When colour film was introduced to the masses, everyone thought we’d seen the back of black and white pictures, but boy were they wrong. Black and white images convey such a significant poignancy and deeper level of emotion than colour it’s almost certain there will always be a place for monochromic stills in the world of photography.
When deciding which images to transform from colour to black and white, look for images that are perhaps distracting because of brighter hues, take them away and discover if the message or composition behind the picture is stronger as a result. For portraits, if the subject is showing an emotion other than joyous, it can often benefit from the B&W filter, adding a greater degree of interest and intrigue. Let’s take a look…
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1. Pick a picture
Look for an image that you think will offer more in B&W; something with distracting colours, of a more serious nature or displaying a high level of contrast. Highlight it and hit the Edit button.
2. Effect change
There are two ways to make an image black and white. Either use the dedicated filter in Effects (so it reads ‘on’ across the thumbnail) or desaturate it with the slider in Adjust.
3. Tweak it
In the Adjust panel take the Exposure up a notch as well as the Contrast, Definition, Shadows, Sharpness and anything else you are keen to experiment with.
4. Increase focus
When you rob an image of its colour, often the focus can shift. As such it’s a good idea to crop in (Quick Fixes>Crop) to cut closer to what makes the picture interesting.