"A good bit of advice I was given early on about editing black and white was to always push it too far initially," says Chris. "When you move a slider along in your post-production software, there's going to be a window where the image looks good. If you go beyond that it looks bad; go below that and it's not enough," he continues. "But if you start from having done too much and bring it back, then the end result is pretty much the most you can get away with."
Surprisingly, colour can be a really important tool in editing monochrome. "When you convert to black and white in your editing software, it will give you access to colour channel sliders," he explains. "Because colour can be a tool to create contrast, when you're editing, you can identify where colour is playing that role and instead create contrast tonally."
There are usually six colour sliders, depending on your software, each affecting the luminance of a different colour channel. In a landscape shot, for example, you can change the tone of the sky by adjusting the blue and aqua sliders, and the tone of vegetation with the yellow and green sliders. The red slider can be useful if there's brick buildings, while the orange slider can help to improve skin tones in portraits.
"The most difficult scenario to work with is probably rocks next to grass," explains Chris. "When you convert that to monochrome, it can appear as a mid-tone mush where neither one stands out against the other. If you go into your editing software and change the brightness of the green and yellow channel, the rock stays the same but the grass becomes brighter. With flowers you can use the channels to separate tones in different parts of the plant."