Images of the North Coast of California in Monochrome
Gallery Two presents images from the North Coast of California in monochrome (frequently termed “black & white”). My photography has evolved since starting a serious pursuit in 2007. My images are tending more toward a graphic style, emphasizing light and texture, and sometimes an abstract or semi-abstract style. Monochrome is a perfect medium for capturing both graphic and abstract images so I have begun to experiment.
With the exception of one or two very specialized cameras, digital cameras capture images in color. Conversion from color to “black & white” occurs in post-processing. This is very different from film photography where the choice was made a priori through film selection. We have the opportunity to experiment with use of different color filters on any image; classic “black & white” photography required the photographer to select a filter such as a red filter to darken the blue sky before exposing the negative.
There are numerous techniques for conversion. The very simplest, de-saturating the color image, tends to yield bland results. I have two favorite approaches. First, Adobe’s Lightroom (release 5) now has a robust set of tools for conversion; the results are generally pleasing. Second, I also like the capabilities of Google’s SiverEfex Pro, especially for images that are or will become highly graphic. SilverEfex control-point technology is a wonderful tool for applying localized changes. I’m finding Adobe Photoshop less necessary for monochrome conversion though I have made extensive use of its “black and white” conversion layer in the past.
I’m unsure just how my photography will evolve in the future. It could be that an increasing fraction of my work will be in monochrome. I’m especially interested in feedback on my monochrome images.
Comments: I welcome your feedback on my work. Please use the e-mail form on my Contact page.