Black & White is a Click Away
When photography was invented, B&W was the only game in town. As it evolved, so did addressing the quality of the print. Getting a wide range of tones from pure white to pure black was the goal of every good photographer and darkroom worker. It finally evolved into an art form and grew in popularity. Many B&W masters shunned color photography when it was introduced. But as color grew in popularity, B&W began to take a back seat and was left to the truly dedicated. Thankfully, with the advent of digital cameras, B&W is making a huge resurgence.
© Russ Burden
A black and white image is as close as a menu click away on your point and shoot. Access the Record Menu on the back of your camera and navigate to the Color Mode or Film Equivalent setting. Check your manual to see what it’s called. Simply click on the setting that says B&W and you’re off to a world of colorless wonder. Experiment, play, and simply have fun. Capture the kids, an architectural subject, a day at the beach, a hike, a bike ride or simply a shot in the back yard. Incorporate shadows into your subjects as they play an important role in B&W captures. The next time you’re at a wedding, make some B&W images of the bride and she’ll love them. Some cameras even have a sepia setting – translation = bonus. Give it a whirl.
© Russ Burden
If you prefer to photograph in color, there are many software programs that allow you to easily convert the file to B&W. Chances are the software that comes with your camera allows this. If not, you can always use Photoshop or Photoshop Elements. Both provide tools that produce museum quality B&W images. In Photoshop, there’s a fantastic adjustment layer that enables you to lighten or darken specific colors of the original color capture. I think about the hours I spent in the darkroom to come up with a print about which I could feel proud. Now, with a few mouse clicks and a couple of minutes, I get the same result.