March: Highlight Reel, Black and White

Black and white as a theme is always something that sounds so simple in theory, but when it comes to execution there is so much that can come into play that takes an image from "good" to "great." This month I really felt like so many of you really elevated the images to the next level, and LOVED selecting a handful of my favorites for the March highlight reel!

X's and O's,


Rocio Marin Perez

Gear: Canon 6D sigma 35mm 1.4

Settings: Iso 1000, F2.5, 1/320

The Shot: I was putting laundry in the balcony, I saw the moment, and asked my girls to hold a second… need that memory

Post Processing: Edit in LR, deep the shadows and bring exposure/clarity up for my girls

Kelly Dunn

Gear: EOS R6, 35mm

Settings: ISO-100, f1.8, 1/100

The Shot: I saw the light coming through about an hour before sunset and caught her reading on the floor. I love how the light around her hair frames her and the scene!

Post Processing: I opened in LR and added a black and white preset from Holly Nicole's set. I then finished in PS adding some more contrast and a little grain

Michelle Kirkby

Gear: Canon Mark IV, 35 mm

Settings: iso 800 f/2.8 1/250

The Shot: I saw the framing through the set of doors and quickly grabbed my camera.

Post Processing: adjusted white balance and upped exposure, added a B+W preset from Susan Grimes (my fav), slight crop and brushed up exposure on my son

Nicole Moss

Gear: Canon R6 with Canon RF 28-70 at 35mm

Settings: 1/50 f6.3 ISO 1600

The Shot: My daughter was trying to get some privacy using the ipad for homework. Her grandpa the week earlier had been telling her and her sisters about corded phones and how you'd get a really long cord and shut yourself in a closet if you wanted privacy for a phone conversation when he was a teen. The girls thought that was crazy so I thought this was even funnier when I saw this because it's like the modern equivalent. I laid on the floor for this shot and used an aperture that would get both the toes and the plug in focus.

Post Processing: Edited in LR to convert to black and white and adjust the tone curve to get those little toes to show up better. Used transform to straighten the lines on the door and opening. Increased texture.

Aiko Austin Wakao

Gear: Canon 5D Mark III

Settings: ISO100, F22, 1/10s

The Shot: Looking for balance and composition while playing around with shutter speed

Post Processing: Edited in Lightroom

Lauren Spahr Johnson

Gear: Sony A7iii with Sony 24mm

Settings: ISO 250 f2.2 1/640

The Shot: We were biking and I initially intended to capture reflections in the puddles as it had rained that day. She loves us to play tag on the bike and I loved the emotion so much more in the series where I was chasing her, as this fits her personality to a tee.

Post Processing: I used a Virginia Greuloch Connected preset in LR and liked how the B/W accentuated 1) the mud on her face 2) her missing and half-grown teeth and 3) the motion in her hair. It also allowed me to minimize the orange safety fence that ran along the frame and distracted from the subject in color

Wendi Matt

Gear: Nikon D750, Tamron 35 1.4mm

Settings: ISO 100, f/4.0, SS 1/500

The Shot: I saw the light coming in through the window while my son was in the bath, so I ran and got my camera! I exposed for the highlights, increasing exposure by 1 stop so that I could make sure my shadows weren't clipped and my highlights weren't blown. I still ended up having to increase my exposure in post but luckily, the ISO was low enough it didn't have too much noise

Post Processing: I increased exposure, adjusted white balance and converted to black and white, I decreased highlights and increased blacks to eliminate clipping. I played around with the HSL panel to adjust different parts of the image and finally used the transform tool to straighten up the lines as much as possible.

Sarah Noël

Gear: Canon 5D MkII, Lensbaby Sweet 35

Settings: ss 1/8000, ISO 800

The Shot: We were in a public pool and there was this very small pocket of light right by the ladder. I waited for my daughter to walk by to capture her wet legs and feet

Post Processing: Edited with the Exhale preset from the CM Elements and reducing the highlights

Reynada Head

Gear: Canon R6, 50mm 1.8 lens

Settings: 1/320 at f/ 1.8, ISO 100, 50mm

The Shot: Shot in camera in monochrome. I can’t “see in black and white” and doing this has been a huge help all around. I adjusted my settings in manual as usual, this time to f/ 1.8, ISO 100 then adjusted shutter speed according to light. I squat down low to the ground as my little guy ran up the embankment of our pond. Tapped autofocus and shot as fast as I could. He was running almost wide open.

Post Processing: First edit process was in Lightroom Classic. I switched the treatment to black and then selected camera profile then used a preset that I recently created. I went back and fine tuned the grain. I increased the contrast, texture and clarity then knocked down the highlights, shadows, whites and blacks until I was content with the over all presence. I looked for a good area to add in some light leaks. This is something I’ve never done before, therefore I took my time with it. Spot edited out a small distraction. Then I grabbed a radial filter and made it narrow and long. Within the settings for the radial filter I increased the exposure, highlights, shadows and whites then knocked down the clarity to add softness to it. Duplicated the first filter then carefully placed them radiating out from one spot, onto my toddler. Exported to Photoshop and adjusted the levels.

Devyn Pulliam

Gear: Nikon d750 and sigma 105mm macro

Settings: f6.3, iso 1250, 1/160

The Shot: I liked the sharp contrast of the dark green and white dots on this plant.

Post Processing: Converted to bw in Lightroom. Started with the LR preset punch and tweaked adjustments from there.

Kimberly Mitchell Lema

Gear: Canon EOS 5D mark iii

Settings: 1/800 sec @ f/4.0; ISO 200

The Shot: This one was a bit tricky as I had to pull her up high and hold her there with one hand and back button focus with the other.

Post Processing: Pretty Presets Black Beauty; increased the whites; dropped the shadows and dark tones; increased contrast

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