XDrive Photo Lesson – 10 – Black & Whites

Raj’s Photo Less 10 is about black and white–why and when a photo needs to convert them to B&W; I always have hard time to decide which and when… Raj makes it easier for us to understand the B&W conversion. Sometimes, I choose the photo that has some white or black. Click to view the large version.

The one below was captured with iPhone.

There were many serious photographers everywhere in Rocky Mountain National Park. This beautiful young photographer climbed up to the top of the rock with her Canon D1 (7.2 pounds) and a heavy lens. As I was looking up, I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to photograph her.

1/800 sec. f11 ISO 100

Below was taken in San Francisco downtown with my iPhone.

Looking forward to hearing your critics, Raj!

Raj’s Photo Less 10


In addition to the critics and suggestions for our weekly submissions, Raj provides a Monthly Review for the XDrive Photo community.

Comment from Raj: Since the horse has longer face, I thought the longer frame would work better than the square frame:

Raj: Removed the “non contributing” horse and distractions from the image:

Raj: Just improving the framing: (I think Raj did more than improving the framing.)

Raj: If your image has something special, enhance it.

“Before” is my submission and “after” is Raj’s edit. He also did for other bloggers’ photos. Take a look.

Can’t thank you enough, Raj!

37 thoughts on “XDrive Photo Lesson – 10 – Black & Whites

  1. Thanks Amy and welcome back to XDrive after a break.

    Pic 1: Nice view of the lounge. Backlit conditions always make me think about converting any picture to B&W always. I think in this case too B&W looks better. Silhouette of a person or two would have added lot of drama to the scene!

    Pic 2: Once again your quick thinking which you always do, resulted in an excellent candid shot. I feel both the colour and the B&W would work here. There is a beautiful sky in the background, and a little bit of post-processing would turn them into a great picture for sure. However, I see the picture is not very sharp, especially the girl. Since she is the subject, I feel viewers are going to note that.

    Pic 3: Definitely I would vote for B&W. This shot is about shadows and highlights show here. Girl walking makes it special. I wished the girl to be a little bit closer to you, and you took this shot at from lower position. The right glass wall could have been avoided.

    This critical review is part of XDrive’s Photography Learning sessions. Thank you very much once again Amy

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for the critics, Raj!

      You are right, #2 is not sharp. It was a momentary decision for this one, I turned around and saw her.
      #3. I agree, it’d much better if she was a little close to me. At the moment, when she walked to the hallway, I had to wait, then shift my position to not include anyone else in the photo, thus two people were excluded (behind the columns), of course, she didn’t stop walking. 🙂 So glad you like this capture. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Pingback: Learn Photography – 10 – Black & White – XDrive

  3. Good afternoon, Amy. Welcome back! Wonderful black and white photos and each is unique. The first photo makes me feel like to go and sit there. The second one, I enjoy looking at her. The third, I like looking at lines and different shades of grey. So many things to think about… 😉
    Have a great evening.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your comment, Helen. I do admire this young lady who climbed up and down with so much weight on her shoulder… The 3rd one is one of those that you consider some factors, then you miss the moment. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, Amy, these edits are great. I also appreciate the information given. I prefer the first one in b&w. It seems to really emphasize the lines. The photographer in b&w seemed to make her clearer to me. I think I prefer the color in the last one. All of these are fantastic! Thanks for sharing.


  5. I liked the black & white version of the light coming through the windows. It was a very successful interpretation of the scene. I almost never turn color into black and white. If I feel it would have a better tone that way, I shoot it in black and white from the start. And if a color shot didn’t turn out as I intended it, I usually just throw it away. There was a time when we had to make that decision when we put the film in the camera, or in the choice of the camera… But even back then, I often felt in the mood for color or for black & white. They are almost like two similar languages.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Mr. Shimon, Thank you so much for sharing your experience of B&W photography. It’s not as easy as it looks like, as the tone, mood, and lighting can determine the the quality. I’m so thrilled to hear from you. 🙂


  6. I do like the 1st photo conversion. I agree with Raj about the focus, it did distract me from the intent of the 2nd photo. In the 3rd photo I agree that the woman is too far away to seem like she is part of the scene. I would have used selective colour and highlighted the sculpture. It was good to see what Raj did to your photos in explaining what he thought was better. Enhancing the photo is something I am getting used to as I like to show the photo as I took it. It is great to see the side by side comparisons. Thank you Amy 🙂


  7. Pingback: Learn Photography – Review – September – XDrive

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