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SURREY, United Kingdom
Amateur and still learning!

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

CONCEPTION or CONVERSION?

I sometimes read in comments made on monochrome images the statement “Nice conversion to Black and White”. Whilst I agree that there has been some manipulation to arrive at a black and white image and that statement has some credence, it obviously hasn’t dawned on the commenter that from the outset the final image was destined to be monochrome.


Sometimes the comment “This would look good in Black and White” is made. There is at least some salvation for anyone that makes such a comment, but would they have taken the picture with that particular end in mind?

Is it possible that there are some photographers that can only see in colour and a B+W ‘conversion’ is only an afterthought after what they’ve taken has not turned out to be what they envisaged when they pressed the shutter?

It’s true that not every colour photograph would have the same impact if converted to monochrome and it’s equally true the other way round.

With autumn upon us it’s easy to see that a black and white image would be a complete waste of time trying to get across the feeling one gets when seeing all the colours that one associates with the season, so monochrome isn’t a be all and end all.

I look for B+W images, not colour images that would look good in B+W.

The two images below are a case in point.




One a colour original and the subsequent monochrome image that I saw when looking through the viewfinder.

The composition speaks for itself, several lines leading to a fixed point within the frame. For me, the colour version is just a picture postcard of a dubious chocolate box appeal, whilst the B+W image has the atmosphere and impact that I wanted. I must add that I do not hold either image up as an image of quality, just to illustrate the point I'm trying to make!

The B+W image has been softened somewhat and toned to try and increase the atmosphere, and I turned into the council road mender to get rid of the potholes and puddles in the colour version, lord knows what it will look like when the austerity measures take hold!

Keep conceiving not converting!

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