Having a night free I decided to embark on the “black and white” lesson. In his book, Miotke recommends shooting in color and then using a photo program to convert it into black and white. Since I figured this would just take a bit of tinkering around, I picked a photo and went to work.
Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as it makes it seem. This was actually the first lesson that I had real problems with. He says that just altering the image to greyscale is the easiest method. Well, if you have a great photo to start with perhaps but I’m just beginning so I don’t have that! What I did have was a photo I fell in love with of Gracie pup:
So tried the greyscale method but she turned out all washed out and, honestly, you couldn’t tell anything about her because she was so white-washed. Maybe there wasn’t enough contrast with the background? Or maybe the direct light on her fur was screwing with it? No idea (if you do know, please tell me!). By this point my determination had set in and I started tinkering with all kinds of settings that I didn’t understand before scrapping it. I went back to the original photo then played with the colorization and then the brightness and contrast levels and finally got something I was happy with:
It’s still not as crisp as I’d like but it has this Beverly Hillbillies look going on that makes me giggle. So..it’s a keeper. But definitely a lesson I’ll have to return to again as my photography progresses.