Winter is often the best time to look for unique scenes that can become great black and white images. The amount of daylight is shortest in winter and the sky is often overcast, which makes the amount of time for outdoor photography limited. The white snow and the dark trees in the mountains are a good contrast and often are one scene for a good photograph. Go farther than good and create the stronger black and white photograph by using the following tips and suggestions.
What makes an image unique is looking for that added element, which in this image is the reflections into the icy waters of Smiley Slough in western Montana. To create such an image as the one here you will want to keep your digital camera in a large ziplock bag in your camera bag for several minutes before and after using your camera outdoors. The ziplock bag will lessen the possibility that your camera will accumulate condensation, which can cause troubles for the camera lens and electronics. This will keep the “foggy” look off your lens and allow your camera to adjust to the elements (going outside to the cold and inside to the warm house or apartment).
To create the image above I set my DSLR as follows: RAW, an ISO of 200, F16, in camera monochrome settings, no filters on or in the camera, and had the camera on AV (this setting permits me to change the F-stop, while the camera sets the shutter speed). In post processing I cropped the image in close and adjusted the highlights along with the shadows, and added the watermark.
What have you scene recently that would make a good black and white photograph? Do you shoot your photographs in color and then convert to black and white in a software program? Do you believe that black and white photographs are more difficult to create than color? How often do you create black and white photographs?