There is no doubt that I LOVE black and white photography…just check out my Facebook page. The reason I love processing certain images in black and white is because it removes distractions and magnifies the light, contrast, emotion, and characteristics of the subject. I also feel it gives a sense of timelessness to a photo.
I still love color photography and we are so fortunate that with technology we all have the ability to quickly go back and forth from color to black and white. There are definitely some pictures that should not be converted to black and white. For instance, if the picture relies on color for mood or impact it would be a disservice to the photo to convert it to black and white. Check out the photo to the left. The graffiti is stunning and helps frame the subject. If converted to black and white it would lack the same dimension.
Black and white can bring focus on a subject where color can be distracting. Have you ever taken a photo of your kids and they are all wearing clashing colors? As busy moms, we can’t always color coordinate what our kids are wearing but still want to capture everyday pictures. There are other times that the colors in a photo do nothing to enhance the mood, scene, or composition. Check out the photo below. This is an example of how black and white simplifies the scene and adds grit.
Play around with the photos on your phone and try to find which photos improve by converting them to black and white. Make a mental note of why you think the picture lends itself to black and white. Before you know it you will start visualizing the picture in black and white before you click the shutter button.