Black and White vs Desaturation: Which One is Better for Photography?

Working on creating a better black and white photo? This can surely help.

Lots of photographers love black and white photography; we’re not the only ones for sure! When it comes to working with the format, it can be confusing how to go about working with those types of images. Awhile back, Adobe’s Sharad Mangalick gave us some great advice and told us about how both black and white and desaturation work. They’re quite different from one another and while many photographers who don’t know a whole lot about editing may go right for desaturation, it isn’t the best way for working with a black and white image. But why?

As you’ll see in our video tutorial, working with the selective color channels can help you make a better black and white image. How? Well here’s the reasoning. The desaturation effect robs the colors of any sort of information in them. So you instead need to work with the more basic and rudimentary edits. And that’s fine but it still isn’t efficient. When you convert to black and white, that color information is still there. And in this video we show you why your white balance still matters and your color channels are imperative.

If you’re one of those people who thinks black and white photography is the easy way out, get ready to guess again. Making a better black and white image can be intensive and it’s more about reflecting your own feelings in a photo. That can be done via tweaking of color channels, brightness, contrast, etc. In the same way that so many photographers fell in love with Kodak Tri-X, you can fall in love with black and white photography.

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Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.