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Sunday, November 6, 2011

An Eye for Black and White



Glenelg Beach-Approaching Storm

Glenelg Beach-Approaching Storm
Colour extraction special filter effect on PentaxKX

Colour extraction special filter effect on PentaxKX with edge blurring

Interior of Train Carriage at Port Adelaide Train Museum-iPhoto editing

Interior of Train Carriage at Port Adelaide Train Museum-iPhoto editing

Using Gradient tool in Photoshop

iPhoto adjustment on Mac

Using Gradient tool in Photoshop


A fair way back in my Wedding Photography journey I received a phone call from a prospective customer about a wedding.
She told me she wanted some artistic black and white photography at the wedding.
This was in the days of film.
I told her quite truthfully that I did not believe I had a good eye for what would make a good black and white shot.
I convinced her to try a new photographer who had done my wedding course as I believed he had some artistic flair.

She went with that and he did his first wedding shoot and the customer loved what he did and he was on his way as a professional photographer.

Is there any thing to be learned from this.

I probably could have met her expectations but I was lacking confidence to do what was required.

It may not have been a good business decision on my part but it helped launch someone's career so I was happy about that.

Now I love the challenge of shooting black and white or at least converting it to black and white afterwards.

I believe I have developed an "eye" for what will work in black and white and what won't.

Of course when we were still shooting film I grew to  love Ilford's XP2 negative film.
It was pretty foolproof for black and white photography on a wedding.

To develop an eye for black and white set yourself an exercise where you do a day's shooting with your camera set to mono only.
You will learn heaps.
Or alternatively do a day's shoot with the object of seeing how many shots you can make into good black and white image.

I have include a few samples of black and white images that I think have worked fine  after converting from colour.

I go through my files from time to time looking for shots to change over.

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