To see in color is a delight for the eye, but to see in black and white is a delight for the soul.
I came across this quote attributed to Andri Hery and had to write it down so I could share it. It really speaks to me. It was a timely quote as I had recently acquired Silver Efex Pro 2 and was experiencing black and white image processing in a way that reminded me of my early days in the darkroom watching images form right in front of my eyes...this wasn't just magic, it was thrilling and almost miraculous. My digital work in black and white was now starting to approach that same feeling, and the quote took on a certain relevance to me.
Up until recently I had been using Photoshop Elements or Lightroom to make my conversions to black and white. I began to favor Lightroom because of it's quickness, simplicity, and the power of being able to use the targeted adjustment tool with the underlying color data driving the resulting changes. But it was Silver Efex Pro 2's ability to replicate the varieties of contrasts, structures, and moods with ease that convinced me that I was underutilizing my photographic expression by not utilizing black and white enough.
There are so many different creative expressions of photography that I see on a daily basis, from the straight-forward, nearly out of the camera documentary, to the wildly colored and evenly toned HDR images, to the painterly interpretations, and everything in between. But a good black and white image is truly something on a different emotional level.
Without color to influence your reaction to an image, black and white images rely on shapes, contrasts, and light to convey the image's story and emotion. You know when an image, color or black and white, hits your emotional buttons, and I think you might agree that a really good black and white image can be transformative. I'm continually working to create images that do that. It's the hardest part, and yet the ultimate objective of photography. The equipment knowledge, techniques, gear bags, scouting and setup, etc are all in pursuit of moving the soul.
If you have questions, comments, or would like to share some of your own experiences, please feel free to contact me at CostaMesaPhotography@gmail.com. You can also visit my extensive photographic web gallery at http://costamesaphotography.com/.
(Metadata: 1/250 sec at f/8.0, 48mm focal length and ISO 200)