w when you can't get the white balance correct? Do you use b/w to reduce visual distractions in your shot? Does a good b/w image need to be intentionally shot as b/w?
The last question really got me thinking, as I had never tried to intentionally shoot an image for b/w. I like to use b/w to add depth to otherwise flat images, or images with little contrast. I also like to use it when there are too many clashing colors, or a distraction in the frame that is best removed by converting the image to b/w. I have also found that a b/w conversion is helpful when trying to showcase a texture, such as wood grain, where the highlights are not as well emphasized in a color version of the image.
For example: I played with this image in editing to see if I could change the color and contrast in order to change what the image was communicating. I wanted to add a sense of strength, serenity, and protection to an otherwise playful pose (see below), as well as using the light in the image to better guide the viewer's eye to the subject: the couple's interlocked hands and their wedding bands.
On the top left is the original pose (hey Lauren, hey Kevin!), straight out of camera, below that is a tighter crop of the same pose, edited, and to the right is my final edit of the wider shot. I felt the color edit of the tighter crop just didn't have a clear focal point (other than arms on arms on arms)!
Black and white can be so much fun! Enough about technicalities though, here are a few more of my favorite past b/w images, including a few that may have already shown up in prior posts. Click on any image to see it enlarged/fit to your screen!
Thanks for reading! Come back in a few weeks to see a recap of my personal and p52 work for the month of March!