Here we go – more Photography Tips.
There is no doubting the impact that Black and White photography has had on our society and culture. Go back a few decades and it was the only choice. There is a lot of psychology around it too – newspapers ran with Black and White therefore there was always an element of ‘believability’ (is that even a word? ) whenever and Black and White image was seen. Having said all that, black and white was for a number for years only available if you loaded your camera with Black and White film. So as most people preferred colour and didn’t have two cameras, Black and White didn’t get a look in.
However all that has changed with the advent of in-camera (or in-phone) processing, but does that mean with the technology at your fingertips that you can immediately take a good Black and White image? You can. Use these guidelines.
For a good black and white image try these:-
Keep it Simple. Uncluttered shapes, dominant items, will help make a good Black and White image. One tree in your frame won’t look so good in colour. However, if it has a strong shape or lovely bark, it might work nicely in Black and White. In terms of patterns – look at the image and defocus your eyes. Does it look like a really basic shape? Or maybe even one of the basic geometric shapes you find say in PowerPoint? Because they all work when seen in Black and White.
Use strong lines. Leading lines, simple patterns reveal a lot in Black and White. Use a fence, a pathway, or a road, to lead the eye into the frame and toward your subject.
Take a Portrait. Go for a plain background, get the subject big in the frame, and this works well. If you are taking a portrait, fill the frame with the person you are taking the portrait of. Take it from the waist or chest upward for impact. Furthermore, you don’t always need to see legs and feet.
Use the weather. If it’s dull or grey, or there are patterns in the clouds, make your skies sing in Black and White, much more so than in colour.
In conclusion, this image of the Sydney Opera House shows nicely rules (or shall we say suggestions?) of Keep it Simple – one fairly well known building, Using the Weather, and some nice Strong Lines throughout the frame.