Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Colour or B and W?

So yesterday I posted a photo I'd taken during my ramble earlier this week. As soon as I saw the scene I liked it.

As I was editing the photo, though, I was a little less happy with it, particularly the sky. During my swim today I had the happy thought of changing it to Black and White to see how it looked.

Like so many things, you'd think it would be simple. But no. Well, actually the process is simple. Within Lightroom alone I have 17 choices of slightly different B&W options, and one click later I'm done. Some of them I can't tell the difference. I got it down to a couple choices and tweaked slightly.

I still don't like the sky. It's kind of ugly, and the shape is bad around the trees. Sometimes when you over edit photos, you get this halo effect around trees and other objects. Just raw the clouds give it a bit of a halo effect, and trying some of the more pushy effects looks gross very quickly. Someone with mad Photoshop skillz could replace the sky and put anything in there, but then it wouldn't be the scene I saw. I think I'll have to go back again and try to catch it with better light.

Here's the black and white version, and the colour below. Which do you prefer, and why?


  1. I like the colour version...though it looks more sepia than colour and I'm a big fan of sepia. B&W is a tough sale for me. When I like it, I like it a lot--but most of the time I find people use B&W to try and make a not-so-great picture pop. Just my humble opinion...I'm not sure if I explained that very well.

    1. Just to add to my original comment--I'm not saying your picture isn't good! When I have a picture that I think is 'missing something' I always try B&W and it just never works.

  2. The colour for me too. It has depth and richness, always a difficult mood to create with b/w.

  3. I third that. The hints of colour make the second version a while lot more interesting, to my mind, and I don't mind that the sky is. It's a nice contrast to the snow below.

  4. I would like the black and white to be better, but at the moment it is not. The colour version has a crispness that is missing from the black and white version. The problem is in part the nature of the medium. The image is recorded in colour and it is the post processing that makes it b & w , rather than having silver halide crystals reacting to light. Then to complicate matters it is then displayed on a screen designed for colour. I am still trying for b & w success. My best experiments have come when I use the dehaze slider to return some of the clarity. Cheers, Sean
    ps - I'm caught up now


Looking forward to reading your comment!