The end of June marks the end of the first half of a year in pictures. It also signifies the end of a month-long experiment in black & white photography for my 365 project. I’ve never really appreciated working in the B&W format. If anything, I prefer to treat my images with a dialed down vibrance setting (a control available in Adobe Lightroom which applies a much smarter algorithmic approach to desaturation) in order to mute colors without removing them completely. As such, I decided to embark on this project in order to hopefully gain some appreciation for working in this format.
Looking back over the month in review, I find the results to be somewhat mixed. By the end, I was starting to see my images in B&W and trying to compose the shots with that in mind. Some pictures certainly lend themselves towards that treatment. A low quality or high ISO image with lots of digital color noise can often be manipulated with much better results when color is removed. However, trying to pull a result out of other images sometimes just comes out severely lacking without any of the original color context.
If anything, maybe I’m now a bit more confident with tossing colors completely to the wind and open to making use of the Black & White format when I think it might work in the future. This exercise has given me some practice in understanding when those instances might be. In the end it comes back to the heart of what the 365 project stands for – the rigors of constant practice in order to learn and grow and continuing challenging artistic creativity.