Finding joy in black and white

In Black and White, Digital
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I love color. I am inspired by colors that surprise me, catch my eye, draw me in, create a mood. I do love the history and practicality and beauty of black and white film, but I have never cared much for converting digital photos to black and white, and when I see the common question in photography forums: “Which one? Color or black and white?” I pick color 99% of the time.

Since taking an online class with Ute Reckhorn, I have been participating on and off in her Develop with Light community. This month’s theme was black and white. I admit I groaned a bit at the announcemnt, but I felt like participating in something, and as Lucy said earlier this week, there’s already a lack of color in winter, so it’s not such a bad time to try to eliminate it.

I decided to give it a try, but only if I could figure out how to actually photograph in black and white rather than convert to black and white in post processing. It was easy for me to set up my Nikon to shoot with a black and white profile but I am attached to shooting in RAW, and it harder to get my RAW camera files to match the jpegs in Lightroom. This was my queue to finally give Nikon’s (free for Nikon users) NX Studio a try. I’m glad to have that sorted this out because now I plan to play with other Nikon profiles.

Anyway, I got my camera set up to my liking early this month and have kept it on those settings ever since, and I was surprised to find myself enjoying a world without color. I usually just take photos of things that catch my eye. Shooting in black and white moved me to consider WHY something caught my eye before taking the photograph. Often I found myself looking at pops or grades of color and realizing those probably weren’t going to have the effect I was going for in black and white.Instead I looked more for contrast and shape and texture, which showed up better, and I started to see some familiar things differently.

I think I’ll keep my camera set this way for a while, but the alluring colors of spring are just around the corner…



  1. I also took that class last year and enjoyed it so much! I really love all the textures you’re finding in your black and white theme, especially in plants and nature in general.

  2. I really love how you have isolated your images in your black and white world and really made them pop. Thank you so much for sharing them here. I’m looking forward to more!

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