Something I am often asked at photo viewing sessions is whether people can buy the colour digital image and then convert it into black & white themselves. My answer to this is simple – no.
My first reason for saying no is that although I give a Reproduction Release with my digital images it does not give permission for the image to be edited. This is to protect my work as an artist. Of course I can’t stop people re-editing my images, but I always hope people would respect my work enough to not do this.
My second reason is that unless you know how to use Lightroom or Photoshop you are unlikely to be able to convert the image to black & white to a professional standard. No this isn’t me being big-headed. Below is a demonstration of why I believe you shouldn’t try to convert images into black & white yourself.
The top image is obviously my edited colour image. Underneath that is the result you would get if you took my image and simply converted it into black & white or greyscale. The image is flat and dull – it isn’t balck & white but shades of grey. At the bottom is how I edit my black & white images. Yes I start with a basic black & white conversion but I then spend another 5-10mins per image making it look perfect, giving it dimension and that wow factor.
So I hope this helps to explain why my answer is no to people doing this themselves. I’m not being pretentious or trying to up my sales. I’m simply trying to ensure that you get the best images possible and that my work is displayed in the way I intended it. Afterall wherever you display my image (in your home, on your desk at work or on Facebook) it is an advert for my work, which is why I want my images to look their best wherever they’re shown.