“Color is descriptive. Black and white is interpretive.” – Elliott Erwitt
When I’m in a rut, I shoot monochrome images to help me get out of it. These are some of the thoughts that are going through my mind when I was working on my Geared Up column for the October ’17 issue of Shutterbug magazine (on newsstands 9/10/17.)
Sometimes I shoot photographs in direct monochrome mode. It doesn’t have to be all of the images that I shoot that day or in a portrait session; just a few to see what happens.
If you think that’s a bad idea because you worry about what happens if you change your mind and want that original at some later date to be in color? Most digital cameras have a RAW+JPEG option that lets you capture a monochrome (JPEG) and color (RAW) file at the same time. Some dual-slot DSLRs and mirrorless cameras, even let you simultaneously save each file type to a different card.
If you prefer to capture in color and convert to monochrome later in the digital darkroom that’s not a bad idea either and that’s the subtext of my October Geared Up column. The biggest differences for portraiture is that all of my favorite retouching tools such as Imagenomics’ Portraiture. Today’s image is one that mixes both in-camera and post capture techniques for what I hope is a bit of Fellini’s La Dolce Vita…or not.
Tip: Another great idea to prevent your photography from becoming stagnant is to make a new photograph each day. It’s actually harder to do that it sounds but give it a try, even if you miss a day or two.
My book, Creative Digital Monochrome Effects, is available from Amazon with new books selling for $5.49, as I write this, and used copies selling for $2.55, a price that can’t be beat for one of my favorite books.