University of Washington campus: Digital black-and-white studies
This is an exciting time for digital black-and-white photography, because so many critical pieces are now in place. Digital SLRs give us clean, detailed images with 12 bits of flexible color and tonal information. New black-and-white conversion tools in Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Camera Raw 4, and Adobe Photoshop CS3 provide a high degree of control over how color translates into tones. And for the final print, advanced monochrome inksets give us archival prints with a long tonal scale.
I recently wandered the University of Washington campus looking for black-and-white subjects. It started out as a cloudy day, but that turned out to be a good exercise once I challenged myself to look harder for contrast. I shot in Raw mode and used the excellent grayscale conversion tools in Adobe Lightroom 1.0 to enhance contrast by changing the mapping of color hues to tones. The new tools are easier, faster, and more powerful than the old Channel Mixer techniques in Photoshop.