When I made the decision to cut back on the number of weddings I made a decision to put more work in the weddings I do.
One of the things I started doing was double checking my edits, then triple checking and each time finding quick fast improvements that would make the pictures way better.
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(More about it in Posts to come)
After those looks I would go back through and select pictures I think would look great in black and white. Now days after working on thousands of these I can often spot the picture that will look best in B&W but sometimes I have to double check by converting it quickly and then converting it back.
In Lightroom the shortcut is “V” you can check to see if it has potential if it does make a virtual copy and then make the second copy the one that will be B&W the shortcut for virtual copies is ctrl+’
I often find myself selecting the pictures with the most emotion and usually my favorite pictures are given that second B&W look.
One extra benefit
An extra benefit from turning pictures B&W is that going through the pictures is yet one extra look at them. And when they’re in B&W you often pay so much closer attention to exposure levels because colors (specially bright colors) are not playing with your perceptions anymore. I’ll therefore turn B&W see what needs to be done and make corrections before I create the virtual copy… so i don’t have to do things twice. B&W is also great for paying closer attention to making things sharper.
In times past I would tell my clients I could turn their pictures B&W but hardly anyone made reqeusts of me… I took that as a compliment that I was practically perfect. haha But in the end I figure they just don’t know what it might look like, and they might choose pictures that don’t look good in B&W
A little more history is that when I first started photography I wasn’t a fan of B&W… it seemed like cheating to me. I’ve grown to love it and recognize for me it’s spot in my work.
Another fun thing I’m doing is creating a gallery of all the images from the session that I converted to B&W.
Usually I leave a copy in color because it often never fails that you do Only B&W and they’ll ask for the color… so if I just have B&W I either think the colors weren’t anything special or I was lazy and might pay for it later, it was probably an afterthought picture anyway.
To create a gallery of just B&Ws in Smugmug you’ll have to start in Lightroom (or similar program) keyword every B&W … I use the keyword “bw”
How to select all B&W the fastest… go to gallery go to the filtering options > select metadata options > change one of the columns to “treatment” > you’ll see you can filter by B&W > select them all > keyword them “bw” > then export > then upload to smugmug
In SmugMug: Add a new gallery seperate from the gallery that contains ALL pictures from the event the B&W gallery will be seperate with nothing to upload > when you get to the uploading section instead select Make Smart Gallery > select the from gallery option and select the gallery with all the pictures then add another qualifier and use that one to select by the keyword > then make sure to select the option that requires ALL requirements otherwise it will select all pictures from that gallery and all B&Ws you have on smugmug.
Anyway check to see if it works and then you have a gallery of all your B&W from that shoot