I adore black and white photos. The simplicity allows for emotion to shine through. I use a simple trick to enhance my black and white photos so the eyes pop. The photo editing program I use is Picasa (free by Google) but this simple trick can be used on almost any photo program (and you don’t need any photoshop knowledge).
Before and After
Below are the instructions for how to do this on Picasa but essentially, there are three editing options you need (and you can even do this on your smart phone which I go into further below):
- Black & White
Select the black paint brush tab (third across) and click the B&W button.
Click to the lighting tab (second across) and adjust the fill light so the picture looks washed out (I slide the bar close to the right hand side).
On the same lighting tab (second across) adjust the shadow guide to the right, putting depth back into the photo.
The same principal can be used on your mobile. For example, below is a picture I converted using Instagram (most mobile phones will have black & white/brightness/shadows options and that is all you need).
First is the original picture. I like it how it is, but the emotion here between sisters is so adorable, and I wanted to try it in black and white. The second picture is the default Inkwell filter on Instagram. Most smart phones will have a black and white option so you don’t need to use Instagram if you don’t want to. The last picture is of a slight edit which I’ll detail below. It’s only a subtle change, but this simple trick will give images a slight edge.
1. Convert image to black and white (or INKWELL if using Instagram)
2. Click the tools (spanner) and select BRIGHTNESS
3. Turn the brightness right up, even more than you think looks quite right (slide the bar right).
4. Okay the BRIGHTNESS changes (the tick) and then select SHADOWS.
5. Increase the shadows (slide the bar to the left) a little until you are happy with the depth (and press the tick to accept).
That’s it. Experience with it a bit to see how much brightness vs and how much shadow to put back to get a feel for it.
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