Black and White Conversion – Contest

There are a reduced number photographers who bother to explore black and white conversion. It’s a shame. There are so many opportunities! Often, a photo that is just ok is great in black and white.

So, I was stuck for inspiration lately. I had committed to produce two black-and-white photographs for the exhibition of the Blainville Photo Club. The exhibition is taking place from March 13th to 30th 2014 at the Galerie d’Art de Blainville, QC.

[bctt tweet=”#BlackandWhite Conversion of #Picture Brings them to life! Try out Black and White”]

Black and White Photo Exhibition

The theme of the exhibition: “The Beatles, a song, a picture. My passion is for landscape photography and my first picture: ‘Here come the sun’ was already selected and ready to send to print. I must say though that for a passionate landscape photographer, finding a nice picture on the title of one of the songs of the Beatles is rather a challenge!

In desperation I use Wikipedia to find a song title that could inspire me. Looking at the titles, I found out ‘Back in U.S.S.R.’! Wow!  I just spent a week in St. Petersburg this year, there is surely something interesting?

Black and White Conversion of The Church of the Saviour.

The photo that I selected from the hundreds taken on this week in this gorgeous city is a photo of the Church of the Saviour, which was built at the place where the Emperor Alexandre II was mortally wounded on March 1st, 1881.

There’s no doubt. This church is beautiful. However, my photo taken at 9:00 am when the Sun was already high in this may 15th, is not that great. The Church is in full Sunlight which causes very dark and bright areas… I hoped that a black and white conversion of the .CR2 file created by my Canon 5d Mark III on that day might help it.  I used Nik Silver eFex Pro to do this.  I know Nik collection quite well and up to now, it has always surprised me with great results.

Black and white conversion

Nik is magical! In an instant I spotted a correct starting point from a quick look at thumbnails of the predetermined settings. From that starting point I reduced the brightness of the blue in order for the Church to pop on a darker sky. I made multiples smaller adjustments in order to reach exactly the look I was heading to.  I paid attention to the level of details which is paramount in architecture photography.

Finishing and final details

Although the photo was taken from a distance with a 45mm lens, it gives the impression of falling backward with unattractive leading lines.  So I used Lightroom to adjust the perspective. I chose to keep the fences posts on the left lower side in the photo. Most would have cropped them out,  I had the impression that they could contribute to keep the eyes of the viewer in the picture a little longer and increase the impression of the third dimensions by the shape of the water channel at the bottom of the picture.  What do you think?

There is another undeniable advantage of converting photos to black and white. They will appear much sharper and detailed. Color gradation sometimes gives the impression of lack of details. I love this picture now. I prefer it even to the picture ‘Here comes the sun’ from the Terrebonne’s Watermill.

How you can do the same

Nik Collection of Google is available for download for evaluation purposes. For 30 days you can convert your photos into black and white and you will surely discover pearls among your color photos like I did.

Tell us more! You have a flickr or facebook account? Add a link to this article in the comments so we can see your achievements in Black and White Conversion!