I just lucked into this technique today. Maybe many pros use this technique for punchy b&w images, but do not admit using Picasa.
It was just before lunch when I shot this image a few days ago. The room was lit with light coming from a large window. My son was in a playful mood and was, as usual, running around. I get usually 0.1 sec to snap a photo of him. That’s how long he holds a pose or is stationary. To snap kids you need to be fast and your gear needs to be super fast.
I used the ‘silhouette’ art filter in GF1 to shoot this image and forgot about it. I moved the images to my PC today and as usual had a first look using Picasa. I hit the ‘Black & White’ button and this is what I get! Just cropped the image a little bit to get a shiny door handle out of the frame on the left side. No other changes made. No contrast adjustments or anything else. Only caveat is that you need to frame the subject in the center as the art filter vignettes the edges.
I just love the Panasonic 20mm F/1.7 lens. Fast, sharp, smooth bokeh (another sexy-sounding name for background blur), weighs nothing, and most importantly costs peanuts for such a high-quality lens. It is the best auto-focus prime available for the M43 system today. If not, it is probably one of the best auto-focus prime lens available for any camera today!
Can’t wait for the much rumored 25mm lens from Panasonic.