Spanish River Beach in Boca Raton, Florida, USA

Black & White plus – Adding color to the gray

Never was it more fun to “play around” with photos in general but especially with
Black & White images than nowadays. Thanks to the digital progress and computer software made for that purpose. As you might know by now I love to see things a bit different at times,
pages on my website like “Composites” or “The way I like to look at things” demonstrate this sufficiently I guess. The possibilities in photography to shoot Black and White are endless as it seems anyway, but combined with all the possibilities post-processing of RAW files offers, 
the playing field got a lot bigger. So big in fact, that it's almost impossible to see to what else this might lead. I am having fun with it as you can see in this category “Black & White plus”. 
Here I show you how I play with Black & White and colored photos.
At times I take some color away and other times I add some, just as I like it.
No rules, no regulations, just for fun. As you see this kind of digital manipulation brings out the best in a photo, I use it to highlight things I like in a shot or "hide" things I don't like. 
Composite of wheat in gold and silver

Changing a photo in post-processing – Beautiful photo or great image?
“Playing” around with an image after a shooting has very little to do with photography in general but more so with a computer as well as software and everything with processing data in so-called post-processing. Most of all because it happens after the photo was shot and every change one would like to make can only be done when "working the data". Yes, digital photography has changed our way to "play" with our shots, mainly it has transferred the "playing time" to the end of the chain of events. This doesn't mean one can't be creative already at the shoot, it only means that there is no more time to be creative after the shot has been taken.  The only thing to know is after one has altered a photo in this digital manipulation process, it's not supposed to be called a photo any longer, because it has very little to do with what the photographer saw when he took the shot. Once it's altered from reality it's converted from a photo to an image. I think this goes back to the fact that the majority of photographers didn't do digital work so much in the past and therefore didn't want to be compared to the ones who did. Which is perfectly understandable because it would be a comparison of apples and oranges. But also, almost every impressive shot I've seen in the past years was altered in a way. But, and this is the difference, not to the extent that it had changed or distorted reality.

Shooting in raw mode gives you a huge advantage
There are many ways to alter a photo in post-processing. One of them is to focus on color. It starts by desaturating the whole photo and converting it into a black and white photo, giving certain colors more brightness or/and contrast, lightening up the shadows or darken the shot more and it ends with substituting specific colors. I just love to accentuate certain parts of a photo by substituting at least one color. Since I always shoot in RAW mode and keep my files in raw, it’s always a possibility long before I took the shot to change the colors around. To do so with the smaller jpg.-files, the quality of the image suffers. I had cool results in the past with this process and I intend to continue to "play around". After all, it also makes “boring photos” more interesting and worth looking at it. Check for yourself and look at the gallery on this page.  I collected some of my "processed images" in this category, "Black & White plus". It's called "Black & White" because almost always the basis will be a converted black and white image. The “plus” stands for additional color.  

Save a shot and create something special with it
In my photography I always have shots I would rather delete and never show. Photos which only take storage space away. Sometimes shots just don’t work out as planned. So what to do with them? Pressing the “delete” button? Over the years I developed a system to which I stick since. If I believe that I can’t repeat the shot ever again and it hadn’t turned out the way I wanted it to be, I store them for "use in post-production". It rests in the folder "Last effort to save it". I might spend hours on these files to rescue them later on. But if I can find something interesting to do with it, I will keep it and use it for either this category or I'll use it for a composite. Certainly, not all shots are material to be saved, some really go faster to the trash than it took me to release the shutter. But don’t get me wrong, not all of the photos in here are “saved mistakes”, I sometimes shoot with the intent to use photos this way. As I said before, I love to show my photos the way I see the world sometimes. And yes it might be different from others. Thank God – it would be boring otherwise!
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