I have been moved by the B&W work of two fellow photographer on FB so I am taking up a challenge to do more in Black and White. (Besides, my first competition win was a B&W photo!) But I haven't done it much in a while so this evening I went out and began shooting more B&W. This doesn't mean everything I do in the next month will be B&W, but you should see more.
On that basis, this is a two for post. Both really caught my eye an made an impact on me; one funny and one serious.
So what was the lesson learned? Well, long ago I made the decision for shoot in RAW format instead of JPEG. Raw offers a greater flexibility in working with images in Lightroom or Photoshop. So I went out tonight and began shooting in B&W on my camera. I checked the review screen to see how things were going (this is called "chimping", especially if you do it every shot). Things looked ok, some better than most.
BUT when i got home I had a little surprise. I had wondered if I would be able to convert the images to color if I wanted to. (Lightroom and PS allow you to change from color to B&W but I didn't know if it would work the other way.) Weellll, the concern was unfounded. What I had forgotten is that when you shoot in RAW, NOTHING affects the digital image. The image seen on the LCD screen is the embedded Jpeg image that is inside each RAW file. That is why I saw an B&W image when I review the images on the LCD screen. But when I downloaded then to my computer and opened them up in Lightroom, I saw the Raw files Color Raw files that is.
A few simple adjustments in Lightroom put things back in B&W but some of the toning effects in Nikon cameras are not readily available in LR so I will redo those on a later day when I can reshoot in RPEG format instead of RAW . (They can be done in LR or PS but I don't have the time right now to work through that process).
Here are the results of my intial quest to do more in B&W (after processing them in LR)
(Left - What I saw when I downloaded my images)
(Right) What I expected to find)
Bottom line: What I forgot was not some technically intricate detail but rather the application of a basic concept in shooting Raw, like a foreign language that hasn't been used in some aspects for a while. I just hadn't had the occasion to keep current in it. Now I do.