Black and White pictures are more engaging.
Black and White pictures have multiples advantages over Color pictures. These advantages will make a boring picture something great.
Colors could be distracting. Using only black and white it is easier to isolate the subject and make it the focal point. The focal point is something that attract and keep the viewer’s attention over other elements in the photograph.
When using only black and white the tonal range and contrast are the most important aspect of the picture. Unfortunately the Saturation Slider, available in all photos editing software, does a very poor job in creating an engaging black and white picture. The result is moody and the entire tonal range available is rarely used.
This picture represents a simple subject. This is what I would call a “portrait” of a dead tree. A portrait since we do not see the entire tree but only the upper part of it. The tree is in the center and branches in all directions from the center. In the color rendition of this picture, the sky was blue, as you should expect. The blue color did not help us appreciate the dramatic end of this tree. In black and white, this picture is more dramatic. The message that I convey with this image is stronger like in black and white.
The questions I ask myself when taking a picture or doing post-processing are simple:
- What is the subject?
- What is the message?
- How can I get rid of distraction?
I used Lightroom for this Black and White conversion. In this case, I made a simple black and white conversion with some adjustment to the Black and White point along with contrast tuning. The brutal end of this tree is visible in this picture and support my message.
Tell me, are you concerned by the brutal end of this Dead Tree? Should you be, I met my goal.