One of the things I would like to do more this year is to process images in black and white. I’m a little clueless when it comes to many things in post processing, and I’m also not at that point where I see something in the field and think ‘that would look great in black and white’.

I’m hopeful that the more I try and process in black and white the more I will see things when out and about where the shadows and lines and textures make me realise that it would be a good shot for this style.

The shot above is of one of the main staircases at an old girls school/manor house. It was only when I sat down to process it that I thought I would try it in B&W to see how it looks; if an image isn’t working with me for some reason I’ve started to try and think of things which would help bring it life by asking myself various questions. i.e. would it look good in black and white? would it look better if you cropped to just one section? would it look great without the use of HDR? etc.

This is one of those that wasn’t really working for me, but I felt after changing to black and white it started to feel as if it was something I could use.

For interest, here is the original, normal EV, version as well as my original tone mapped version fresh out of Photomatix:

131 thoughts on “Staircase”

  1. Thanks John, I think a ‘favourites’ button would result in lots of cookies or a need to login to this site – perhaps further down the line. This image will be on Flickr shortly so you can do so then 🙂

    Jesse, thanks very much.

  2. Excellent work, this really punches up the image. I’ve been thinking a lot about doing more B&W also. This is inspiring… Have you tried Nik Silver Efex in Lightroom?

  3. Thanks Chuck, B&W can certainly be a visual impact in places – I’m glad you like this. I have not tried Silver Efex yet, and unfortunately it’s not in my budget for the near future. Perhaps I should try and sell an image or two and use the funds to buy more software 🙂

  4. Staircase[] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] []

    Thanks very much for your comments; thanks also to everyone who added this as a favourite and managed to push it up to #2 in Flickr Explore – appreciated.

  5. Fantastic B&W…sometimes you don’t know until you convert it to B&W that it SHOULD be in B&W, sometimes you just see it when you are out there taking the photo.

    Love this.

  6. StaircaseA really nice capture! =D
    Please, check my last picture. I will thank you ^^

    Seen in the interestingness archives. ( ?² )

  7. Absolutely! I sold an image to Nkon recently that they saw on my flickr stream and used the money for 1/3 of the cost of my new D7000. So I guess that means I gave it right back to them….. ;).

    Anyway, your photo was the last push I needed to get into B&W so next weekend I’m going to think in monochrome and start shooting.

  8. @Mike Thanks very much. I’m finding it easier to see what will/won’t work with HDR so I guess with practice the same will happen with B&W :o)

    @Chuck good going on the sale….I’ll wait for Canon to send me an offer :o) Also, glad I can motivate you – I look forward to seeing what kind of B&W you come back with.

  9. Staircase[] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] []
    Thanks very much for taking the time to stop by and comment.

    Thanks very much for your kind words, appreciated.

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