Optimizing Detail in Flat Light

I've been shooting a lot this winter at Big White Ski Resort in the Okanagan - just outside of Kelowna.  They don't call it "Big White Out" for nothing, I encounter more 'flat light' days than not. That means more often than not, photos start off very lack-lustre - like the one above. 

Its a tight crop, and the fact that the board blends into the area behind doesn't help. What is that area anyway? Sky or snow?  Throw a black and white conversion on in lightroom, flick a few switches and there you go, I can see clearly now. The rider is in the air, moving at speed and the backdrop sky. 

Black and white allows you the same level of contrast control you get from a colour image plus the ability to control the contrast of each individual hue. 

Could I have done this in colour, and keep it looking true-to-life? Truthfully, probably not.  I'm not saying you can guarantee masterpieces from garbage, but if you shot something that looks great in person, and had the composition spot on, but lost the detail due to lighting- start playing with black and white conversions. You will surprise yourself. 

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