With the proliferation of cameras including those in smartphones, people are more likely to take colored photos, edit them with the dozens of photos apps, and get their prints at Walgreens Photo. But most of these photos are in color, thanks to the idea that colored images speak more than black-and-white photos, among other reasons.
There are instances, however, that converting colored photos into black-and-white images makes sense. You will end up with better photos, too, especially in case of portraits.
Create More Impact
Even when you have the best equipment and you put your best foot forward as a photographer, your results may be unsatisfactory in many aspects. Your photo, for example, has a scene that just appears bland even with the explosion of colors, has a scene without a purpose, or a scene with washed-out elements (e.g., people wearing cream clothes with a cream background). You can bring out the contrast, create more impact, and transform a bland photo into a better one by converting it into a black-and-white image.
Focus More on the Subject
Your subject should be the focus of the photo but there are instances when the background steals the show for any number of reasons. For example, the background has too many colors and objects resulting in a cluttered photo with plenty of distractions away from the subject. You can use Photoshop to remove the distractions but it will require time so converting the colored image to black-and-white makes more sense, especially when it creates more impact and more time to shoot other photos.
Exaggerate Silhouettes and Contrasts
Of course, you can follow your own creative style in photography since it’s more of an art than a science. You can convert colored photos to black-and-white images because it suits your artistic philosophy, such as capturing movement in a blur, adding grain for more impact, and creating a film look, among others. You can use the power of black-and-white images to exaggerate the contrasts between subjects and objects, a tool that has created many of the century’s most iconic images like the sailor kissing the nurse after World War II or the little girl running away from a napalm attack in Vietnam.
Indeed, there are several reasons to tap into the power of black-and-white photos – nostalgia is among these reasons – but you shouldn’t abuse it either. Your portfolio should ideally contain a balance between beautiful colored photos and black-and-white images for, after all, each style has its own uses.