editing tips + tricks

5 Reasons to Convert an Image to Black and White

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

editing tips + tricks

3 Tips for Cloning Out Objects in Your Images

I really strive to get things right in camera. I like getting the settings right so that little to no editing is required. I like cleaning up my surroundings so that everything in the frame is exactly what I want it to be. However, there are times where this just doesn’t happen. Or where I feel like the chaos doesn’t add to the story of the image. There are definitely times when it’s OK to clone things out + there are times where it is hard or unrealistic to clone things out. I have found that following the three tips below really help in my cloning and in cleaning up an image.

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1. clone out areas in shadows

When thinking about taking a picture that I know I will have to clone things out later, I always consider trying to make those objects in shadow. If I know I can’t move the things right then and there, I try to use light as my friend and put those things in shadow. Because of this, it is easier to clone out the chair, trash can, and table in the image below. Consider ways you can use shadow to your advantage to get rid of objects, and to make it easier in post processing.

2017-02-28_0001Taken with the Nikon D610 + Nikon 50mm 1.8.

2. know when not to clone

There’s a time and a place for cloning. If you have a distraction in your image and you try cloning it, but no matter how hard you try, or how long you stare at the computer screen, it just doesn’t look natural….let it go. It’s OK. Not every image has to be perfect. In fact, sometimes the things we desperately want to clone out could actually add to the story of a chaotic life. Whether that was what you were going for or not, embrace it. Not everything can be cloned out. Accept this fact and move on.

3. use photoshop

I am a Lightroom user. I find that the cloning tool in Lightroom works for me 90% of the time. But there are occasional photos where I need more help than what LR can give me. When this is the case, I take my images into Photoshop where the cloning tool is easier and better. One of my personal favorite tools in Photoshop is the Spot Healing Brush Tool, it makes it so easy to get rid of unwanted objects and to polish up your image.