Over on my black and white blog, Monochromatical, I recently posted a photo taken on a snowy day at a bus stop in London.
I have huge admiration for photographers who venture out in inclement weather, but I am not one of those photographers. That photograph was taken on a damp, cold, but not snowy day. Here’s how I did it.
Above is the original colour image. It was uninspiring and, to be frank, a little dull. When I took it, I knew that I would eventually use it as a black and white, though.
So this is the black and white conversion, but it doesn’t look bleak enough for the way I had pre-visioned it.
After some dodging and burning, I felt it was getting there, but still not quite bleak, and the white bit of sky is a bit annoying. What it needs is snow!
So, after making a snow brush (yes, really) and fiddling around with huge amounts of snow, I decided on just a drizzle of flakes blowing in the wind. The blank sky is still annoying me, though.
So some black snow in the sky, and it is finished.
Well, it did – sort of. The out of camera image is the one below.
It is fairly similar in many ways, but I use Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop on all of my work, and on this image I only used Lightroom.
The first thing I did, was to boost the exposure by about a stop. But I also like to add contrast in an image. I don’t simply mean luminance contrast – making the whites, whiter and blacks darker. I like to add colour temperature contrast. Increasing the colour temperature of brickwork really makes it stand out, so I used an adjustment brush to do that on the brickwork at the far end. There was already sufficient luminance contrast caused by the spotlights shining onto the wall, so I didn’t feel the need to add any more there.
In order to add colour temperature contrast to the image I then used a graduated filter from the bottom of the image to add a cooler temperature in the lower portion of the image.
Anyway, that is the before and after process, for those who might be interested.