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Abandoning colour!?

I admit the title of this little write-up is surely a little provocating but today I would like to share a very intense, if not game changing experience for me that I had a few days ago.

As a little background information you should know, that for the longest time I always admired the beauty of black and white landscape photography. I always enjoyed Richards and Andrews work for example. I tried a few myself but never got a nearly satisfying and artistic result. Richard already tipped me off to the Silver Efex Pro plugin which he is using but somehow I never got around playing with it.

Back to the real story…

I went to meet my friend and photographer Kai Tikkonen to make a few prints of mine in his studio. When I arrived he was working on an image using the exact same plugin. Of course I immediately had to try it myself. With his darkroom experience and his exquisite taste Kai showed how to achieve a good B&W conversion. And man what could say…the print blew my mind! We printed it on a very thick Tecco high-quality paper and framed it nicely with a beautiful paasepartout. Couldn’t be more beautiful. I was amazed how much bigger the impact of the B&W print was. I had it at home a few days and couldn’t stop looking at it. Did I mention I would also sell those?

Afferwards we converted a few more images of mine (which I intended as a colour image) and printed them. When comparing the the colour and B&W versions of the images, I enjoyed much more the depth of the B&W’s.

At home I immediately downloaded the plugin myself and started to learn how to use it. While I’m still learning on how to get more familar with the software, I have more and more the feeling, that I start to prefer the B&W versions of my images the more I work with it. I enjoy their depth, the timelessness and their sheer elegance.

Will I now abandon colour completely? Of course not, but I have the feeling you are going to see a lot, lot more B&W’s here on my blog as I dig deeper into that.

So, please stay tuned for upcoming updates on my blog. The first shot should be up during this week.

PS: This post is also a little experiment, as we are trying some changes in Pixyblog’s API and this post is entirely made on the iPhone using WriteRoom and iBlogger.

  1. Nice post Sven. Looking forward to your upcoming ventures into B&W and the Silver Efex plugin. Good job on the iBlogger posting too… I'll get a PixyBlog on your phone news article up soon.

  2. Sven, I have also always been interested in B&W but have done little with my own images. I was never thrilled with my results. I've heard of Silver Efex Pro but have not invested in it at this point. I look forward to seeing your results.

  3. Thanks for all your comments. This Silver Efex Pro is really awesome. I'm somehow missing a few features there which would it make perfect. Either way, I love it.
    @Stefan: Could be a good idea. Would like to know how to use it better first myself. But maybe in the future.

  4. That's the fun thing about photography. There are so many avenues that we can explore, so many new paths we can take. The problem is that people are sometimes resistant to change or explore a new path. I look forward to following your adventure.

  5. @Laurie: You're right. There are so many paths to go, even when sticking to the same subject as in my case.
    I just love how the B&W adds so much more atmosphere to an image, and somehow draws more focus on the scene due to the absence of colour. Also interesting is that it forces someone to different composition or shooting style. I already noticed/learned that not every image is suitable for a B&W conversion. At least it feels like it.
    Hopefully I find some time to shoot soon again.

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