Friday, 2 August 2013

Black and White Photography: Tips and Artistic Photographs

They say old is gold. And this saying is indeed true when we talk of black and white photography. Despite the numerous innovations that have enabled the birth of colored snapshots, black and white photography remains classy and elegant, preferred by a number of photographers even in this age. If you are also one of those photographers, who aspire to churn out those classy, demure and nostalgic Black and White Photographs, then here are a few tips that will help you connect this art of past to the present age of numerous technological innovations!

I. Stay RAW
The first thing to know is that if your camera provides you with this option, then you must shoot in RAW format to get more flexibility in your post processing. This way you eventually get more control of the image’s appearance. The difficulty of employing this option is that the picture clicked in this manner needs to be processed later on your computer. However, the result would make this extra effort worthwhile.

II. Create contrast
Even though tonal contrast is important in all sorts of photography, but it works wonders especially in black and white form as it has a profound effect on the mood and atmosphere. You can also add contrast to your image in a natural way through the choice of your subject. Even if the lighting is dull, tonal contradiction can be brought about by choosing a whit or bright light subject. This can be easily achieved by shooting at certain times of the day to suit your light preferences.

III. When exactly to Shoot
Low contrast situations are preferred by many digital photographers who shoot images in black and white. So a dark or an overcast day can be a great time to shoot out door shots.
Ironically, these are also the days when those who shoot only in color sit at home and complain about the so called ‘poor light’!

IV. Use appropriate filters 
Certain filters possessing the ability to lighten their own color and darkening the objects of the opposite color can be used to give various effects to your photograph.  The polarizer can also be used for this purpose as it can heighten or lessen contrast according to the situation.  It can even remove the glare and saturate the skies for instance. 

V. High key and low key
A high key image is composed of primarily highlight tones and is usually bright; hence you need to look out for subjects that are naturally light. The opposite, needs to be achieved for a low key image.  These images are conventionally dark and are marked by a range of dark or completely black patches where you need to make use of extended contrast. 

VI. Composition
Most of the general rules that are laid out on how to compose or frame a good shot apply just as well to black and white photography as they do when shooting in color. However, one major difference between the two is that in black and white photography you can obviously not use color to lead the eye into or around your shot.  As a result, you must make sure that the shapes, tones and textures in your frame are seen as points of interest.  Shadows and highlights which will become a feature of your shot, also a play a critical role.

So, before you reach out for your camera and start testing the above mentioned tips, take a look at these photographs that would give you a better understanding of the black and white world!

Here are few outstanding examples of black and white photography, put your thoughts in the comment section.

Black and white photography

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