When to capture and convert to a black and white photo


In this episode, I talk about how to identify a black and white photo opportunity. Converting an image to black and white removes attention away from any colours and forces us to notice and focus our attention on shades, textures, lines and tones.

Sometimes converting a random photo to black and white can produce a surprisingly great result. Many use the conversion of black and white to hide imperfections in their photo. An example is a noisy night photo containing a lot of grain and grittiness (salt and pepper) artifacts. A black and white version of the photo can make those imperfections look like film grain. Converting to back and white should not be used as a get out of jail free card.

I love black and white photos. Shooting black and white using the smartphone Live filter helped me tremendously in starting to see the light that everyone talks about. As you point the phone at a scene, you do not need to guess what it will look like as a black and white photo, because you can see the result in real-time on the screen.

In the YouTube version of this podcast, you will see the two example photos, where I talk you through the thinking process and why I shot and converted them to black and white. One is a London underground station with some amazing lighting. The second is my son looking out of a window with some amazing textures on the flyscreen.

The next photo I shared in the YouTube video was my son looking through a window. On that day I was heading out to the clothesline in the rain and spotted Mitch at the window and he just looked so miserable. I didn't have my camera with me so I raced back inside and grabbed my smartphone.

Passionate - Creative - Curious
- Mike