Not too long ago, our little family made a trek to Pennsylvania for a family reunion on my husband’s side. It was one of those sweltering summer days where the sun is blazing hot, you’re dripping sweat, and you squint even with sunglasses on.
The kids were able to beat the heat with a good ‘ol fashioned baby pool, water table, bubble machine, and slip and slide.
You may have hear the the photography tip somewhere before “Don’t take photos in the mid day sun”
It’s true that direct daytime light can be tricky to shoot in, but there are still ways to position yourself to keep harsh light and shadows in check.
I think more than this, it’s difficult to shoot in sunlight because it’s hard to review your work on your playback screen to decide if the shots you just snapped were good or not!
On this particularly sweaty summer day I found myself squinting at the camera looking at my photo thumbnails wondering if anything I just shot was worthwhile or if I was going to have to throw away every single image.
You’ve been in this place before too, yes?
The place where every one of your thumbnails looks dark. So you keep fiddling with settings to get something you think will be brighter.
Then you get home, load the images onto the computer, only to discover that those shots you THOUGHT were amazing are indeed over exposed, blown out, and otherwise terrible snapshots.
However, you might not be so fortunate and are instead looking at a folder of over exposed images.
What if I told you that you could edit your way out of this mishap and others as well?!
Black and White Processing
Today I’m sharing 3 scenarios that will have you keeping more photos by simply converting them to black and white:
1) When your image is too bright or overexposed
Photos that are WAY overexposed unfortunately hard to edit and typically need to be tossed. However, slight overexposure (as seen here on her hair, skin, and shirt) will often be able to be salvaged with a black and white conversion. I aimed for more of a matte black and white here to try to eliminate some of the glow you get from the overexposed areas. Looking for a simple matte black and white tutorial? Click HERE.
2) When your white balance is off
White balance is the color tone in your image. Oftentimes when you’re shooting indoors at night and/or you have many competing light sources (window light mixed with bulb lights for example) your photos can turn out looking too orange or yellow. Or sometimes if we’re standing next to a wall that’s green or blue (or any other color for that matter) we can get photos with strange color casts. Color casts and white balance issues can oftentimes be fixed (just give this tutorial HERE a watch). But, for a quicker fix, black and white is always an option!
3) When you have too many competing colors in your image
Sometimes there are just too many competing colors in our photos. Take this image for example. We were shopping at one of the mega big box retailers and you can see all the clashing oranges, pinks, blues, reds. My eyes don’t know where to focus! By converting to a bold black and white, my eyes are immediately drawn in to Brielle’s striped dress which is exactly where they should be. If you want tips on getting your own bold black and white edits check out this tutorial HERE.