Sometimes it's ok to flip things upside down.
This is day 3 (or more accurately photo 3) of the Five Day Black and White Challenge for me. Though perhaps I should call it the white and black challenge today. I've always thought that impactful black and white images skewed to the dark side but the image I made today proves this is not always the case. Sometimes the exact opposite can be just as impactful.
ELEMENT #2 - TEXTURE
Monochrome is perfect for highlighting textures. A smooth white space surrounding the rough base of the trees creates visual interest. In the original photo above, the snow was littered with little bits of dirt which I carefully erased so that the eye can travel smoothly over the snow and linger on the coarse ridges in the cedar bark.
There are many ways to clean up spots on an image - be it from dust on your lens or small bits of dirt or debris on the ground. I like to start by removing any easy spots in Lightroom with the spot removal tool. Sometimes this tool won't work on a particularly tricky spot so I then move the image into Photoshop and give it another go with the Spot Removal tool in the Camera Raw filter. If I am still unsuccessful with that then I will give Photoshop's Spot Healing Brush tool a go.
If all this sounds like too much work, then I invite you to just stare at the image above for a bit and relax (if you click on it you can see it bigger). However if dust or spot removal has plagued you and you long for more detail on how to out out those damn spots, Pye at SLRLounge.com has a tutorial that should get you moving in the right direction.