Read my first article on Lessons in Photography.
Black and white photography emphasises the shape and form of photos rather than their colour.
I used the free progam Picasa for all the photo editing you see here. For plain black and white, click B&W under Effects. For more control, select Filtered B&W instead. Use the eyedropper to pick out a colour from the thumbnail above the photo rather than the fullsize photo.
I was in Europe in 2008. I wanted this shot of the Colosseum to look older and solid by adding warmth, but this turned the sky from white to orange (first picture). I turned it into black and white (second picture) and the now white sky looks more acceptable. Also the red car and green bushes are less of a distraction without colour.
This dramatic shot benefits from a simple B&W effect. It is the Honoured Dead Memorial in Kimberley, South Africa. I spent about 5 minutes walking around getting this shot framed right, not to mention having to get out the road when cars came by.
I experimented with a few effects, in this order, to achieve this amazing portrait.
1. Just a bit of saturation.
2. Set Fill Light, Highlights and Shadows almost close to full.
3. Sepia effect, for that classic look
4. Saturation set slightly negative to remove some of sepia’s orange.
5. Film grain to add age to the photo
6. Fill light to lighten slighly.
Another photo I took in Italy, which looks great in sepia.
I enjoy adjusting my pictures on my computer manually, but sometimes I just want to add a basic fix to a whole lot of colour photos. In Picasa I apply a touch of warmth, a bit of saturation, and equally low levels of bright and dark. Then I click Edit then “Copy All Effects” on that photo, select a couple of my other photos and click “Paste All Effects”. This makes the photos look more real and vivid. A few of them need to be redone manually for better control over brightness/darkness, but otherwise it saves a lot of work.
See more of my photos on my profile DeviantArt profile called theSoftCollision.