There is almost nothing as timeless as a beautiful black-and-white landscape photo. For many, it is the purest form of photography. The genre conjures up thoughts of Ansel Adams out in Yosemite Valley, capturing stunning monoliths with his 8 x 10 view camera. Shooting with a digital camera doesn’t mean you can’t create your own stunning photos using the power of the Monochrome picture control. Not only can you shoot in black and white, you can also customize the camera to apply built-in filters to lighten or darken elements within your scene, as well as add contrast and definition.
The four filter colors are red, yellow, green, and orange. The most typically used filters in black-andwhite photography are red and yellow. This is because the color of these filters will darken opposite colors and lighten similar colors. So if you want to darken a blue sky, use a yellow filter because blue is the opposite of yellow. To darken green foliage, you would use a red filter. Check out the series of shots in Figure 7.10 with a red filter applied.
You can see that there is no real difference in contrast between the color and the black-and-white image with no filter. The red filter darkened the sky and made the green foliage much darker. I like my images to have strong contrast.
Other options in the Monochrome picture control enable you to adjust the sharpness, contrast, and even add some color toning to the final image.