Monochromatic images have the ability to convey the simple,raw emotion of people,landscapes and other subject matter in a way that color can’t.Qualities like light and shadow,along with pattern and texture are emphasized in stunning fashion when the emotional attachments of color are eliminated.Black-and-white photography is a delicate art that requires great attention to equipment,process,composition,lighting and tonality.
There are some basic rules of composition that will help ensure you get the most out of your monochromatic snapshots.
Remember the rule of thirds.Divide your frame into thirds and try to place the central focus of the photo at the intersection of two of the dividing lines instead of right in the middle.Also,look for interesting vantage points.Elements like roads,fences and trees help draw viewers into a picture and direct their eyes to the subject matter.Finally,take a lot of pictures to guarantee that you get the one you want.When composing your frame,avoid large areas of black,as well as areas of white;viewers may perceive these as dead spaces that detract from the main subject matter.Black-and-white photography is most effective when interesting patterns and textures dominate the photo.
Avoid shooting when the sun is high in the sky;this harsh lighting condition can obscure detail and make the images look washed out.Early morning and late afternoon,as well as overcast days,are the best times to photograph.
A photograph may be dazzling in color,but when converted to black-and-white it could easily become a dull blur of indistinguishable grays. For this reason,it’s important to ignore color when taking black-and-white photographs,no matter how stunning the hues may be.
When composing a black-and-white picture,look for brightness and contrast in your subject matter,instead of color.The most striking monochromatic photographs have both light and dark tones that contrast strongly with one another.One way to do this is to squint. Squinting reduces detail and makes bright colors less vivid.Many digital cameras have settings that allow you to preview your images in black-and-white or even see black-and-white through the viewfinder as you’re taking pictures.This mode is especially useful for beginners because it allows users to instantly evaluate and revise their images.Furthermore, color is removed from the process,allowing photographers to focus on qualities like light, pattern and texture without unnecessary distraction.
Photographers can also convert their color images to black-and-white using their computers’imaging software.This is a popular technique because the user can apply a wide range of filters to the original image, instantly preview changes and easily undo any unwanted editing.The original color image can then be saved for future conversions and adjustments.
Lenses and filters are also important to consider when working with black-and-white photography.Because a good monochromatic image relies so heavily on tonality and sharp contrast, you’ll want to get a quality lens that can best capture these properties.Filters are also useful in black-and-white photography,even though their main function is to block certain colors from passing through the lens.For example,a red filter can make a blue sky look almost black,creating a striking contrast with the clouds