Black & White Photography
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Why Work In Black & White? - Here are five reasons why you should give black & white photography a go.
Makes You Think About Composition MoreAs Robin Whalley said in a previous article: "To achieve a good black and white image you need to have separation between the elements in the frame. If you can’t distinguish or find it difficult to distinguish between the elements the image will lack impact and the viewer will struggle to understand it."
With this in-mind, it makes you search harder for an interesting composition that includes strong foreground interest. Strong shapes and lead-in lines work well as do other strong, distinctive shapes further back in the composition that the eye can easily identify even when everything has a similar tone.
Interesting Take On Snow PhotographyAs most of us have seen snow fall over the last week, now's a good time to talk about photographing snow in a black & white format. Black & white snow-filled landscapes will not only give you something a little different to what the majority of people photograph but it can also stop shots with pale, snow-laden skies from looking boring and lacking in contrast. As mentioned above, contrast is important so look for strong recognisable shapes that can be easily isolated from the white background. For more tips on black & white snow photography, take a look at John Gravett's article.
Not As DistractingAs colour's stripped away and shots become reliant on tones, texture and contrast, everything seems simpler and there's not as many distractions to contend with. Focus falls on your main subject more easily and when shot right, can have a lot of impact.
Helps Create MoodMood essentially relates to the lighting in a shot and when you shoot on a cloudy, unsettled day, working in black & white will give you a shot that's far more foreboding than a shot in colour. It's far easier to create a sense of a dark and brooding landscape with black & white than it is colour.
Effect Can ChangeDuring post production you can Darken certain areas of your shot while lightening other areas, creating contrast as you do. You can create a soft black & white effect or go all out and apply one that's strong. There are various methods for doing this including applying an S-Curve or using the dodge and burn tools. Take a look at these tutorials for more tips:
- How To Turn A Coloured Landscape Mono
- Make A Moody Black & White In Photoshop Elements
- Turning A Coloured Image Black & White
- Create Black And White Images In Paint Shop Pro
- Convert Your Images To Mono With Gradient Maps
Key Factors To Consider When Creating Black & White Shots:
- Think About Composition
- Create Contrast
- Look Out For Textures