Tag Archives: black and white photography

Fun Photo Friday — Tallinn Favorites 1

Tallinn in B&W

Frequently you’ll find highly textured subjects a natural for black & white conversion. The absence of color seems to enhance the texture, especially if the subject to monochromatic from the start.

Tallinn in B&W

Tallinn in B&W

Stark shadows in relief against a bright background can also be enhanced with B&W conversion, such as with these two images:

Tallinn in B&W

Tallinn in B&W

But not all textured, monochromatic images benefit from such treatment. Occasionally you’ll stumble across the exception, in which just a hint of color makes the image pop. Below is an example of what I mean, where just a hint of exposed red brick and a rusty discoloration beneath the wooden doors serve to contrast an otherwise monochromatic composition.

Sometimes a little color helps an otherwise monochromatic shot

Taking the shot above and converting it to B&W, even after filtering for green to darken the reddish brick, just doesn’t have the same oomph, in my view:

B&W conversion after green filtering

Taking the same image and converting after red filtering makes for an even blander translation:

Color filtering for B&W photographs, you ask? Yes. We’ve had a lesson or two (or three) on this before:


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Filed under Fun Photo Friday, Photography, R. Doug Wicker, vacation

Fun Photo Friday — The Golden Arches

It’s another Fun Photo Friday, and this one’s a two-fer.  Not only are we going to take a look at some fun photos of Arches National Park, we’re also going to experiment (again) with Color Filtering Before Converting to Black & White.

First, let’s take a look at the drama of Arches National Park (click on an image to bring up enlarged versions in a slide show):

Now for a little return lesson on the use of color filtering in black and white conversions.  Take a look above at “Dead Wood” and “Reflections of Nature.”  Below you’ll see the same images converted to black and white.  The left side conversions were filtered for green; the right side red.  The green filtering will cause the sky to lighten and will darken the red earth, and red filtering will have the opposite effect.

To best compare the effects, open the green- and red-filtered images in separate windows (which as the added advantage of enlarging the images) and alternate between the two.

First, “Dead Wood”:

Now, “Reflections of Nature”:

When converting a color image to B&W, always remember to experiment with color filtering for the best effect.  Start with the two extremes — Dark Green versus Dark Red — and adjust the intensity as needed.


Filed under Photography, travel

B&W Week—Friday

So, how do you select photographic candidates for conversion from color to black and white?  There are a number of considerations that go into the decision making process.

  • Is color vital to the picture’s “story?”
  • Are there textures from which color distracts?
  • Is the subject “vintage” in nature, or otherwise nostalgic?
  • Is the shot already monochromatic in nature?
  • Can certain aspects of the shot be enhanced and overall contrast sharpened by using color filtering techniques in the conversion process?

An affirmative reply to any of the above questions means that you may be looking at photograph that will benefit from being stripped of color.  If a particular shot meets several of the above criteria, then all the better.

Starting next week I’ll take you on our latest adventure.  Until then, here are today’s B&W examples:

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Filed under Photography, travel