by Lourens Durand
Published the 19th of March 2021
Black and White photography has a long history and is beginning to undergo a revival in popularity. The essence of successful Black and White images has not changed over the years, despite the fact that they are no longer produced in a darkroom, but through digital processes.
There is a plethora of Black and White images out there, but what makes the winning ones stand out? Successful images will probably feature some or all of the following:
A high level of contrast
A wide tonal range, with variation between the different elements
Directional light, yielding distinct highlights and shadows
Distinctive shapes, either positive or negative
A variety of textures
All of these together reflecting an emotion
When starting out with Black and White photography, try to imagine your subject in monochrome or, if you have a Single Lens Reflex camera, set it so that you can see the image on the LCD screen in mono.
The initial conversion of your photos in post processing through Photoshop can be done in several ways:
In Photoshop RAW, with fine-tuning of the tones using the colour mixer
Gradient Map adjustment layer with fine tuning of the colour channels
Black and White Adjustment layer with fine tuning
Through the Image/Adjustment/Black and White selection with fine tuning
Through the Image/Mode/Greyscale selection, where colour information is lost
Simply through desaturation
Using a plug-in such as Silver Efex Pro, which enables a wide range of possible Black and White effects (at a price)
To create more dramatic images, it is useful to do local rather than global adjustments using Photoshop’s adjustment layers and masks, enabling fine tuning of each and every tonal range in the image.
Here is a selection of Black and While photographs from 1x photographers that illustrate the beauty of Black and White photography.
Regarding to silver efex pro, there was a time google purchased that software and provided a free download. The name was "google nik collection", it is still available on some backup website.
Thank you very much Yvette Depaepe , Thanks a lot, Lourens Durand , for this fine article and choose one of my photos, congratulations to all the other authors. Best regards and have a good weekend.
Olavo Azevedo PRO
Many tks dear Yvette and Lourens Durand for chosing one of my photos to ilustrated this excellent article. Congratulations for the all the others authors My best compliments
Roberto Bressan PRO
I appreciate that you have chosen a photo of me for your article. This gives me a lot of energy to continue in this work even in very complex moments like the one we are experiencing. Thanks Lourens Durand Thanks Yvette Depaepe
Ibrahim Nabeel PRO
Really nice article & great works Thank you very much, Lourens Durand, for choosing one of my photos thank you very much Yvette Depaepe