Archive for 'August 2012'
Which images should you convert to black and white?

I've spent a lot of time over the last few months concentrating on black and white photography, mostly because I was developing and recording my new course for Udemy: The Art of Black and White Photography, partly because I'll be running a one-day black and white photography and postproduction workshop during the GPP Fotoweekend training event in Dubai in November, but also because it's a form of photography I find enduringly fascinating.

For my Udemy course I cover a whole range of topics: how to use Photoshop to best convert an image to black and white, what makes some images easier to convert than others, how to make a range of selective adjustments using curves and masks, and so on. And I suspect it will be much the same for my GPP workshop.

The question I don't cover in much detail is the one I've used for the title of this post: which images should you convert to black and white? In other words, I don't want to talk about how to convert an image to black and white, I want to focus on why you should consider doing so.

So, why is it that some images look great in colour, but bland and uninteresting in black and white, while others are considerably more striking?

It's that question I want to focus on here.

How not to produce a promo video :)

On a good day – when I've planned exactly what I'm going to cover in a video, have rehearsed the order and phrasing in my head, and have all the images prepped and ready to go (and there's a strong following wind), I can record somewhere up to about an hour of video.

For my new Udemy course – The Art of Black & White Photography – things went a lot more slowly, mostly because I knew I'd be talking to a partly new audience. When I'm recording a video for our tutorials I don't always explain something I've covered in a previous video or tutorial, I take it for granted that either people will know it already, or, if they don't, I can refer them to the relevant source.

For my Udemy course then I tried to make sure that I explained everything, and explained it in a way that made sense in the context of the course as a whole. Now it's finished I'm fairly sure I managed to do that, but it took me twice as long as usual – I only managed about 30 minutes a day – and then only because I was working at least ten hours a day.

And the promo video took even longer!

Read on to find out why ...