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5 Top Tips On Taking Black & White Shots Of Snow Scenes

The black & white medium can work really well for snow shots if you follow a few simple steps.

|  Landscape and Travel
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When you first think of a snowy day captured in an image, black & whites tones are probably not what first spring to mind. However, in the right conditions and with the right subjects,  working in monochrome on snowy days can work well and give you a collection of winter images that are rather eye-catching. To get you thinking more about mono, here's 5 tips to get you started on your journey into black & white snow photography. 

 

Photo by David Clapp

 

1. The Weather Matters

When skies aren't a brilliant blue, turn your attention to the black & white medium as when your shot has a heavy snow-filled sky in it, your image will have much more punch to it if captured in black & white. Mist can help to separate foreground detail from background too. Make sure you wrap up in severe cold weather.

 

2. Strong Shapes Are A Must

As with most forms of black & white photography, you need strong, recognisable shapes in your shot for it to work. The skeletal trees of winter create interesting shapes which are perfect for snow-themed black & white landscapes. Livestock, rock formations and stone walls all work well as foreground interest, too.

 

3. Foreground Interest Is Important

If you just have a blanket of white snow, generally your image won't really work as there won't be any depth to it. The reason we say 'generally', however is because a blanket of snow can work in abstract images where you just have one main focus point that's starkly different to the pale snow (as shown in David's shot above). Find something that will lead the eye through the image or if there's nothing to guide the eye, just ensure there's at least one part of the foreground that adds texture and interest to your shot. 

 

4. Converting To Black & White 

There's always the option to take your shots in colour then convert them when back home in front of your computer. When converting images to black & white it's important to pay attention to the colour channels, as John Gravett explained in a previous article where he said: "Look at each of the red, green and blue colour channels to see which gives the best effect. Often, if you have a broad landscape with a blue sky, the red channel will darken the sky and give the picture real impact, it will also have the benefit of cutting any distant haze in the picture."

 

5. Stay Warm And Safe

This one isn't really about your photos but your safety. It will be bitterly cold when snowing so don't spend too long outside and always dress appropriately. Tell people where you are going and don't put yourself in danger for the sake of the perfect image. 

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Comments


pablophotographer 9 1.7k 386
31 Dec 2019 3:17PM
Black and white photography in snow?
Easy as B&W (black and white) film!!!!!
Happy New Year to all =)

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