May 2016_Black and White Photography

May 01, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

B&W photography has a certain aesthetic as well as a classic cache that color photography just cannot compete with. It goes beyond the snapshot or i phone picture. Not every picture can handle B&W, so choose wisely. Some tips:

  1. Start with B&W in mind: to emphasize specific elements or patterns in a scene.  Great if you see lines, shadows and shapes or to enhance texture with side lighting. NightNight AgaveAgaveAgave in B&W to enhance the abstract patterns. Zen FogZen FogZen like B&W seascape with cormorant in the fog.
  2. Expression and eyes are even more important in a B&W portrait. Simplify and avoid clutter. __
  3. Shoot in RAW and then process for B&W in Lightroom using the HSL controls, or use a plug in such as Silver Efex Pro (now free) or On1Photo. On the TableOn the TablePeonies and Iris in a bunch on black table against black
  4. High contrast is needed for great B&W with pure white, pure black as well as a mid-range of greys. Auto set your whites and blacks in Lightroom (LR) by holding down the shift key and double clicking on the toggles over each BK and White point setting. Then increase the clarity to boost mid tone contrast. Venice hatVenice hat
  5. Use a polarizer to reduce specular highlights which will distract from B&W.
  6. Ask yourself, does color distract? Then think B&W! Gathering Storm, YosemiteGathering Storm, YosemiteTunnel View in Yosemite with winter storm and mist looming in B&W. Gathering Storm, YosemiteGathering Storm, YosemiteTunnel View in Yosemite with winter storm and mist looming in B&W.

 


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