Earlier this week a Facebook friend invited me to join a 5-day black and white photography challenge. Black and white is, indeed, a challenge for me because I am so in love with color!
I took her up on it, though, because I have been considering doing a month of b+w for November, despite it being outside of my comfort zone. I thought this would be a good trial run.
The verdict? I am happy with most of my photos, and I have to say I enjoyed looking for subjects where color took a back seat to texture, lines, and composition. I am always on the lookout for good composition, but with color photography I find that I don’t think as much about texture or other elements that provide visual interest. I usually let the colors lead me, and the rest is often a happy accident. Or, if I want to give myself a little credit, I could call it intuition.
By the way, you may have noticed that a few of the images are not truly black and white. They are monochrome, but they have a slightly warmer tone than true black and white. This was not intentional in the first two photos, and in fact, I didn’t even notice my mistake until I went to process the third image. I have to say, though, I kind of like it. I liked it enough to dial a bit of warmth back in to image 4, albeit with a lighter hand.
If you’re a photo-processing nerd (like me) and would like to know how I managed to accidentally get a warmer black and white look, I used the Black + White section of the Basic panel in Lightroom’s Develop module, and tweaked all of the settings to get a monochromatic image I liked. I had forgotten, though, that by default I have LR set up to add a small bit of yellow to the highlights in the Split Tone panel. Oops!
One thing about black and white photography: I feel like I should take pictures of old things. Because b+w has such a vintage vibe to me, I’m drawn to capturing images of things that are either truly old, or have an antique vibe to them. I’m rather surprised with myself that I didn’t photograph my old typewriter. Guess I can save that for November…
What do you think about black and white photography? Do you find yourself drawn to it, or is it all about color for you?