Black and White Photography Techniques
Black and White Photography Techniques
Once you have started experimenting with black and white photography techniques you may wish to dig somewhat deeper and produce even more dramatic results. There are many black and white photography techniques that can be used in order to achieve fabulous results.
Black and white photos can invoke a number of moods. For example, black and white photographs automatically tend to invoke an antique or old-fashioned look. Black and white photos can also produce a journalistic look; however.
Shooting Directly in Black and White vs. Using Photo Editing Software
First, you will need to give some thought to how you want to achieve black and white photography techniques. There are two main methods for this. You may shoot directly in black and white using the black and white setting on your camera or you may convert your photographs to black and white after the fact using a photo editing software. Using the black and white or monochrome setting on your camera does provide some advantages.
First, you can preview the shot on the screen and gain an immediate idea of which areas of the photograph will look the best in monochrome. Of course, editing the photo later also provides you with a lot of flexibility. When editing your photo using photo editing software you will need to consider several elements. One of the first elements that should be considered is grayscale. This will allow you to easily convert your image to black and white.
De-saturating the color image is another easy way to go black and white; however, you often cannot distinguish between different black and white tones with this method. When going to black and white using a photo editing software, you may also wish to work on the highlights to improve the tonality. One advantage that photo editing software can provide which often cannot be achieved with just the camera alone is the use of duotones. Duotones allow you to dabble with a variety of effects.
I personally prefer to shoot the photograph in black and white camera mode but I make sure to use RAW file format. By shooting black and white photographs in RAW file formats I get the best of both worlds. I can preview the photo in black and white on my LCD screen but my camera actually store all color information as well in the RAW files so I can convert the photograph back to color without losing any information. Brilliant!
Black and White Photography Techniques: Giving your Black and White Photos Drama
There are also several black and white photography techniques which can be used to produce dramatic photos in black and white. When shooting in black and white, texture becomes vitally important. Focusing on the texture of an object can result in dramatic results.
Using a large degree of contrast can also achieve dramatic results with black and white photographs. You will also find the closing in can achieve drama, particularly with portraits.
Advanced Black and White Photography Techniques: Using Filters
The use of filters can also provide excellent black and white photography techniques. One of the primary reasons for using filters with black and white photography is the fact that black and white is more sensitive to certain colors, especially blue. Colored filters provide you with the ability to manipulate the way in which different colors are recorded in black and white photographs.
The exact filters which you use should depend on what you are shooting. Specific color filters work best on darkening or lightening other specific colors. If you are shooting a landscape, you may find that orange, green, red and yellow filters work quite well. A yellow filter, for example, can work well for enhancing the sky.
This is an excellent filter to use when there are a lot of clouds on a landscape shot and you want to accentuate them. An orange filter will make the sky even darker while a red filter will make the sky appear the darkest.
If you want to lighten the subject, you will need to use filters that are the same color as the subject you are photographing. Green filters, for example, will dramatically lighten foliage. An orange filter would darken foliage.
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