Black and White photography is one of the oldest forms of capturing photographs. Existing from a time much before colour photos, they have an old world charm that allures even the best photographers. Making pictures in black & white highlights your subject in the most obvious way. There is no dazzling colour, no vibrancy, just plain simple contrast that makes for stunning photos. In pictures that have a lot of moving elements, B&W adds the pause, giving us the visual liberty of time. Here are some tips to do black and white photography.
Composing a good photo is very important in B&W photos. Since the images are largely flat, your image can say their share of thousand words using subtle techniques of contrast, depth of field and framing. Be sure to experiment and use common photography techniques like the ‘Rule of Thirds’, Leading Lines, Symmetry & Patterns, and Balancing Elements.
ISO is a function that controls the exposure rate of the camera sensors. It enables you to click photos in poorly lit scenes. This however, comes at a cost, in the form of noise pixels in your images. These are tiny spots of red, green andgrey, which are scattered throughout your photo, reducing the sharpness of your image. You definitely cannot have them in a B&W photo and hence it is advisable to keep your ISO to the lowest possible value.
3. File format:
Your file format generally shouldn’t matter if you are shooting photos for memory. It is recommended that you shoot photos in RAW format, if you plan to edit them or make them a part of your portfolio. The RAW format captures all the details of an image and saves them without any compression. This is extremely helpful during the post-production phase.
4. When to Shoot:
While on most days, a clear sky &good sunshine is recommended for photography, B&W photos look best in overcast or dark skies. Head outdoors during the dark gloomy days and try making some B&W photos for best results.
It’s needless to say that practise makes perfect. Look around for inspiration and draw insights from the masters like Richard Avedon. With time and effort, you can surely create some stunning B&W photos.