Black and white photography has been around for decades and even though we’re in a new age of technology with digital cameras, many people still prefer to shoot in black and white.
If you’re passionate about black and white photography are few tips that might come in handy.
1. Go for contrast
One of the most interesting elements in black and white photography is the contrast. Since there’s no colour, the variances in tone are all the more important in this type of photography.
Lighting can also be quite important in black and white photography. For instance, direct lighting can add to contrast in the image while side lighting can showcase texture and accentuate features.
If you use light from one direction it can create shadows. All lighting techniques can make the photos more interesting, but remember they can also become distracting, so it’s a good idea to experiment with lighting to get what you’re looking for.
3. Try shapes and patterns
Shapes and patterns can often go unnoticed in colour shots, but can grab attention in black and white photography. They can also create an abstract quality.
4. Capturing texture
When taking black and white photography of landscapes, it’s more dramatic to shoot active skies as the cloud formations can be spectacular. It adds mood to the image as well as a dynamic look and feel.
The same can be said for most black and white photos. If the image has the same tone throughout, it can appear dull and a bit lifeless.
5. Shoot in RAW in colour
You may want to try shooting in colour and then convert the photos to black and white on a computer.
If possible, shoot in RAW mode if you’re converting colour photos to black and white as this will give you the most control during post production. It’s worth experimenting with as it can allow you to be more creative during editing.
If taking photos in RAW and converting those, the images in the LCD will be black and white. However, the camera will record all data including colour. If you’re shooting as JPEGs, then take the shots in colour and convert them later.
6. Lower the ISO
Try and take black and white photography with the lowest ISO rating possible as the noise created with a high ISO setting can be very noticeable in the finished images. You can always add noise or grain to a photo in an editing program, but it’s hard to take it out.
Most suggestions on composing and framing good shots in colour also apply in black and white photography. However, you won’t be able to use any colour to lead the viewers’ eyes around the photos.
It’s a good idea to try and use things such as tones, textures, and shapes, in the image as points of interest. This can be done effectively if you pay special attention to highlights and shadows as they will then become a feature in your image.