Have you ever thought of converting your colour photographs to black and white?
You have probably taken many pictures that would look stunning. When you’re going through your colour images, look for ones with a wide tonal range. That means there will be lots of darks, (which convert to black,) and bright lights, (which convert to whites,) and everything in between. I took this photo of a mime in Piazza Navona in Rome and it’s bright and colourful. However, I really like the way the mime stands out in black and white.
Look at the tonal range below. One end has the whitest of whites and the other the blackest blacks. When you’re looking at your photographs you will see darks and lights and the mid-tones which will convert to various shades of gray. Sometimes squinting when you look at a photo will help you see the gradations.An image that has mostly mid-tones will produce a flat, uninteresting black and white. This gerbera picture has lovely shades of pink but the tones fall in the middle of the gray scale. Notice how the image looks washed out once it’s converted? It’s because it does not have a wide enough tonal range to make the elements stand out.
Black and white photos look elegant in a white mat with a black frame. They also make beautiful greeting cards and posters. My sister loves to decorate her home and recently matted and framed one of my water lily shots for her powder room.
It’s fun to shoot close-ups or crop images for almost abstract effects.
Sometimes I use photo-editing software to add an extra dimension to my images. This arrangement of tulips take on a poster-like look with a slight illustration effect.
There are many software programs that you can use to convert your pictures from colour to black and white. Give it a try. I think you’ll be delighted with the results.
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All photographs copyright © Marion McCristall