Toning images, Black and white

2014-12-01 10.04.28

In any picture in colour you have a colour contrast and the tonal contrast.

Colour contrast is based on the effect of complimentary colours.

Cyan and red, green and magenta, yellow and blue are the primary contrasts in colour.

Together they make for white light.

In a black and white image you don’t have that sort of contrast.


So nearly automatically the light in the image becomes the main expression.

A careful study of how the light spreads in colour images is a good way to come up with a plan for editing black and white images.

The only other means to create a sense of space in an image is the careful spreading of grey tones over the tonal range.

You’re free to choose how a certain colour will translate in a grey tone.

The goal should be to experience the light in an image.


Focussing on the light doesn’t mean that you have to make it nearly white.

Light on a rock looks entirely different from light on a skin.

And light can be experienced by subtle differences too.

If I experience three dimensionality in a print, my imagination gets triggered.

And that is when I want to pay attention to that image.