Chapter 13. Going Old School with Black-and-White HDR

In This Chapter

  • Seeing in black and white

  • Converting color to black and white

  • Using Photoshop to supercharge your black and white in HDR

  • Colorizing black-and-white images

HDR in black and white? I can hear the exclamations from here. Why go to all that trouble to photograph multiple brackets of a scene, lovingly tone map it, and then throw away all that hard-earned color data? Why, for heaven's sake, take a modern digital camera with more computing power in it than the Apollo moon program and go so freakishly retro? Why? You're just fooling yourself! You take the photo in color, generate the HDR in color, tone map it in color, and then pretend to create a black-and-white "photograph." It's all nonsense!

Yes. Yes. Yes, and yes. It is.

Black-and-white HDR photography is a lot like love. Yes, love. You can rarely explain it, and it's hardly logical. I love thee, because thou satisfiest the rational in me. Pshaw. Black-and-white HDR photography satisfies the creative artist bent on love in all of us. We love it because it is, and that's what this chapter is about: describing it a bit, and then showing you how to turn your HDR photos into spectacular black and white.

Going Old School with Black-and-White HDR

Seeing That Special Something

In general, you should convert an HDR photo to black and white for the same reasons you would convert any other photo. Those reasons boil down to aesthetics ...

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