Tips for B&W Photography Lovers!
written by Ayushi Shah. photos by Dan Abramovici.
There is something nostalgic and emotive about black and white. No pop of colours, but the exposures and contrast of these photos is what makes them come to life.
So sure colours are great, but the emotions behind a black and white photograph is the reason why these antiquated photos are a timeless beauty.
Let’s dive into some tips that will give your photos a new perspective and aesthetic.
#1 Where’s the light?
Light plays an important role in photography, but maybe more in black and white photos due to the lack of colours. Focus on the light quality, which refers to how the light “behaves,” how it affects and interacts with your subject and its surroundings. “Hard” and “soft” light are key concepts of light quality. Hard light is more dramatic and also tends to have more contrast while soft light is more universally flattering and easier to work with, especially for portraits.
#2 Lights, Camera, Contrast!
This term is generally just thought of as the difference between the darkest and brightest parts in a photo. You can use the contrast to elevate the subject by placing the subject (light) in front of a dark background. It creates more depth and distinction to the photo. Contrast matters in black and white photography because it helps the image to stand out. ‘Deeper the black, brighter the white’ .
#3 Focus on strong lines, patterns and textures:
Colours make the image bright and pop out, but a splendid black and white portrait is one which focuses on strong lines and contrasting patterns and textures. This is what creates the distinguishing factor and brings out the image.
The texture of the subject can draw the eyes. It should complement the subject and not compete with it. But with the right texture, your frame will never look flat.
Patterns are nothing more than an orderly repetition of multiple design elements that work well together. Even the most simple and subtle patterns can pop out in a black and white image, when they might otherwise go unnoticed when colours are involved.
#4 Shadows and shapes:
When you create a black and white image, you take away the important aspect of color, which is what attracts the most attention. So shadows help in influencing the mood of your images so trying to incorporate them whenever possible creates more depth to your image. Most people focus on the light while shooting, but the darkness from the shadows is what makes it a compelling component. Shadows help to enhance the focus of the subject by experimenting and complementing the texture and patterns.
Shape on the other hand is related to shadows and contrast. Every photo can be related to shapes and people are instantly drawn to them. Shapes act as an anchor to the photo as without colour, this is the element that will catch the eye of the people.
In conclusion, black and white photography can be tricky as you don;t have colour and other variables to work with. So the challenge is to take powerful photos and work on the contrast and tones of the photo. But the emotions conveyed through these images are definitely worth the effort. Go on, take a few shots and explore the patterns and textures around you!