Rather than relying on Photoshop, it’s often easier to use a few simple techniques to add contrast and drama when you actually take your shots
Back in the days of film, you B could control the way that different colours were translated into black and white by using coloured filters in front of the lens. But these traditional filters don’t work with digital cameras. Instead, you can alter the contrast of your black-and-white images by using the filter effects that are available in your camera’s monochrome Picture Style/Picture Controls menu
These filter effects give the same results as the traditional filters, so they lighten areas that are the same colour as the ‘filter’ and darken areas of the opposite colour. For example, using a red filter effect will produce a black-and-white image where the blue areas are dark, and yellow and red areas much lighter than a normal black and white image.
You’ll find all of these filter effects within the detailed menu in the monochrome Picture Style or Picture Control settings.
“Alter the contrast of your black- and-white images by using the filter e ects that are available”
USE ‘REAL’ FILTERS FOR BLACK AND WHITE
There are two main types of physical filter that you should still use to get the best results. The first is a polariser, which can help you to add contrast to skies and cut out reflections in non-metallic objects such as water. These two effects will help you to get much more punchy, high-contrast mono images in-camera.
The other time-saver for shooting landscapes is a neutral density grad filter. This filter, which is half dark and half clear, is perfect for reducing the contrast between the sky and the foreground.
ND GRAD FILTER
Just like shooting colour images, a graduated neutral density filter
will allow you to avoid over-exposing the sky, or under-exposing the foreground, in your black-and-white shots. This can save you loads of time processing and editing your shots to darken the sky or lighten the foreground.