The first roll of film I shot was colour but the first photograph I fell in love with was a black and white. It was the one known as "california kiss." It kicked off a long run of creating colourless documentary style photos of my friends and family which ended when I shot my last roll of Ilford in 1999. At that point I made the move to digital and recommitted my affections to colour.
Participating in the 5 Day Black and White Challenge has inspired me to take a closer look at what kind of black and white landscape photos I like. After collecting these on a pinterest board for study I've discovered that the ones I find impactful share some common elements. Over the remaining days of the challenge I thought I might share these with you.
ELEMENT #1 - STRONG CONTRAST
Very black black's and very white whites are perfect for giving the image real pop. Without colour to provide the vibrance, strong contrast steps in to provide that umph!
When working on a black and white image in Lightroom, did you know that if you hold the 'alt' or 'option' key down while sliding the black or white slider it will give you a visualization of how your image is being adjusted. You can then adjust the slider until just enough true black or pure white is showing in the image. Here is a great article at digitalphotographyschool .com that illustrates what I mean. So handy right? I also watch my histogram carefully when I play with the adjustments and I have noticed that with black and white landscapes I prefer to have it skewed to the left or on the dark side. Ahhh yes... the dark side is powerful.