This blog captures my journey to take a break from jewelry designing to learn something new. Join me as I learn the art of photography and Photoshop Elements and watch me create through my lens. ~ Dee

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Color vs. Black and White Dilemma....

After I finally decided on a title for tonight's post, I realized that I didn't have all the "before" pictures needed to show contrast to the "after"; however, I did save one and that one, will hopefully help you to see how I solved the delimma of color vs. black and white when I really really need to. 

There is a two step process in Photoshop Elements that is a savior when I've needed it, and that two stop process goes something like this: (1)Enhance....(2)Convert to Black and White!!  LOVE IT!  Okay, so there may be a few other options once you get to step two, but it's all elementary from there, I promise. 

Converting to black and white can be a savior when you've taken what I'll call "opportunity photos"; or, maybe your trying to create a special memory, or bring out contrast or create history or for any reason that is personal to and white photos can be beautiful!  This post isn't about the Art of black and white, it's about how it saves me during challenging times.   

I recently took some photos at a local event, that was chock-full of people.  Just about every shot I looked back on had people, people everywhere.  If there weren't people, there was someone's arm holding a camera in my shot, or a head, or a leg, and the list of distractions go on an on.  What started out as a transfer of over 100 photos, was quickly reduced to about 15! Next year, I'll have a better plan, but for now, I'm stuck with the magic 15.  

Unless your goal is to truly capture the beauty of color in a special event or photo, your goal should be to try to limit the number of colors to about three hues and no distractions as in the example below where you have the water, the white chairs and the green grass....can you see the harmony? 

as opposed to this picture, where you have the colors of the bird, the purple backpack, the red tent the multitude of  clothing colors and lets not overlook all the other distractions! 

As you can clearly see, this photo is a "hot mess", and all the distractions take away from the main subject the bird! I certainly could have used a larger depth of field, but I didn't have the right lense with me on this day as my goal was to travel light.  What to do, what to do....Enhance, Convert to black and white and now you have...

I don't know about you, but I personally think this is a much better memory of the day than the first photo.  Sure, i've lost all the colors of the bird, but I've captured a memory that reminds me of the day and not necessarily my "challenges of the moment". 

Below are a few other picturs I captured that day and converted to black and white, that reminds me that this is one of the most enjoyed events of the year and people all over the city were there just having fun.

Lesson Learned:
I have a year to figure out how to get a photographers's pass to get up close and personal to the musicians or learn how to push and shove! 

Unveiling without color,


  1. You know, I never really looked at black and white that way before, but now that I actually saw the before and after and you pointed out what a 'hot mess' that photo was, I can TOTALLY understand! :)

    Sometimes the black and white does make or brake a picture.

    I personally love B&W-so classy ^.^

  2. I haven't really learned all the ins and outs of b&W photography yet, but I know there is a specific technique you want to use when focusing on the photos,...I'll work on trying to master that another day :)



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