Color vs Black and White

Yesterday during our Winter Adventures in Photography class, we had a young lady modeling for us.  As we captured images, I kept thinking about how the images will appear in black and white (BW) as well as color.
There are many ways to take a color image and convert to black and white.  In our class, we were emphasizing a specific method, and had a chance to try them out in our editing sessions.
Here’s a shot in color, followed by my preferred black and white conversion:
The first thing I noticed was that the color of her blouse didn’t quite match the bricks.  
By switching to BW, that removed any color conflict.  
Also, I liked the appearance of her skin tones in the BW conversion.

So, think about a BW finish on your next images.  It can often create an entirely new look!

Erie Wedding Photography: Winter Wedding

Angela wished for a bit of snow for her winter wedding, and she was not disappointed.

Starting at Coventina Day Spa, the ladies prepared for the wedding. A lovely ceremony was held at the Mercyhurst Chapel, where the colors of this wonderful church accented Angela’s beautiful dress.

Following formal portraits and some chilly outdoor bridal party photographs, the reception followed at Union Station.

The decor restated the colors of champagne and wine, and married them with the colors of the holiday season: green, gold and white lights galore.

Angela and John, congratulations on your beautiful wedding!

Jenny in the Country

This morning we spent some time at my father’s place in the country, working on Jenny’s Senior photos. She was looking for a “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” look and some other images.

The house, over 210 years old, is in immaculate condition and has many great settings for indoor portraiture. Here’s a close-up of some of the elegant images we captured in the house and on the enclosed back porch.

The outdoors has over 8 acres of woods, fields, creek and wonderful landscape and gardening.

Here’s a shot facing the side of the cable bridge, with Jenny carefully balanced in the middle.

Thanks to Grandpa and Nana for allowing us to take photos at your place!

Black and White Photography in Erie, PA

When I’m setting up to shoot groups of people, I often will grab an unsuspecting subject and fire off a few quick shots. This confirms that my metering is correct and my light and camera setup is ready to go.

This was my high key setup for the Angelina Ballerina photos, which I shot on Sunday.

Julianna came along for the day as her sister was in the production. She was nice enough to volunteer to help me for the brief but exciting periods when I was photographing the young guests, and to stand in as my test subject.

I took the image and did a quick conversion using the Channel Mixer, emphasizing the reds (skin tone) and bringing down the blues. This is a far better method to convert to black and white than simply letting the program desaturate the image to grey scale, as you can control the amount of red, blue and green signal that gets into the final black and white image.

Then I did a bit of contrast enhancement with Levels and the image was ready to go!

Nice shot Jules! And thanks for your help!

Black and White Photography in Warren PA

Here is an interesting edit of a dramatic number entitled “Nightmare”. The ladies’ costumes are all in black, white and gray tones, so it was natural to emphasize the contrast and render the image in black and white.

Even though I pushed the contrast, I did soften the image a bit to create an organic look.

This is another example of dramatic edits that can come from high-key lighting and creative posing and post-processing.