I’m in love with black and white photography. There’s just something about it that pulls me right in. It can take an ok photo to a great photo. Sometimes color is necessary to help portray your story. But there are times when converting to black and white just makes your photo that much better. Be sure to be thoughtful when decided whether an image should be converted to black and white or not. If you’re not sure when it is appropriate to convert, keep reading for 5 reasons to convert to black and white.
I’m always drawn to a good black and white. I love my color edits, as well. But there’s just something about black and white that always draws me in. It can enhance the emotion, mood, and overall image. Here are some examples of why I choose to convert to black and white.
1. to enhance the details
I love love love converting my macro shots to black and white. I find that it enhances the water droplets and makes them sparkle. It also enhances the details. Of course I love my macro shots in color, too, but I always convert to black and white if I feel like it will enhance a certain part of my image. For the image above, it brings out the water droplets more, which was the main focus of the image.
2. when the white balance is just off
I really try to make the white balance work for every image….but let’s be real here, it doesn’t always work. Lightroom has plenty of resources in adjusting your white balance. But, let’s be honest here, sometimes it’s just off no matter what we do. There are times when there’s just too much green. When there’s color casts (illustrated above in the color image). Sometimes, the black and white conversion just makes it easier.
3. to add drama and enhance a mood
I really love how dramatic a black and white image can feel. I usually like to convert any image I feel like has any sort of drama. Sure the color image looks great, but the black and white takes it to the next level. It can really enhance the mood of an image.
4. to show off the shadows
If you have an image that has amazing shadows, often times converting it to black and white just make them that much better. So, try it. Convert that image to black and white. I usually try to have neat lighting in my black and whites, the light always adds to the feel and mood of a black and white. Having nice shadows and converting to black and white creates balance in your photos.
5. to make an image feel classic
The first word that comes to mind every time I view a black and white is classic. Black and whites just have that feel to it. Choosing to convert to black and white will give them that timeless, classic feel. I love including both color and black and white in my client galleries, so that they can hold on to those memories.
Choosing to convert to black and white is a personal and artistic choice. Whether you want to enhance the mood, get rid of distracting white balance, or just simply make an image classic, black and white is definitely a powerful tool in photography. Have fun converting your images to black and white in Lightroom and try to convert images that seem like they need a little bit of help. You never know, you just might like the outcome.