Bet­ter black and whites

Ge­orge Cairns demon­strates how to pro­duce strik­ing high-con­trast mono­chrome con­ver­sions

NPhoto - - Contents -

Use Nikon’s Cap­ture NX-D to pro­duce mono­chrome con­ver­sions

Why should we con­vert a colour photo into black and white? By re­mov­ing the dis­trac­tions of colour the eye is free to fo­cus on the re­main­ing con­trast­ing shapes and pat­terns in the greyscale ver­sion of the scene. Black-and-white im­ages also tend to stand out from the colour crowd, which helps them get no­ticed on so­cial me­dia plat­forms.

But what makes a good black-and­white im­age? If you sim­ply de­sat­u­rate a pho­to­graph to re­move its colour you may end up with a drab wash of grey tones. Tra­di­tion­ally, pho­tog­ra­phers shoot­ing with black-and-white film could place coloured fil­ters over the lens to se­lec­tively lighten or darken parts of the mono­chrome pic­ture. For ex­am­ple, a red fil­ter would darken blue skies, en­abling del­i­cate white clouds to stand out more. Cap­ture NX-D pro­vides sim­i­lar fil­ters to help you lighten or darken greyscale tones based on the orig­i­nal colours in the scene, so you can fine-tune which ar­eas con­trast against each other.

An ef­fec­tive black-and-white im­age should also have a high con­trast to help key sub­jects stand out. We’ll show you have to use Cap­ture NX-D’s clip­ping warn­ing tools to en­sure the pres­ence of some white high­lights, and black shad­ows will also help to guar­an­tee a strong con­trast.

Be fo re

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