I’m sorry for being such a bad blogger lately. The last couple of weeks have been pretty rough, and blogging slipped below more important things on the priority list 🙁
Anyway, it’s now two weeks late, but here’s my long-awaited intro to black and white post production. And there’s a whole hour of Wednesday left as I start writing this, so it TOTALLY counts as a workshop wednesday 😉
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of different ways to convert a colour image to black and white. Just ask Google. Seriously. There’s a whole world of possibilities out there!
My approach, as always, is simple, Lightroom-based and not particularly earth-shattering. I hope it helps you figure out an approach that works for you 🙂
Here’s a colour image, straight out of camera, from Ainslie and Rohan’s wedding:
It looks OK in colour, but to my mind, the long shadows are begging for black and white treatment. This is the end result I was going for:
And here’s how I got there (just using Lightroom’s Develop module):
- White balance: avoiding proper colour correction by converting to black and white makes for crappy black and whites. Don’t be lazy! For this photo, I set my colour temperature to 7000 with a tint of +15.
- Grayscale treatment: I have Lightroom configured to apply an automatic grayscale mix as soon as I convert from colour to grayscale (Preferences > Presets). Usually it does a pretty good job (assuming my white balance is correct 😉 ), but occasionally I might darken the greens, lighten the reds or make other minor adjustments. In this case, I didn’t override Lightroom’s defaults.
- Tone: Again, I usually start by auto-toning my photos, and tweaking from there. For this photo, I made the following adjustments:
* Exposure: 0
* Recovery: 34
* Fill Light: 14
* Blacks: 10
* Brightness: +109
* Contrast: +100
- Vignette: Finally, I applied a vignette to further draw attention towards Ainslie and Rohan.
Voila! A pretty dramatic-looking black and white 🙂 I hope you found that useful … if so, please spread the word!