USE PICTURE STYLES
Shooting in monochrome mode is a great way to get a feel for how scenes will look in black and white Just like any Picture Style, the monochrome effect will only be permanently applied to JPEG images, not raw files. But if you open a raw file in your camera manufacturer’s own raw conversion software, the image will appear in black and white, as the software will recognise that you selected it in-camera. Using this software, you will then have the option of whether or not to apply the monochrome effect.
If you open the raw file in different raw processing software such as Lightroom, Photoshop or Elements, the software doesn’t recognise the Picture Style information.
This means the image will appear in colour and you’ll have to convert it manually.
In the raw interface in Elements there aren’t any black-and-white conversion options, so open the image into the main edit window and convert it into black and white.
In Photoshop and Lightroom you can apply a black-and-white conversion in the Adobe Camera Raw adjustment tools. Shooting in both JPEG and raw formats gives you the best of both worlds, as the JPEG files will be black and white, while the raw files will give you the option of producing either colour or black-and-white variants.
Converting this image from a raw file, using the individual colour control sliders in Lightroom to increase the contrast between the blue sky and the white clouds produced a more punchy result than the in-camera black-and-white settings.
The high-contrast lighting and graphic lines of this building meant that the JPEG image using the in-camera monochrome Picture Style setting produced a good black-and-white shot straight out of the camera. So there was no need to process the raw file to get the final result.
The key to successful black-and-white images is a combination of finding the right subjects, the right
also use these shadows as a subject in themselves. Shooting just the shadow, rather than the subject that has created it, can produce abstract and surreal black-and-white images.
Textures and tones
As well as strong, graphic elements, the more subtle appearance of textures and tones can also help to add depth and interest to monochrome images. Strong side lighting on a bright,
sunny day will help to bring out texture in the subject, while a softer, more diffuse light such as shooting when it’s cloudy is best for capturing subtle tones.
Because you can’t use colours to help the composition, black-and- white images can appear much flatter and less interesting than the scene in Above Strong side lighting helps to bring out the texture and creates dark shadows for maximum impact front of you. Using the monochrome Picture Control will help you to get a good idea of how the scene will look in black and white, but remember that you can also add impact to your images by increasing the contrast. You can do this both in-camera using the contrast adjustments in the Picture Style settings, or later on in your processing software. But even the most skillful image processing isn’t a substitute for good camera technique, composition and the right lighting conditions for successful shots. lighting and also some simple camera techniques. Let’s start with how to spot subjects and scenes that will work well in mono.
The first step is recognising the best lighting conditions. One of the essential elements in adding impact to your images is the contrast between light and shade. Bright sunlight is perfect for creating dark shadows, which create strong lines and graphic elements for your mono shots. To make the most of the shadows, try shooting with the sun just behind the subject so that the shadows are in the foreground of your image. You don’t have to stop there, though, as you can