I worked on a tiny little ad today that reminded me of a larger issue: The importance of converting color images to black & white without losing the feel of the original image.
Here’s an example using a photo of the Veranda Fireside Lounge at Rancho Bernardo Inn (Robert Miller, photographer). It clearly was lit very carefully to highlight specific elements and give the scene a feeling of warmth and depth.
The simplest way to convert the image to black and white is to just desaturate it and convert it to grayscale. At a glance this works fine, but in fact the image has lost a great deal of what made it so striking in color.
Fortunately, Photoshop makes it almost as easy to create a really good black and white conversion that retains the feeling of the original image.
Someone may think the different is insignificant, but the final image definitely does a much better job of getting across the feeling of the venue. Even if a viewer can’t point specifically to what’s different, they are sure to respond to it.