This 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.
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.
White Balance with a Warm Temperature (Yellow)
In 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.
White Balance with a Cool Temperature (Blue)
This 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.
Darkening the Exposure and lessoning the Shadows and Whites
In 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.
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,