Saturday, November 9, 2013

Shades of Grey | Black and White Photography Actions

I have always had mixed feelings towards black and white conversions because I love vibrant, saturated, true colors.  When I first started taking photos, black and white was my safety net.  Weird white balance?  Black and white.  Weird color-cast?  Black and white.  ISO problems?  Black and white.  Even now, when I take color photos in camera, I feel as if I'm somehow trying to hide something when I press that b&w button.  Like I need to keep it color to prove that I did things right...which I know is completely silly.
I have, however, recently fallen in LOVE with black and white photographs.  There is something about black and white that makes you really see what's going on in the photo.  You aren't distracted by whether or not you like the color scheme the family chose, or whether the leaves are dead or alive in the picture, you just SEE.  I've also realized that I have nothing to prove to anyone.  I'm happier with my photos with every passing session, and I've been trying to get out of my comfort zone with lighting and editing lately.

Sometimes, I am very tempted to just post a full black and white sneak peek one day and see what people think.  In case any photographers are reading this and can relate, I thought I'd share some of my favorite black and white recipes.  I have some that I've created myself in ACR, but there are also several action sets that I've downloaded or bought over the years.  So here is a little comparison...

One of my oldest ACR edits [a Sepia tone].  I've used this since I first learned the words split-toning [photographer joke haha].

I love using actions to convert several files to black and white in both Lightroom and Photoshop.  Here are some of my favorite actions...

These are edited using Gossamer from Paint the Moon Luminosity Actions.  It has a rosey coloring which I love.
These were edited using Bitchin Black and White from Totally Rad Actions.  It came in a free sample pack I got from them that included about 6 actions.  I love the saturation of the blacks with this one.
Now...on to my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE black and white right now.   I just recently got Lightroom a few months ago, and it has made my batch editing 10,000 times easier [now that I have the hang of it ;)]  It took a while, but it was so worth the money.  I love Bridge and ACR, but Lightroom might be my new jam.  I bought the VSCO Film 01 for Adobe Lightroom 4, and I LOVE IT.  Not only for black and white, but for color too.  But I will import an entire session after editing in Bridge JUST for the black and white sometimes.  All of these were edited using their black and white edits:
I hope you enjoyed this hodge-podge of new and old photos!  What is your preference...color or black and white?  More saturated black and white?  Sepia?  Muted/matte mid-tones?

1 comment:

  1. This great editing tool looks fantastic, I personally use What do you think about it?