For a while now I’ve been meaning to do a series of black and white photographs of the Southwest. I’ve made a few trips to the National Parks of Utah recently with this in mind . This series has photographs from Arches, Capitol Reef and Canyonlands National Parks, and Valley of the Fire State Park. In particular, I tried to find images that featured trees. Many of the trees in these parks are old or dead. Their twisted and gnarled shapes make for some wonderful compositions. Perhaps my favorite trail was the Navajo Knobs trail in Capitol Reef. This trail has volcanic rock and a plethora of dead junipers that make for perfect black and white compositions.
Black and White Conversion Process
I like to create contrasty black and white images to highlight these features. I start with a color digital file. I use the high contrast red filter in Photoshop to achieve this effect. I start with the presets of the filter and then adjust the individual color levels accordingly. I often lower the yellow percentage just a little and lower the Cyan and Blue levels even more to darken the sky.