Reader Question: B&W in the Fall

by Joseph Linaschke

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Reader Tim Learmont asks:

It’s that time of year where I live that leaves turn color and drop off. I’m still very new to B&W photography, and am finding it hard to imagine good B&W images that still really evoke the feelings of this time of year. Maybe it’s just not possible for me because Fall is all about trees turning colors, but I was wondering how others are dealing with this.
— Tim Learmont

Tim, thanks for (another!) great question. I hope that some other readers chime in with examples here, as I think we could see some good ones.

Yes of course the obvious choice for fall is color, since that is, to a large extent, what it's all about. (Shameless plug: go see this post, too) However one of the things that makes a good B&W is a large range of contrast, and that's something you have plenty of this time of year!

Take the example below. I shot this over the weekend with your post in mind, and I haven't done anything else to the images in post — these are both straight out of camera (they are two separate photos, but of the same thing). I don't think many would argue that the color one is better, however with a little care and love, I think the B&W could be really good. I may take some of my better color photos from the weekend and try to convert them, just to see what I can do, and post a follow-up.

Does anyone else have any amazing Fall photos that have made excellent black and whites?