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Cee’s Tips and Tricks: Black & White – Part Two

Tips and TricksThis is part two of a three part series of Black and White Tips and Tricks series I will share with you some of what I have learned regarding switching a photo to black and white.  This week I will talk share with you a couple of techniques I found with switching white balance and highlights in your post processing software.

Here is Part One of this series in case you missed it.

Hint:  Use post processing to turn your photo into black and white.  If you use your camera settings, you could lose a lot of detail and flexibility in adjusting your photos.

The photo I’m using in this post is of a lotus I took this summer.  I will be using it to demonstrate how different it can look with very little effort within your post-processing software.  All I did was heighten the vibrance and sharpen it.

I used Adobe Bridge to make these adjustments.  In Bridge the adjustments are more subtle than if I used Photoshop.  Bridge works much like a lot of other post-processing software with sliders for various aspects of changing effects for altering your photo.

092614color original

Original Conversion to Black and White

Here is what the photo looks like with just the plain black and white conversion with no additional changes.  I think it looks rather blah myself.  Not enough contrast in the colors, although it did pull out the textures well.

092614color original_1

White Balance with a Warm Temperature (Yellow)

screenshot_27In this version you will notice the gray shading changes are extremely minor.  It lightening the inside of the petals and around the lotus seed pod itself.

092614WB yellow high Tint low green

White Balance with a Cool Temperature (Blue)

screenshot_26This version high cooling white balance (blue) and medium tint, brought out even more dramatic shades and I believe makes the photo detail look even better.



092614WB blue high Tint med

Darkening the Exposure and lessoning the Shadows and Whites

screenshot_28In this case I changed the white balance to Daylight since that is when I took the photo.  The other changesI made are I darkened the exposure slightly.  Highlights and Whites I lessoned because I like the effect of slightly darker shades.  I think it shows of the texture in the petals and the lotus pods.  Other wise I left the adjustments the same as in the original photo.

I maybe over darkened it, but I wanted to get an idea of how small adjustments can make a big difference.

092614lower highlights white and exposure


I hope with this demonstration you can see how powerful a tool your post-processing software can be.  Play with your sliders or various standard settings that your software has.  Little tiny differences of white balance or exposure can make a huge difference in how you see your photo.  If you used your camera to take black and white, you would lose some of these options, because the various color hues and luminance would be taken away from your photo.

I hope you have fun playing around with your photos, whether they are black and white or colored.  Please feel free to show me some of your work.  I would love it see it.

My upcoming Tips and Tricks will be Part Three in this series and a walkthrough of a Before and After that hope to submit to Visual Venturing’s challenge.

To view my other Tips and Tricks click here.

Qi (energy) hugs,


33 replies »

  1. You must have read my mind, Cee! I was just trying something like this earlier today … now I see where I need to adjust the image to make it work in mono! Thanks for the tips 🙂


  2. Fascinating! The first try looks more like my photos typically, although I don’t process anything. AS much as I love photography, I am pretty awful at it. Yours is amazing.


  3. Every time I hear about post processing I learn something new and yet I find it hard to do it. But after reading and looking at this post, I will try to do some post processing in the photos that I choose.
    Thanks Cee, for the useful tips and for that gorgeous lotus. 🙂


    • Hi Norma, I have found if I give too much information in a post it gets too complicated. Post processing is fun and simple. Just learn one small thing at a time, so you can actually learn it and not forget it. Then add on something else. It’s all a process …. just have fun.


      • Thank you again for the tip. I have been learning so much from wordpress and helpful blogger friends like you and others. I will take baby steps to learn and strengthen my skill.
        Once again thanks. 🙂


  4. Nice post, and helpful. i do appreciate that you made these shorter posts; I too have experienced that when you’re not quite in the right state of mind long photography articles can be hard to follow, especially given you’re trying to learn how to exercise your creativity more effectively.

    I appreciate too your tips on adjusting white balance, highlights, shadows, and the like. I use bride camera raw editing/enhancing a lot. It’s an excellent tool for every kind of photo. Using post-processing is great fun, it really allows you to explore your own aesthetic and creative potential, sometimes just by toggling back and forth.

    Thanks again for this. Cheers!


  5. All of the photos have their own charm, but oh that VIVID yellow against the hot pink!!!! I love love love this photo. Are all of these flowers in your yard or do you cruise the world looking for great shots? You have my friend Sharon’s eye. She can make a fantastic photo out of literally anything, just by the details her eye centers in on and her natural cropping as she takes the picture. I am so glad you are sharing your photos with the world like this. You make a story of a single object. I have to make the story with the scene.


    • You and Chris are so alike. She uses words to convey her expressions of life. Thanks so much for your wonderful comment Judy. I sure appreciate it. 🙂


  6. The last picture is very dramatic. Interesting how different an emotion it evokes in me. I understand what you are saying about how things can get lost when we focus on the color. thank you for helpful instruction


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never look directly at the sun, instead, look at the sunflower, uplift, motivate, photography, Cee Neuner,, sunflower, macro, yellow

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