Join Bryan O'Neil Hughes for an in-depth discussion in this video Thinking in black and white, part of Lightroom and Photoshop: Black and White (2013).
Back in the film days, shooting black and white was very intentional. You would load black and white film into the camera, and you would just shoot black and white, and so you tended to walk around thinking in black and white, and that same sort of thinking is really important if you want to go out and shoot for black and white imagery. Now, you can look at it later, and you can figure out what to do with the images that you have, but if you're going out in order to shoot black and white images, it will help to look at the world a little differently, kind of like we did back in the film days.
So, try to see through the lens with a black and white image. Contrast, tone, shadow, texture, lines; you're looking for that subtractive content. The composition of the image becomes much more important, you have the ability to look at things in a more abstract way, but you really want to latch on to little details that will lend themselves well to removing color, which is to say that if you're going to take a picture of a sunset, that's probably going to be a real challenge to make that a compelling black and white.
You have all these interesting colors, and you have to ask yourself, is that going to lend itself well to shades of gray? Now, if there is a nice silhouette in the foreground or something, that might be interesting. But when you're looking at an image, whether it's the image that you already have on your computer, or the one you are going out to shoot, try to think in black and white as you're doing that.
- Why black and white?
- Shooting with black and white in mind
- Setting up Lightroom and creating image versions
- Utilizing presets effectively
- Creating black-and-white HDR images with Lightroom and Photoshop
- Taking advantage of black-and-white adjustment layers
- Adjusting the toning of images
- Working with the Silver Efex plugin