The Black and White Photograph - an in-depth look with Laney | Photography

Black and white photographs are my favorites.

I include a lot of them in my final cut when delivering to my clients. Clients tend to want galleries full of color photos, but I'd almost prefer it the other way around.

Photos turned black and white do so much for the image.

They help focus on the emotion or the moment.

emotionbw

They eliminate distractions in the background.

They showcase great composition by highlighting lines, shapes and angles.

compositionbw

They emphasize great light.

untitled-9-2.jpg

They are timeless.

timelessphoto

I go through every photo I take and decide which are the best of the best to show the client. I then go through the final cut and start editing. I make a conscious decision with each photo to either leave it in color or change it to black and white.

The photo below obviously needs to stay in color or the whole point of picking out bright, colorful produce is lost.

Karah Mew, The Glass Narrator, said, "Many think that converting an image to B&W is an easy way option, but actually it's really challenging. You need that array of tones, with a non-blown white and a deep black. It's easy to just end up with grey!" Her page is only B&W photos and they are all beautiful and tell the best stories! Go look her up on Facebook and Instagram {@the_glass_narrator}. Here's some of her work. <3

The process of changing a good photo to black and white isn't as simple as moving the saturation slider all the way down. It does the job of eliminating all color, but the image can be lacking.

To give my black and white photos a little more pop, I increase the contrast, darken the darks and either lighten or mute the whites, and add extra sharpening. And then the photo becomes a piece of art that will hold up against any trend, any year.

The next time you see a photographer post a B&W photo, stop and pay attention and suppose why they made that choice. Stop and appreciate the art of the black and white conversion.


A whole series in B&W

See the post here.