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‘Like the words in a book, sometimes black and white tells a better story.’ There is something about black and white photography that can evoke more emotion and draw you deeper into an image than with it’s colorful counterpart.
There are three dimensions to creating breathtaking black and whites. The first is learning what to look for and include in your image as you’re taking the shot. The second is how to choose the best camera settings for the job. And the third is how to go about editing your black and white in post production to get the best results. When these three are combined successfully you get an image worth remembering, and this is how:
Dimension 1: When to Take Black and White Photography
1: When your focus is on elements of texture, tones, shapes and patterns. Including any of these elements in the composition of both color and black and white images can add a great deal to the effectiveness of your shot. However because black and whites have no color, your eyes are invited to focus on the fine detail within the shot instead.
2: When your color image lacks…color! This tip is debatable among enthusiasts because some say that it’s the presence of color that creates a good range of gray tones in the image, creating visual appeal. While this is true to an extent, if the photo has some of the elements listed in Tip 1, or a strong focal point (like the eyes in a portrait), it can become stronger when stripped of it’s weak color range.
3: When stong contrasting lights and darks are present. If you’re looking at a scene you intend to photograph and there are heavy contrasts between light and dark areas (shadows and highlights), these opposing elements can add immense visual impact to your image.
4: When emotion is evident in the shot. This is effective because the lack of color in your image directs the attention of the viewer more heavily on what is happening in the photo.
5: When you want to add a feeling of timelessness, elegance or drama. Black and white photography is fantastic at adding new dimensions into your image.
6: Compose, compose, compose! And of course I can’t miss out the composition of your image. Brush up on your composition here. When you combine that with the elements in Tip 1, you’re on to a winning black and white image.
Click on Page 2 below for Dimensions 2 and 3!
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