Adding a Black and White Filter to a Photograph

I have been exploring more special effects after I download my photographs to my computer, including adding the vintage looking black and white filter.

I have been wondering what a difference s monochrome look would make to a photograph. Would it let people look in a different way, or would the pictures not look very different at all? Does having colour matter? Let’s see.

I am joining Brian and showing off a gorgeous restaurant we visited in Paris some years ago, as well as a lovely picture of tuxedo cat Jess. I’d appreciate your opinion on any differences in atmosphere you can feel.

Paris Restaurant Vintage Look  Image

The Terminus du Chatelet restaurant is a short walk from the famous Theatre du Chatelet which opened in 1862. It is located in Les Halles in the 1st Arrondissement in the busy central area of Paris.

The restaurant was exactly what you would expect from an old Parisian venue and the food was delicious. We were given a warm welcome and enjoyed walking to the opera afterwards for a performance.

Paris Restaurant Black and White Filter

My second black and white filter is Jess from the cat cafe

She looks quite serious here but she can leap for a wand toy with the best of the youngsters.

Jess accepts strokes in tribute and often sits in the window where she is a magnet drawing people into the cafe! Jess has a fan club who always make a point of saying hello!

Going Black and White

I know the Paris picture has a more vintage-y look and with a sepia tint would definitely be picture postcard material, but what do you think of Jess? As a tuxedo already she is black and white but does the black and white picture look more intense?

I added an extra black and white photograph taken some weeks after this post went live. I made a conscious effort to keep the subject simple, which works better for black and white pictures, whether you shoot in black and white or change an image later with a filter.

Natasha – Black and White Portrait

Black and White Portrait

It’s an interesting experiment to try out the adjustable sliders and filters in Affinity or Photoshop Elements or on your smartphone. What do you think of these black and white explorations?

16 thoughts on “Adding a Black and White Filter to a Photograph”

  1. I’ve found that some black and white photos of the girls turn out excellent. I tend to try it out when the color isn’t quite right on a photo I’ve taken. Don’t get me wrong, I love color, but sometimes the lighting isn’t quite right.

  2. I think that black and white can also teach one a lot about composition and other useful things in photography. It’s fun as well as good exercise, I believe.

  3. I am a big fan of black-and-white photographs when they’re done with the correct image. It can look really creative and lovely! Your article makes great points and I think I’m going to try this a little bit more. Thank you!

  4. Filters are fun! I love b&w photography and digital makes it right at our fingertips now and to be able to have both color and b&w is awesome. I love your examples above with the monochrome, especially the street scene…I think it adds so much more depth and mood to the photos…almost timeless. Great post!

  5. I’m a big fan of black and white photography, but it really can change the mood of an image. Thanks for sharing these images and getting people to consider using filters to convert to black and white.

  6. Interesting. I guess I had a different reaction than most. Maybe because Jess is clearly the focus of the picture and she’s black and white already I didn’t even notice the picture wasn’t in color – I had to scroll back to see it and notice the change. The Paris shot is breathtaking in black and white. The color is nice too but the black and white filter really makes that one special.

  7. I think that black and white photography (and film for that matter) are an art form all of their own. Your photos are both beautiful in both color and black and white. I think that the kitty photo is very strong in black and white because it really focuses the photo on the kitty (takes away any “background noise” that might have otherwise been a part of the photo).

  8. I love love Black and White photos, I feel they say more than color as they also make you use your imagination more, love the photos.

    If I had a choice I would use it more

  9. I really like how the images turned out with that black and white filter. Some folks really can take a photo and add so much to it with this filter. I don’t usually use it with my photos, I haven’t found the right one yet, haha. Thanks for sharing. (dachshund station)

  10. I feel like black and white photos are so underappreciated. In HS I took a photography class where I learned to develop my own black and white photos. Ever since then I’ve really appreciated them. I know how to use a phone filter and Photoshop to turn photos black and white (so much easier than a dark room!) but I rarely do it. You’ve inspired me -I’ll have to play around with some of my photos and see which ones I like best in black and white.

  11. How interesting! The restaurant image looks timeless, almost lost in time, with the B&W. The kitty looks more like a portrait in B&W, more serious. I’m going to do more experimenting with filters!

  12. These are both lovely pictures. Black and white is one of the best filters to use, in my book at least. Gives a clarity of image and contect that sometimes the orginal lacks—maybe because there is less distractions for the eye to see and thus itsees more…..

  13. Sometimes the black & white adds just the right magic to a photo, good job! Thanks for joining the Thankful Thursday Blog Hop!

  14. Interesting experiment, Marjorie. I think the B and W Jess photo does make her look more intense. Without the color, the photo seems more serious, somber, and less warm. It’s fascinating how much the absence of color makes!


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