by Paul Gallagher Published 01/02/2016
It is without doubt that black and white photography has a strong
place in the world of image making today and I suspect this will always
be the case. If we consider the photography magazine market, which is a
very competitive environment, there remain several titles throughout the world
that are entirely dedicated to the celebration of black and white photography. When
we take a look at social media, or conduct a web search on the subject, we are inundated
with societies, forums and groups who are in constant conversation about a subject that
was 'apparently' superseded in the early seventies. Lastly, the giants in the photographic
industry have not left black and white behind at all; virtually all cameras and capture
devices have some form of monochrome setting to enable the photographer
to peer into the wonderful world of black and white, allowing them to see
what they had seen in full colour only moments before, represented in
a series of tones of grey. Almost all image manipulation software
dedicated to the post-capture segment of the photography
market has attributed time and money in ensuring
that photographers have access to exploring their
photographs without colour. Many printers
also have dedicated monochrome
drivers sometimes using different
combinations of their ink set.
Converting to Black and White One of the most important parts of the black and white photography process is converting your image to black and white using your computer. There are many ways in which to do this but I will cover the basic methods here so that we keep things as straightforward as possible. In Adobe Lightroom the first port of call is in the Develop Module and if you then look down this menu you will see the dialogue box HSL/Color/ B&W. If you then click on the B&W you will see your image turn black and white and you will see a list of different colour sliders available to you. These sliders relate to the colour in the original colour Raw file and it is here that you can explore various colours rendered in tones of grey (See image right).
If you are using Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) when you first open your camera Raw file it will automatically open in ACR. When you have done this you will see a menu bar positioned below the histogram in the upper right-hand side of your screen. As with Lightroom, if you then click on HSL/Greyscale, and then click on the 'Convert to Greyscale' box you will see that your image will turn black and white. Once again you will have the same set of colour sliders as in Lightroom (See image left).
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