Photography by Lola Akinmade Akerstrom

I hardly convert my photos into black and white. Not because I’m not a fan of the genre. I am and love how black and white can convey strong emotions. However, I do prefer color because the world is too beautiful and too vivid not to be immortalized in its vibrancy. You should read my friend Karen Walrond of Chookooloonks post called The Vibrancy of Color, The Starkness of Black-and-White. Even my favorite photography resource which I use for my imagebank, Photoshelter, published a fantastic blog post worth reading titled Is Black and White Photography a Gimmick?

So last week when photographer Kim Wildman and buddy Scott Skinner tagged me to participate in the 5-Day Black and White Photo Challenge (#BWPhotoChallenge across social media), I jumped on the opportunity because I also wanted to illustrate a photo tip I use sometimes.

Before I delete a photo, I do a quick mental assessment to see if converting it to black and white could make it stronger. By stripping it off color and increasing constrast, you can make an otherwise boring color photo a lot more interesting. Mostly because black and white photography in all its glory is also a lot more forgiving than color photography and many photographers know this.

So for the challenge, I shared the following five photos focusing on street scenes around Stockholm and I’m sharing them alongside their color counterparts so you see what I mean.

Day 1 of #BWPhotoChallenge  – Medborgarplatsen in Södermalm, Stockholm 

Stockholm black and white photography by Lola Akinmade Akerstrom

Akerstrom_BW_003

Day 2 of #BWPhotoChallenge  – Winter scene by Central Station a few years back in Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm black and white photography by Lola Akinmade Akerstrom

Akerstrom_BW_001

Day 3 of #BWPhotoChallenge – A waiter sets a table in Gamla stan, Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm black and white photography

Day 4 of #BWPhotoChallenge  – Revelers celebrating International Pillow Fight Day at Sergels torg in Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm black and white photography by Lola Akinmade Akerstrom

Akerstrom_BW_002

Day 5 of #BWPhotoChallenge – Buskers in Gamla stan, Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm black and white photography by Lola Akinmade Akerstrom

Akerstrom_BW_004

So instead of just deleting that color photograph, why not convert it to black and white to see if it can be saved?