Some time ago I received several requests to share my B&W post processing. I mentioned that I would carefully think about it. From a pure technical point of view it sounds like a legitimate question to me. It really does, but what would be my benefit and how would someone else benefit from my explanation? This really bothers me. I believe in inspiration, ideas, and creativity. Together with dedication and the willigness to learn and practice a lot, it can make you a better photographer. Post processing is certainly part of the deal, but only just a part.
First comes the image taking/making. I sometimes get the feeling that people think they can save their images with some post processing. A new crop, fixing an over- or underexposure, dealing with wrong white balance. I do some post processing too for some contrast tweaks, dodging and burning, but I really want to keep it to a minimum. And I can keep it to a minimum when I get stuff right in the beginning. Now do I dimminish the post processing part? Of course not. But in particular with digital photography it seems to be over emphasized in my opinion. We all would like to see imminent progress and maybe we can see best progress with our post processing.
I decided not to write a new article about my B&W post processing. I use the tools and knowledge many others do too. That is, a camera, looking for subjects, finding good light, enjoying the moment, and when I get home selecting some photographs and editing these in Photoshop or Lightroom. There is not a single technique I use, but multiple and it all depends on the photograph and the intended look. For me getting out and taking the photographs is the bread and the editing just the butter. I almost always use the B&W jpegs and process these (, but does that really matter?). That is it. I prefer to enthusiast myself and hopefully others too. I would love to see everyone to get out, to practice and learn, learn, learn. For me, there was no greater thrill then figuring it out myself. That is what matters to me.
All photographs by Wouter Brandsma
Update: As requested by Cam see here the first photograph also in color.