When I’m in a rut, I shoot monochrome to get out of it. These are some of the thoughts that are going through my mid when I was working on my Geared Up column for the October issue of Shutterbug magazine (on newsstands 9/10/16.)
One of the things I like to do to get out of a rut is to shoot some 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 camera, even let you simultaneously save each file type to a different card. My old but dependable Canon EOS 1D Mark II N lets me, for example, shoot RAW on the CompactFlash card and JPEG files onto the SD 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 subject 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.