Black & White vs Color -- One Morning at Pilates ProWorks Burlingame

It was almost a year ago that I responded to a Craig's List posting for a photographer looking to do work at a fitness studio for trade.  I figured I'd volunteer and get in some practice.  I didn't realize that it would be so much fun and challenging at the same time!  I've been back several times since then and each time there's always something new that I need to find a solution for!

Here are two shots from the most recent shoot.  I went straight for the black & white conversion from a strictly artistic standpoint, primarily because the black & white photo produced a more dramatic look.  I'll provide the color photo first and the black & white image second.

ISO 800   16-55mm f/2.8 lens at 55mm   f/2.8   1/250sec   1/1 flash power, dual flashes bounced off ceiling

The first image probably works better for flyers and advertising, but I think the second one works better from a journalistic standpoint.  The lines become more apparent, especially with the angle of the arms of the lady in the foreground vs the lady just in front of her.  The angle of the arms stand out more.  Sometimes colors can actually be distracting, especially the pink and the red.

This next photo is actually my favorite of the day.  I think it works as either color or black & white, but again, the black & white one tells more of a story.

ISO 1600   16-55mm f/2.8 lens at 55mm   f/2.8   1/850sec

What kind of story does the above photo tell?  I think it says grace and strength.  Again, at least to me, the color photo has, well, distracting colors.  The black & white photo draws my eyes directly to the subject and her form as she sits on the pilates reformer machine.  I like the way also that her fingers are extended, as some people do just before getting a firm grip o something; it just adds to the feel of the image.

Both images were converted to black & white using the green filter in Lightroom. 

I'm ever thankful to Annabelle, who's the owner of the Pilates ProWorks Burlingame franchise, for letting me get in much needed practice with my cameras.  My first shoot at her business was a rejuvenation of sorts for me as it was the first client shoot I did after my mom died.  You have to get back on your feet somehow, and this was a great way for me.

If you want to be a better photographer, you have to keep taking pictures.  It doesn't matter who or what, just make sure to take the photo and try to tell a story.  Each click of the shutter is another lesson learned.

Gear used:  Fuji X-H1 (yes, I upgraded), Fuji XF 16-55mm f/2.8 lens, Yongnuo 560 flashes and trigger (yes, in the first shot the light was bounced off the ceiling!)