'• General'
Night photography: capturing movement and light


One of my favourite workshops is 'Shoot the City', a workshop I run twice a year for Gulf Photo Plus in Dubai. We start the day photographing architecture (normally at the DIFC in the heart of the city), after which we shoot the Jumeirah Beach skyline from the Palm: from late afternoon until about 30-40 minutes after sunset. We then head up to the rooftop bar of the Four Points Sheraton hotel on Sheik Zayed road: a great vantage point, with affordably great fries and tolerably cheap beer.

During each workshop I teach pretty much the same techniques, most of which I've listed below, but during the latest workshop I decided to try something a bit different ...

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.