Mike Williams Lecture: Mono conversion with Lightroom

The members of the Mid-Cheshire Camera Club (MCCC) were in for a real treat in this evening’s meeting. Mike Williams (picture above); a professional photographer specialising in Portrait and Wedding Photography based in Holywell North Wales, gave an in-depth talk and practical demonstration in the use of Lightroom and how it can be used to great effect to turn colour images into mono (black and white).

In recent years the club has acknowledged that its ‘Achilles heel’ was the lack of good quality mono images for submission in regional, county and inter-club competitions. MCCC put a plan in place to remedy this issue by encouraging its members to submit more mono images. Last year regular readers may well remember our annual theme competition was in fact “Mono” which was won by Ray Girling with ‘Walk in the Fog’ (see picture above). MCCC members took up the challenge by submitting over 65 images for this competition. This long term club plan has been used to enhance our entry for the ‘Five Towns Photographic’ Competition which is a mono only competition involving camera clubs from Alsager, Crewe, Nantwich, Sandbach as well as ourselves. Over whelming feedback from members at the end of last year’s season has resulted in the club investing in more mono based technical and practical meetings. Inviting Mike to our club is part of our medium term aim to enhance and upskill our members’ abilities in this specialised genre.

Mike provided a packed Dingle centre of over 30 members the full understanding and benefit of his years of experience. He wanted and encouraged us all to start thinking in black and white by making many references to the days when photographers used film. Mike’s presentation, witty and light hearted in places, was delivered with lots of image examples that assisted in explaining his point and helped us all to visualise and accentuate the elements of good black and white photography such as shape, line and texture. Mike made reference to the great Ansel Adams – a mono master of his time showing us how he created and painted his images with light to make mono master-pieces.

After tea, Mike took the modest gathering of members through a practical phase showing us his own unique Lightroom workflow for mono conversion, which included a number of pre-sets and colour sliders that would increase of decrease specific tones within an image. Mike took the opportunity to field questions from the audience and was keen to show members, who were less confident in post-production techniques, other areas where Lightroom could be used to enhance images.

All in all, it was a thoroughly interesting evening and judging by the amount of note taking from the members, I believe the clubs investment will definitely start to pay off this year with some fantastic mono images.

For more information about the Mid-Cheshire Camera Club visit its website or come along to a meeting on Wednesday evening at 7.45 for 8 the Dingle Recreation Centre, Winsford.

Paul Wilcock
Press & Publicity Officer