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Shoot in Color, Convert to Black and White Later

One of the best practices an experienced photographer should be aware of, is to shoot all of your photographs in color. Almost all digital cameras give you the ability to take images in black and white mode, but its not needed. Whether you’re using Photoshop, Elements, or even Picasa, all these software titles gives you the ability to convert your images to black and white later.

The reason to shoot all of your images in color even if you prefer black and white at times? Easy, more options. If you shoot in color, you always have the option of processing the image in either color or black and white. If you shoot your images in black and white mode right out of the camera, you lose the ability to process the image in color later. Why limit your options?

Knowing a lot of photographers over the years, my students, readers, or my contributing to and lurking in online forums, I’m amazed at the frequency photographers upgrade their cameras. Some upgrade every time a new replacement comes out for their already very serviceable cameras. I can understand that, photographers are gadget junkies, and I’m no exception. Personally, I’d rather spend my money on other things, like travel, college tuition for the kids, or a new bathroom.


In summary, if I would have shot this image in black and white mode in-camera, I wouldn’t have the option of utilizing the image in color. As you can see, in color, the image has a lot of color and impact. Its just as much dramatic in black and white. This image of the Eye in London is a good example of why you want to give yourself both options for an image, color and black & white.

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