For the Love of Black and White

In Digital
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I’m going to put this out there – I’ve got a little bit of a problem. It’s a black and white problem. I’ve tried the matte look. I’ve tried all sorts of mid-tones in my greys. I’ve tried all sorts of presets, layers, and rumored “one-click-wonders.” I keep on coming back, though. I come right on back, every time, to a good, solid, contrasty black and white.

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It started out as some preset (I’m pretty sure…), but I’ve done so much tweaking and pinching at it, that now it’s my very favorite, my absolute go-to for black and whites. I just can’t help it. I love when the blacks are so dark, the whites are crisp and brilliant, and those middle tones are pushing toward the edges. I absolutely love it.

What does it say about me? I know that my Myers-Briggs has a really strong (a little bit scary-robot-strong) “judging” component, so maybe I see my black and whites in just this way – either this or that, little room for wishy-washyness in between. Maybe I just prefer that strong, determined “here’s the subject” clarity in my black and whites. I’m sure there’s some amazing analytical wizardry that can be read into it all. What I know, though, is that I really do love them this way.

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So, how do you flavor your black and whites? If you’re a film kid, I’m sure there’s a stock that you prefer – what makes it your favorite? Is there a go-to filter on your phone or in your post-processing workflow? What kind of black and white makes your heart do that extra little skip?



  1. i haven’t processed anything in b/w for a long long time… i’m not sure why!! after seeing this, i think i’ll play around a bit!! lovely post, alison. love these contrasts!!

    • Monochrome will love you right on back πŸ˜‰ Around here, especially as winter will start to drag on and the palate becomes so monotonous, I think I like the spice that a good b&w can bring!

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