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Do you see in black and white?


One thing some photographers and filmakers talk about is ‘seeing in black and white.’

Whether they are shooting in black and white or colour, seeing in B&W is a useful skill to learn. If you can ignore the colour, you can tell whether an image will work or not when converted (or taken) in B&W. Also, what makes a B&W image good can also improve a colour image (contrast, use of light, shapes, form etc.)

So what happens if you can’t see in B&W?

Well, for some photographers, you don’t need to, you can let your camera do it for you. I discovered this while playing with my Canon 20D a few weeks back and love it. I shoot in RAW all the time, so any changes I make to the camera’s parameters: sharpness, contrast, saturation etc don’t affect the RAW file. Neither does the B&W setting!

It DOES affect the preview you get on the LCD screen, so you will see your photo in B&W immediately after taking the shot, but the RAW file will still have all of the colour information. So you can instantly tell if the shot will work in B&W but also still have the option of keeping it in colour.

This tip was submitted by DPS reader Neil Smith from Pic a Day.

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Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse

is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals.

He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips. Follow him on Instagram, on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+.

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