Nothing in the world looks like black and white photography. There are black and white photos that take your breath away, that upset you, in a good way. Today we will talk about this type of photographs.
There is something in black and white photography, different from other types of photography, that fascinates us, a certain “magic” that we cannot find in colour photography. Black and white is never out of fashion, it is how photography was originally born, and although photography has evolved, it has improved its technique, its colour, its resolution, its 3D, but still, black and white is the incontestable king to which we all profess unconditional admiration. Here at Fuss Photography we can help you with excellent photos.
We do not know what it will have, the truth is that black and white photography presents a series of advantages that colour photography can hardly match:
- Versatility: Any type of photography is likely to be a good shot in black and white. If you like black and white you can apply it to portraits, landscapes, children’s photography, Macro, architecture, or animals. Not only that, black and white also fits well with almost any type of lighting. Colour photos usually require good lighting, while black and white photos give good results even in low light conditions.
- Avoid distractions of colour: Colours are a double-edged sword. They embellish and enhance a photograph but sometimes they can play a distracting role, confusing the viewer and diverting their attention from the main message that the photograph tries to convey. Sometimes even the main subject loses prominence because of the number of colours inside a photo.
- It transmits a greater emotional charge: If something has black and white photos is their ability to convey emotions and feelings sincerely. The black and white portraits are more authentic, more natural. The black and white looks say much more than the coloured ones. The black and white contains an air of nostalgia, a drama and a force that the viewer perceives very easily. In colour it costs more.
- It helps to improve the composition: Colour is often guilty that many photographers neglect very important aspects of the composition. Eliminating colour allows us to focus on the composition through its aspects: contrast, shapes, framing, textures, etc.
Tips for photography in black and white
Here are some tips for you to start producing your first works in black and white.
1- Learn to detect the black and white candidate photo: Not all photos are good in black and white. By dispensing with the colour, you lose an important leg of the composition, and you want that not to be noticed. You need to develop your “photographic eye” to detect possible framings, compositions and subjects likely to come out better in black and white. It costs at first, but as you do black and white exercises, then when you check the final result you begin to educate yourself little by little about which photos are worth for black and white and which are not.
2- Shoot in Colour: Do you find it contradictory? It is not. In the age of analogue cameras, you had to decide which movie or reel to use, whether colour or black and white. With digital photography you can shoot your photographs calmly in colour, all, and later convert black and white to those that interest you. The recommendation to shoot in colour is because, once the photo is converted to black and white you can always regret it and return the colour if you wish. If you shoot directly in black and white from the camera and later decide to recover the colour, what do you do?
3- Shoot in RAW: Most digital SLR cameras allow shooting in RAW. Unlike the JPG, RAW allows you to preserve all the properties of the image, being able to subsequently play with all its attributes during post-processing on a computer, increase its exposure, reduce it, modify the white balance, change the contrast, and a series of properties They will help you improve your black and white photo. Shooting a photo in JPG “blocks” all these properties and we could not modify them, or not so much. (Here is a video example of the possibilities that RAW mode allows).
4- Beware of ISO noise: This you probably already know but it is worth insisting. There are situations where the lack of light forces us to raise the ISO value of the camera. This affects a more or less acceptable amount of noise, but be careful, ISO noise is much more visible in black and white photos. When playing only with black and white (and intermediate degrees of gray) it is easier to notice the noise produced by the high ISO. So, if you have to upload the ISO do it, but be very careful.
5- Take advantage of the cloudy days: The gray, cloudy, rainy days, which at first glance seem unfit for a photo shoot outdoors are in the background an exquisite opportunity to capture incredible black and white photos. We guess it will have to do with the nature of black and white photos, usually sad, emotional, melancholy or dramatic. The gray days are the perfect ally for this type of photography, because they create a dark and mysterious setting ideal for this type of photos.
6- Take care of the Composition: What he had been commenting before, lacking colour, black and white photography is supported by other elements such as composition, contrast between light and dark subjects, tones, shapes or silhouettes, textures and repetitive patterns. That’s why we told you that not all the photos are perfect candidates for black and white. The black and white photo cannot be a “normal” photo, it has to impact and attract attention.
Things that stick with white and black
There are situations, objects, things and people with whom using black and white is a guaranteed success. If you want to venture into this type of photography we recommend you start with any of these topics.
– Old tools
– Rain, fog, autumn, winter …
– Silhouettes with lots of light and dark contrast
Here at Fuss Photography you will find what you look for in terms of professional photography.