People often ask me if bears are color blind and the answer is no, they can see in color like humans, which really helps them locate certain types of vegetation and berries when browsing. Other predators like dogs and cats are colorblind, however, for a reason—color can be a distraction when locating moving or camouflaged prey. In fact, the army once used color blind troops to see enemy bunkers that were camouflaged by colors, because they could distinguish shapes more easily.
Recently I have become more and more attracted to black and white images, which can sometimes hold more power, romance and mystery than color images, as one can focus only on the contrast, lines and shapes, and not be distracted by colors. Subjects that are either black or white work very well, as does an either dark or very light landscape because you are looking for contrast. I have recently really enjoyed converting images of polar bears and ravens to monochrome in Adobe Lightroom. Here are some of my favorites so far.
The best part of modern-day photography is one’s ability to change the image after he or she is back home from the field. Making black and white images in Lightroom is as easy as a click of the mouse, and slide the darks darker and the whites whiter to show contrast. I have heard about a special plugin for Lightroom called Silver Efex Pro which possesses tools like Dynamic Brightness, Soft Contrast, Amplify Whites, Amplify Blacks, and the advanced Grain Engine. I have heard great things about it, and am thinking of getting it for myself for Christmas. If I do, I’ll give you guys an update on how I like it. Happy shooting and editing!