Black and White conversion is great for storytelling!
I took this picture in October 2012. Beside the electronic light meter the photographer holds in his hands, this look dated, don’t you think?
Post processing was part of the storytelling. My Belgian friend with his assistant was metering the light. When you take a picture using an old 4 x 5 camera, you can’t afford bracketing shots. You need to nail it every single time.
Everything in this picture, beside the light meter, is making us travel back in time. I love this old wood made 4 x 5 Camera. I really like the personage with his hat and beard that we seldom see these days and the standing position. I chose to post-process this picture using Nik Silver Efex Pro. Doing so, it was easier to tell a story in line with the subject and respect the mood that this picture is create.
When comes time to do black and white from my Color Photograph, my conversion tool of choice is Nik Silver Efex Pro. My main goal was to create a picture that work well with the scene. Hopefully my conversion to black and white would enhance this illusion of and old photograph. My main personage, the photographer, would look perfectly in place in the converted picture.
I increased the contrast, and the film noise. I made the noise harder and reduced the blue sensitivity, darkening the sky. I also use a frame vignette to keep the viewer from wandering at the edge of the frame.
Black and white conversion is an art. Black and White conversion reduces or eliminates distractions and help the viewer focus on what is important. The colors are often distracting and seldom support the subject adequately.
You want to improve your storytelling through black and white conversion?
Vincent Versace is a master of Black and White photography. His last book, from Oz to Kansas is more than a book. This is literally a full week workshop. With access to more contents through internet downloads you can experience all facets of Black and White conversion. I urge you to read the Interview of Vincent Versace on Pictureline and to buy from Oz to Kansas.
Do you use black and white to support your subjects?