Black and White VS. Color

This is not at all a new topic, the idea of choosing when to convert images into black and white. Ever since i started in aviation photography a couple of years ago, i have slowly converted some images. The problem that seems to arise is when. The fact these planes are seventy years old creates an overwhelming feeling that they should always be in black and white. It just creates that nostalgia old world feel. In a way there is a seduction with the images in black and white which can be just addicting and that’s where the problem lies. It can be over done.

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This past month the folks and myself were down in Florida for Photoshop world. Dad’s precon was at Fantasy of Flight, which is an incredible museum/theme park and one of the planes in particular caught my eye. This PBY was in great shape considering there aren’t many left flying nowadays. Well i shot the plane from many angles, tight and wide, and afterward i discovered something interesting about the plane. The PBY is probably one of the best planes to turn into a black and white image, here’s why. This particular plane has a white point, the star, and a black point, the nose so the two basics of a good black and white are already there. No how intense those colors are are entirely up to the photographers discretion. The other powerful element this plane has is its wing span. These planes have a really long wing and it shows in an image. It is so long that below 24mms you have to be careful otherwise that line will start to bend. That line is just so powerful that it does bring the eye in. It’s one of those planes that just needs to be photographed.

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Images captured with Nikon D3, AF-S 24-70, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

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