Left automatic black and white conversion, right manual black and white conversion.
A common mistake people make is thinking that
in the digital era you either simply turn on the black and white mode
in your digital camera or convert them after importing them on your computer with your favorite editing
software into a grey scale image. In some cases the outcome might be more
than decent but more often the photo will lack contrast and look flat. However, I like to have total control of the conversion
process and therefore convert each photo individually.
It all starts by taking all my images in the RAW format which contains
minimally processed data from the image sensor of my digital camera. RAW files are not yet processed and still have to be processed by a
raw converter. The advantage of using raw files rather than jpgs is that
these files contain much more data and thus allow much more editing.
During the post-processing I edit every image individually using different techniques to optimize the contrast and dynamic range in the photo. Although there is no right or wrong during the conversion process I like to have a real black and a real white in my pictures which makes some look real contrasty.
Above and below the text I have posted an example of an automatic black and white conversion (on the left side) and a manual black and white conversion (right side). But decide for yourself which one you prefer.
How do you feel about black and white photography? Why do you like it?