These black and white photography tips will help you to recognize good black and white photo subjects and to be able to photograph and edit these for the best effects.
Black and white photography is a great way to learn how to properly compose pictures which is why it's often taught early on when first learning photography.
As vibrant and colorful as a sky at sunset may be, it is often the lines, shapes and curves that move the eye through the picture. So while the colors can be quite beautiful, black and white makes the photo more dynamic.
In spite of its attributes, after the media went full color in the 70's and 80's black and white photography faded. Over time it became increasingly more difficult to find places where you could buy black and white film. Now thanks to digital cameras and photo editing software, black and white photography is back!
How to Recognize Great Black and White Pictures
Although choosing the best subjects for black and white is very subjective, many professional photographers will agree that the following types of compositions beg for black and white:
* Photos that convey strong emotion. Often times, color can be a distraction whereas black and white makes the emotion or feeling seem more strong.
* Images lacking a full spectrum of colors; For instance, Ansel Adam's Yosemite "Moon and Half Dome" is a great example."
* Low contrast images such as photographs shot on dark overcast days.
* Any subject with the lines, contours, shadows and curves that you just know will look great in black and white. How can you tell? By studying black and white photos! Just look online for "Ansel Adams." Or search for "famous black and photos."
* Look at B&W photography books at the library. There are many places to appreciate and learn this artful form of photography!
Create Black & White Photography with a Photo Editor
Once you see a subject and know it would like best in black and white, then you can always set your camera to B&W and take it. But once you get experience with using your photo editing software, you'll find that you can create even better black and white images by shooting in color first and then desaturating it in the editor. Another added benefit to this method is that you'll never accidentally take a day's worth of pictures in black and white because you forgot to reset the camera!
Check Your Camera's White Balance
While the easiest way to change a color to black and white is to desaturate it with your photo editor, this technique doesn't let you control how the primary colors work together to produce a grayscale brightness. If you have good white balance in your picture, then simple desaturation may be all you need to do in the software editor.
Make Sure to Use Your Photo Editing Software's Color Swatches
By using a photo editor, you can also apply color swatches. Even though we don't see the colors in black and white, there are tones, and these are created by colors. Color swatches work a lot like the way color lenses work on a SLR camera. For example, filters in the yellow to orange range are flattering to the skin while green creates nice tones for nature pictures.
And finally, don't forget to show off your black and white photographs. Good black and white photos should be framed so you can fully appreciate their artistic message. You should select a picture frame with simple clean lines as these will best highlight your photograph. Hope you enjoyed these four black and white photography tips and have fun taking your next black and white photo!