Know what to look for
Learn how to use greys
Don’t be afraid of noise
Don’t be fooled by its tolerance
Use long exposures
Shoot color and RAW, then convert.
- 2013 Photographer's Market: The Most Trusted Guide to Selling Your Photography
- How to Create Stunning Digital Photography
- Best Business Practices for Photographers
- The Fast Track Photographer Business Plan: Build a Successful Photography Venture from the Ground Up
- Group Portrait Photography Handbook
- 500 Poses for Photographing Women
- The Best of Family Portrait Photography: Professional Techniques and Images
- 500 Poses for Photographing Group Portraits
- Selling Your Photography: How to Make Money in New and Traditional Markets
- Starting Your Career as a Freelance Photographer
- Photographer's Survival Manual: A Legal Guide for Artists in the Digital Age
- Legal Handbook for Photographers: The Rights and Liabilities of Making Images
- Taking Stock: Make money in microstock creating photos that sell
- Going Pro: How to Make the Leap from Aspiring to Professional Photographer
Black and white photography has been around ever since the beginning and even if technology has changed completely, it will probably be around for a while. There are some differences from conventional photography, apart from the obvious lack of color. Here is a list of 7 tips to help you capture your vision in black and white.
It helps a lot to pre visualize an image in your mind. With black and white photos, the best way to do this is to look at the lines, the shadows, shapes and volumes. They have a more powerful impact because of the lack of color.
A lot of the beauty of black and white actually comes from the greys. The variety of tones can be incredible, and by combining them with the proper lighting, you can capture amazing images.
It might not be as good looking as old, classic film grain, but digital noise can still ad to the artistic impact of a photo. With color photography, noise is something you don’t want to have in your pictures and, luckily, with today’s cameras, noise isn’t such an issue anymore. However, don’t be afraid to boost the ISO and have some noise when shooting in black and white.
It is true that black and white can sometimes be a bit more forgiving than color, but make no mistake! It doesn’t mean it’s an excuse for shooting in poor quality light or getting the exposure wrong. A proper black and white photo still has to be well exposed and well framed.
Long exposures look great in black and white, probably because they make them look a lot more graphic, almost pencil drawn. Landscapes and fast moving crowds are particularly suited for this way of shooting.
Most cameras offer the option of shooting black and white directly in camera, however it’s not an option I would recommend. Shooting RAW, while offering full quality, also gives the best dynamic range, hence, the largest variety of grey tones. It will also allow you to correct exposures, if needed, a lot better than a black and white camera JPG would.
As usual, filters can bring a significant improvement to your images. Polarizers darken skies and can add a dramatic effect. Split graduals can also be successfully used on sunny days and just after the sun rises after a summer rain.
Image credit: argo74 / 123RF Stock Photo