Thursday, February 11, 2010

Try Black and White

I went cruising around the area yesterday looking for some fresh snowfall shots. I needed some winter content for a couple of blogs that I do. I pulled into Ferson Creek Park in St. Charles and this shelter looked interesting. Not very interesting, but as blog fodder, I thought it was at least worth taking a picture.


Looking at the picture later, I knew I had to at least fix the horizon, which is pretty standard for me anyway. But I also thought I'd try it in black and white...


Whoa! I'm not sure you're seeing what I'm seeing, but I sure do like this one a lot better. That roof really stands out against the trees and dark sky. And I love the texture in the trees. OK. That worked out well.

I don't always check the monochrome version. But I usually do, particularly with shots where:
  • there is interesting lighting,
  • the subject has some texture,
  • the form of the subject is more important than the subject,
  • the subject is historical where black and white would be part of the picture's story, like a Civil War reenactor,
  • there aren't many colors, or
  • the colors aren't particularly interesting.
This picture met some of those criteria. Two clicks with my mouse and I had a much better picture (to me, anyway).

Converting the image to black and white is my favorite way of solving problems (in other words, it's easy). I took some pictures of New York bridges on a blindingly sunny day. In many of the shots, they already were pretty much monochrome, just blue and white as opposed to black and white. Black and white is much better

So, the next time you're working with a photograph that isn't setting you on fire, try those two mouse clicks.

Here are some of my better BW shots, by the way.

Jim Frazier

COPYRIGHT 2010 by Jim Frazier All Rights Reserved. This may NOT be used for ANY reason without consent. See for more information.

No comments: