Black & white or color? Your choice…
I am really starting to fall in love with black and white landscapes again. Until I picked up my printer last month, I hadn’t printed black and whites for almost thirty years. Yes, it was in the wet darkroom. Right now, the new way is definitely looking to offer more control than I ever had individually processing sheet film and dodging and burning by hand.
It really is about the control you have over the final product that’s important. That and recognizing the right conditions and pre-visualization.
The images above are of the Athabasca River in Jasper National Park. I’ve been taking three weeks off for the past few years to spend some time up there hoping to catch autumn/early winter weather. One year it was warmer going into October than it had been all summer. It was like autumn never came. Leaves dried up and dropped. The fall colors hardly materialized. Another year saw a dump of a foot of snow in the second week of September. Of course it was all gone except for in the trees and places shaded from the sun.
This year is no different. I plan on another break for autumn shooting. It might very well be the last year I book holidays for then as I am THAT close to retirement and itching to start another chapter in my life but that’s for another time.
Before I choose to convert an image, I’ll open it in Photoshop and in the channels palette, click on each of the different channels, red, green and blue. There will usually be one channel that looks much better than the others. Reds don’t usually convert well, so if you have a scene with a lot of red in it, chances are that it won’t look too good in black and white. On the other hand, if there is a lot of blue or green then PARTY on!