Alps at sunset - B&W

After many technical posts, I finally got my fingers back on some images from this winter.

Here is a B&W view of the Alps covered with snow:

What do you think?

You can see my web gallery here.

Thanks for looking!


Quite lovely! I’ve been struggling with digital b&w, I just can’t seem to make it good.

Perhaps you’d like to hold just a bit more detail in the highlight.

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Here is a subtle change in the highlights, following @paperdigits suggestion:


In most of the cases, and this image is no exception, I use several curve layers combined with opacity masks in order to balance the tonal ranges and emphasise the key elements. I tend to stay away from “local contrast enhancement” filters to avoid a fake look.

I do a decent bit of b&w, mainly because my subject begs it. Steam locomotives are usually predominantly black; with that and the surface textures they look really nice in monochrome, not to mention the historical connection. I usually up the contrast more than I would with color, sometimes crushing the deepest shadows because I like rich black tones.

I find a lot of textures lend themselves to the treatment, particularly wood grain.

In rawproc, I wrote a grayscale tool that lets you adjust the channel contributions to the gray tone. I also do not down-convert to a single channel; that way, I can go back and up one the channels to impart a non-black tone, e.g., sepia.

Back in the '70s, I shot Arizona with a friend who owned a Pentax with a 28mm wide-angle lens, and somewhat permanently mounted red filter. With b&w film, this would make white clouds just pop out of the blue sky. His subjects were the ghost towns and other ruins; he made some fine monochrome images in this fashion.

Seems like a destructive thing to do to a fine three-color image out of an expensive camera, but I just love the genre…

Edit: Should have stated this up front: @Carmelo_DrRaw, yours is an outstanding image…