Here it is in Black and White

So here I am, back on-line again after a short illness – also recovered from the Euros!! – and things are about the same as they were before – feels restrictive despite recent changes. And so I’m grateful for Anne Saddler setting the Lens-Artists Challenge this week and her chosen topic, Black & White, is a favourite of mine. A subject I can get my teeth into.

My process for creating black and white images appears to be identical to Anne’s. Photos taken in colour RAW, tweaked in Lightroom then converted to mono in Nik Silver Efex. I find Silver Efex presents a great range of mono presets and then having chosen the preset closest to my intended look, I can then click on the colour buttons to see their various impacts. I’m looking for nice contrast and good clarity.

The first image above is taken inside the Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh. It’s a lamp from one of the old Stevenson lighthouses. Mono images just seem to help emphasise the structures and shapes of buildings whether taken inside or out. Look at the one below…. in colour, it would be dominated by the bright blue of the sky.

And then mono also helps to remove other things that colour shows up. The next image is of a rather grubby looking access stair attached to a local bank – just caused by weathering.

The Black &White option is a big improvement, it helps hide any stains on the building and I feel it looks quite acceptable.

In sport shots, your often encouraged to emphasise the colours to add excitement and drama. Not much colour in this one below.

But still, if I want to turn the image into a pictorial image, black and white is the answer.

Sometimes the colour in the background can be quite dominant and grabs your eye. The rugby shot below suffers greatly from this. In mono…. well, it’s not perfect but to my mind it is so much better.

Did you notice the leg that goes missing when you convert to mono?

I don’t do much street photography. Whenever I do, I can always rely on Black & White as the way to present the images.  This next image is taken in Edinburgh, and I’m thinking what it must be like to take your daily exercise by running through tourists from across the world in the Royal Mile.

I’m not sure why the next image always appeals to me – taken at a street festival in Glasgow.

And on the same day, a portrait of a street musician is action – a great performer lost in music.

Thanks again to Anne for setting the Lens-Artists Challenge – Black and White. Check out her great post by following the link!

16 thoughts on “Here it is in Black and White”

  1. Amazing images James! I’m so glad you enjoyed and participated in this challenge. In street photography, black and white helps you concentrate on the people and their expressions. Your architectural images are wonderful. Thanks again!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you liked the post. As I’ve said Black and White is a great favourite of mine. It was good to think back on all the different uses we put it to. Thanks for your kind message.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks John! He did indeed have a leg up. You cannot easily control the background of sports shots. The best action always takes place in front of a distracting object – or someone with their leg up.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Good to see you back! And another fan of Nik Silver Efex, I see 🙂 I quite agree about B&W for (some) buildings and for street photography. My favourites among your selection are the first, of the lighthouse lamp, and the last, of the street musician.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sarah! It’s good to be back. They are my two favourites as well. Silver Efex has so many options – there are so many that I haven’t tried – possible never will.

      Liked by 1 person

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