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Ebony and Ivory

July 30, 2011

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  Black and White photographs have a certain timeless appeal, at least for geezers who can remember when…..

C a n n o n   F o d d e r

  Babies, puppies, landscapes, cityscapes, and street photography all make good subjects for a B&W image. So do images that are strong in shape or form.

N o w   o r   L a t e r ? 

Many cameras offer the option to shoot in Black and White. Don’t do it. It’s best to convert a color image to B&W with an editor. Digital photos consist of three color channels (Red, Green, Blue) that mix to create the colors you see. Most editors will allow you to either brighten or darken one or more of these channels. This changes the tones of the grays which make up a B&W image. Besides if you shoot in color you will always have a color image in case it doesn’t make the grade as a B&W.

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Here is a shot of a Dog contemplating life at sunset by the sea-shore. But what if I want to make a B&W because all my other contemplating dog shots happen to be B&W?

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P r o c e s s i n g   f o r   B l a c k   a n d   W h i t e

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Here I opened the image in Elements and click on convert to grayscale. Nice but a little flat.

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Elements 8 also has a Convert to Black and White option. Here I used it and selected Portrait style. Convert to B&W offers several different styles that you can use as a starting point and some sliders for tweaking the image.(Here I left the sliders alone). Now the image has a little more contrast and looks a little better to me than the grayscale but I wanted a little more punch.

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Here I played with the RGB channels to get a version that I like better than either of the “automatic” conversions.

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   Convert a few of your images to B&W (save with a different file name so you still have your color version) and you’ll be a bona-fide member of the artsy/geezers club, and you’ll live together in perfect harmony!

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