This image, taken along Mormon Row in Grand Teton National Park, has as western a feel as one could ask for. While the image was “nice” in color, I knew it didn’t have that something special that I look for, especially in an iconic scene. The dramatic clouds, mottled light and vintage theme made this an obvious choice for black and white. The wide range of tones from pure white to deep black gave the punch I had envisioned. While it takes some practice to get a feel for tone v.s. color, the results are well worth the effort. Importantly, as a large format photographer, I make all of my choices relative to the final image I envision before clicking the shutter. This is good practice, and helps increase your chances of success. (Don’t have the attitude that you can “fix it” later!)
Photo Tip: Pre-visualize whether the scene you are composing will be strongest in color or black and white. At that point you can use your judgement as to how to expose for the image, and whether to use different filters to prepare for the processing it may require. (ie-strongly polarizing an image to darken the sky in anticipation of greater contrast against white clouds in a black and white).