Beginners Guide to Black and White Photography
Shooting black and white images isn't as easy as you may think. Because you have no colour to draw attention to certain parts of the image, you will have to think more about your final image to make sure it stands out. Below are some of my top tips to think about when shooting black and white.
Shoot Raw- If your camera allows it, shoot RAW, again the benefits in post production are huge. There you will be able to fine tune shadows and highlights etc. You will also be able to turn your camera to Black and white mode so that you can see the image on the screen. Because you are shooting RAW, you will be able to switch the image back to colour should you wish to do so at a later date.
Composition- Since colour is not available to draw the viewers eye into the photo, the use of shapes, textures and patterns is key to ensuring your image ‘flows’. Contrast- Without colour, photography relies on the difference between light and dark to convey a powerful image. Look out for shadows and highlights Try shooting light subjects against dark backgrounds and dark subjects against light backgrounds.
Watch your Backgrounds- If your background is too busy, this will detract interest away from the subject. Simple backgrounds make for a very interesting black and white image.
Make use of bad weather- Many photographers turn their noses up at going out photographing when it’s dark and overcast thinking that they will not be able to get any good images, but actually its ideal weather for Black and white photography!
Made a mistake- Black and white can also be a very good cover up tool. Not that us photographers ever make mistakes ;) but if you ever end up with a colour image that is grainy because of high ISO or you have an image where the lighting is completely wrong, you will be surprised at how turning your image black and white may be the answer.