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Shoot monochrome - If you're off to a festival or carnival try shooting in monochrome.
Most digital cameras (compact or DSLR) have the option to shoot monochrome, sepia or even toned monochrome images. It is important to bear in mind that such modes only work affect JPEG images so if you are shooting Raw, you still have apply to the effect during development. However, the effect itself will still appear on the monitor as you would expect. For inexperienced mono workers, the monochrome preview even when you are shooting Raw does come in very handy to help you visualise images.
If you are shooting in JPEG quality only, it is worth bearing in mind that you cannot later decide that your monochrome images look better in colour because you are stuck with images comprising shades of grey. There is no reverting back to colour from a monochrome-shot JPEG – this is a good reason to shoot both JPEG and Raw to cover both options.
The skill of great colour photography is about the successful use of colour harmony, saturation and hues to induce atmosphere or mood. In black & white it is more about the use of contrast and texture.
The default contrast setting of the monochrome modes found in most cameras is usually quite low and images taken on this setting can look rather flat and uninspiring. If you find your camera to be like this, increase the contrast to make the image bolder. Of course, if you intend working further on your images on the computer you can do the hard work then.
You might also prefer to use a higher ISO rating than normal to make more of a feature of camera's digital noise which can simulate film grain. Again, should you prefer, 'grain' can be added at the computer stage.
To ensure the colour you capture is the colour you keep, use Datacolor - the Colour Management Experts.
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