Black and White Photography Tips: The 5 Cornerstones of All Great Monochrome Photos
black-men-white-women. We see in color, and we think in black and white./ Vediamo a colori e pensiamo in bianco e nero. Black And White. In this article, we will cover: Basic Black & White Photography Concepts What is texture of the tongue is a juxtaposition that tells a story about the relationship. Relationship Portraits: Capture Emotion in Black White Photography by Tim Walden $ buy online or call us (+61) 61+ 03 from Reader's.
Black and white allowed me to just focus on the interplay with people and light on a busy commute in Manhattan and pick out this guy in his shades walking determinedly to work. Learning how to read and play with different elements of light in this way is a fantastic skill that parlays directly into shooting video or studio strobes too, trust me.
Light and dark and the interplay between the two contrasting elements can be more interesting to focus on than color relationships Light and the relationship with your subject and the shadows that form as well as other complementary elements like the lined pattern of this woman's skirt become the focus, rather than the color of elements in the frame I liked how the subject's head was outlined by the stark light of his room here, as he looked out onto the street.
The color of the trees and shrubs, buildings and lamp posts are all irrelevant as the focus becomes the emotional bond between the embracing couple If this was in color, you'd have at least 4 colors in the background and middle ground elements alone, excluding the colors of their clothing and bags.
Instead I just focused straight on the split second connection between them as they share a kiss The love and security this child gets from her mother is palpable. She briefly looked up and I took the shot, her eyes and the tonality of the skin tones here is really interesting to me for some reason 4. This is because we still think of black and white as being a throwback to the photographic past. Of course, it is in terms of black and white was much more prevalent before color, but this is still a great reason to shoot black and white.
This could be a look out of the s. The color of the dress was more of a contemporary peach but without the color of the clothing or accessories, it's more difficult to suggest the era Here the bride has more of timeless look. In color, the tattoo and mix of natural and yellow chandelier light would have been jarring. In New York, you'll often see people dressed like they are from another era. Again, black and white provides a mystery for the era he could be from, especially as it has muted the colorful inside of the bus Again this dapper fellow looks like he could easily have been out of the s.
Color in the subway, and the person in the background would have certainly not created as much ambiguity in the image 5. It Amplifies How You Use Negative Space Negative space — the areas of the frame that have nothing in them, are easier to showcase and highlight when shooting black and white.
This relates back to minimizing distractions from not shooting in color. You tend to focus on light and dark areas of the frame — and their inter-relationship. Playing with negative space is also useful in separating your subject nicely from the background and give added depth to the image.
Playing with negative space - and the elements in the frame - is much easier to visualize when you see things in black, white and greys With a similar concept of reflection and negative space, a puddle can become a playground into seeing different spatial arrangements. Fog atop Twin Peaks in San Francisco provides a great amount of negative space to juxtapose the two view seekers.
Their clothing and other elements are muted as distractions because of the lack of color 6. It Highlights Shape, Form and Pattern In The Image I tend to focus a lot more than I used to on the elements in the frame, both in terms of their shape and form, but also how they relate to one another.
You feel like there is a world to explore when you see connecting elements in the foreground and background. Again, color would be distracting here — black and white simplifies the ability to see these elements and play with them. Without the distraction of color, we see the interplay in lines and patterns between two museum visitors clothing and a background painting at the Met A woman's dark blue hat here in dark black becomes a key element in the interplay between her and the table at which she sits.
Garishly colorful makeup is no longer distracting. Photo by Irena Trkulja This photograph is a monochrome photograph.
It is not a true black and white photograph, because it has a sepia tone. A black and white photograph is monochrome, but a monochrome photograph isn't necessarily a black and white image.
This might seem like semantics. But, if you enter a black and white juried photography show with a sepia toned or digitally colored photograph, it likely would be rejected.
There are some photographers that shoot only black and white no matter what the situation is. Now, there are certain situations that seem to lend themselves well to the black white photography medium. View the scene that you wish to create a black and white photograph of through the sunglasses or the filter.
The dark lens will help remove color, and make the background subject appear in shades of tone versus colored hues. This simple step alone will improve your attempts at black N white photography. However, you still need the 5 cornerstones to excel! If you read many blogs and tutorials regarding black and white photography, they will often have a section on composition.
This is somewhat misleading. A good tool of composition for a color photograph may not apply to a monochrome photograph of the same scene. This can be very important, especially if your plan is to convert the color image to a black and white image in post-production. Your main concern as a black and white photographer should be… How do I photograph this scene, person, object, subject, or idea that I have in my head in a shot that screams for the monochrome photographic medium?
You should always shoot in the raw file format if possible Use the sunglasses technique to establish that your final image will have good contrast and tonal separation. Organize a composition that utilizes as many of the 5 cornerstones as possible- while also considering the other tools of composition and the lighting. Develop a processing style that results in a full range of tone should that be your desired outcome.
The goal is to know what you want, and then how to get there!. The 5 Cornerstones Contrast What does the cornerstone "contrast" mean exactly to your monochrome photograph?
It means that for an "average contrast" black and white photograph- there should be a smooth gradation of tone from the deepest black, through all the shades of gray, and up to the brightest white. How do you produce this type of photograph? Look for scenes with a vast variety of color hues. Avoid high contrast lighting. When you begin to post-process your image file. Keep an eye on the Histogram. The more cuts that your Histogram displays, and the tighter the graph becomes from left to right- the less tonal range and increased contrast your final image is going to display.
Create as few of them as possible. If you wish to create a "high contrast" photograph. Push the left shadow and right highlight boundaries of the Histogram inward. Take a moment and enjoy these full tonal range and balanced contrast ratio photographs as examples. Photo by Raphael Augustin This portrait of the bird is about as beautiful an example of a full tone, balanced contrast ratio, photograph that you will ever see.
Study the image closely. You will see every tone from a deep black to a vibrant white. But you don't want it to be so high that you begin to block up the shadows, burn out the highlights, and drop the midtones. Photo by Carlos De Sousa Ramos Many photographers mix up the concepts of brightness value and contrast. This photograph, of the flower, has a low brightness value, but still displays a balanced range of contrast.
This type of photograph is called "Low Key". Low key means the image has a preponderance of dark tonal values- but still has a full contrast range back to a bright highlight value.
Black and White Relationship - M. C. Kinney Photography
Tone Contrast and tone are very similar concerns for the monochrome photographer. In black N white photography, film or digitala colored scene is being converted to tones of gray.
With film, that conversion occurs in the camera. With digital, it occurs in the post-processing phase. You have a much greater control of the conversion process in the post-processing step. For example… You wish to capture a black and white photograph of a very tan model wearing a red dress against a blue sky.
There is a very good chance that the skin of the model, the color of the dress, and the sky will convert to very similar tones of gray; the result being a rather lackluster photograph. For the film folks, you have to recognize this possibility, and deal with it, in camera. How do you do this?
Why It’s Still Important to Shoot In Black And White
One way is to alter the tones through the use of colored filters on the lens. The digital photographers have a lot more flexibility. They can shoot the scene, and then alter the tones in the post-processing conversion phase.