The past two week’s blog posts have had a theme, first Travel Week and then it was Lighting Week. This week we kick of a five days of posts using the same eclectic combination of topics that have distinguished this blog for the past six years. Yes it’s been, six years since I wrote “Make a Splash with Flash” on Dec 8, 2010. I’ve kind of beat the topic of flash over the head last week so rather than digging that one up again—unless you want me to—I’ll try something completely different. Well not too different…
My friend and colleague Barry Staver sends out period mailings to his clients and this month to get their attention, he featured black and white photographs. Back in the day when Mary and I owned a studio, the first question we asked a client was if they needed black and white or color photography because the price of B&W film was different than color and we billed using a classic time and materials basis.
People often wanted black and white because they would be used in print, either a magazine or other publication and B&W was cheaper. Nowadays a commercial assignment is more often going to need images that will be featured in social media or on the Web so color is the order of the day and our cameras can easily shoot color or color + black & white using my old favorite RAW+JPEG approach.
Nowadays, creating black and white or monochrome images (for you purists) is a creative choice and not one that’s driven by a financial imperative. So all of a sudden you have options. My friend, Cliff Lawson, one of the best high school senior photographers in the Rocky Mountain West, often presents portrait images to his clients—the student’s parents— and the repose is almost universally positive because the image is different.
You can think different too and the next time you make a photograph, whether it’s a portrait or a landscape or even a picture of a car, try processing your color JPEG or RAW file using any of the many black and white conversion tools, especially Silver Efex Pro, because its awesome and it’s free.