This is a guest post by Tom Dinning. Check out Tom’s free book offer on his site.
I’m partial to a bit of colour as much as the next photographer. Blue skies, turquoise ocean, verdant pastures all make for picture post card stuff.
But when it comes to emphasising textures, tones and forms of the landscape there seems nothing like a black and white image to draw out the best in these elements of composition.
If you are still working with B&W film you will understand what I mean.
If you are not, check out your camera and see if it has a B&W setting. This is a good starting point to get the feel for the tonal conversion and see if the shot will ‘work’ in B&W.
If you are halfway serious about getting the best results shoot in RAW and convert using the variety of options available on your favourite editing program.
My preference is for the B&W adjustment layer in Photoshop but it’s worth experimenting with the other options. They all give different results. My second best friend is Lightroom or Camera RAW. There are some great tutorials on the web that will explain everything.
When making your choice of scenery for B&W look for strong textures, areas of significant contrast and strong forms.
This doesn’t mean that these will produce great shots but its a good starting point. Once you get into it you will see there is potential in any shot.