I’m so excited to do another before&after post! This week let’s talk about a good black and white. A lot of times, what makes a good b&w is the light. Dramatic light is great for a b&w image! Newbie photographers will take a difficult light situation, say inside fluorescent lighting, and change that to b&w. Sure, the image turns out to be much better in b&w, but it isn’t a strong b&w image. But, light itself would be about 30 other blog posts. Maybe one day I’ll get around to a weekly light post. 😉
On the other hand, a b&w can make an image seem classic. Which is usually the feel that I go for. <3 Sometimes I’ll be editing an image in color and something just doesn’t seem to click for it. Then, I change it to b&w and wow! The difference is amazing. I also sometimes change an image to b&w if the colors don’t mesh well together.
Now, the straight out of camera is a really nice starting point. However, there are a few things in the color one that pulls your attention away from the cute chubby cheeked baby! Since she is wearing green, she’s fighting for attention with the background. Once changed to b&w, the attention is automatically focused on her. You can’t help but smile when you see her adorable expression! The bokeh draws the focus straight to her and almost frames her. Black and white can sometimes have that effect; it can help you pull the attention to the right subject.
Now, let’s talk about the editing side of this. Remember, I do most of my edits in Lightroom. However, the same thing can be applied in ACR or Photoshop. I also use a preset that I made myself as a starting point. But I will explain how to get to b&w without the preset. First, change the treatment to Black&White (shown below). You usually have to tweak the settings a bit on different lighting, but here are the basic adjustments:
From there you would play around with the midtones in the curve section. I usually pull up in the very middle like so:
After that I messed around with some adjustments brushes. I brightened her eyes, darkened the background, and that’s pretty much it! If you have any questions, feel free to contact me or comment below.