Occasionally I make a street image that seems to work pretty well in color — and then I’m torn because I really think street works better in black and white. Such a thing happened here.
This is a street person and his two dogs napping in the morning sun along the Left Bank of the Seine in Paris. The first hurtle I had was whether or not to violate my own rule: Do not shoot the downtrodden. I made the image anyhow because his face was hidden behind his hat and, as a commenter on Google+ said when I posted it there, the image is “sad but sweet”. I would even argue that the man’s love for his dogs raises his dignity level beyond many in the crowd of business men walking by him that morning.
But I digress.
The one element that makes this picture in color is the little coin basket with blue highlights. While color is usually distracting in a street photo, in this case it pulls the eye easily to the important money basket. It is a significant part of the story and I didn’t want to lose it when I converted to black and white. The solution, however, was pretty simple. In the Develop Module in Lightroom I had only to make the black and white conversion and then adjust the Black & White Mix sliders to get the effect I wanted. In this case I drag the blue slider to minus 90, This brings the blue details in the basket to almost pure black and gives the coin basket the prominence I want in the image.
What do you think? Comments are always welcomed.