For a long time, I adopted what I considered a logical approach to black and white photography but ended up overlooking a fundamental error. I’ve described the process elsewhere, but basically I tended to tonal range, color balance and saturation – then, if I thought the photo merited it, I would convert it to black and white. Faultless logic – so I thought.
Not surprisingly, many of the attempts at black and white didn’t really work. Each time I converted a shot to black and white, all the color work editing was lost and I had no real idea of how to deal with light and shade. Recently, though, I read of another approach that involves working in grayscale and doing the editing from there, and I spent the weekend going over hordes of digital photos in GIMP, hoping to bring them back to life in black and white.
The first image is from Cambridge, and the others from rural spots in north London, UK: