Black and white photographs have a classic appeal to the audience. It portrays mystery, depth, and emotions. Street photography is the most common genre where black and white images are captured. But you can do it with other genres too.Before starting to take black and white photographs, you need some preparations. Only the knowledge of clicking good pictures will not do, you need some extra techniques. Keep reading to learn that.
1.The famous rule of the third composition technique works well in black and white photography. To follow it, at first break the image into 3 parts both horizontally and vertically, to have 9 pieces in total, and 4 connecting lines. Cameras offer this grid, when you activate the menu. So, you just need to capture the photo positioning the subject near the connecting points, which is called the ‘point of interest’.
2. Don’t forget to use a polarizer when you’re clicking photos around reflecting surfaces like water. Because the reflection will damage the entire composition otherwise. As there is no color gradation in black and white photography, you need to focus on the contrast created by light and dark tones. A great way to do it is capturing the shadows, and its effects on the subject, and the patterns, texture, and lines it forms. Place dark objects in light backdrops. Along with the blackish and whitish tones, make sure your photo has a wide variety of different grayish tones. Otherwise, it will look dull and monotonous. As you intend to click black and white photographs, you must be aware of the ‘golden hours’ to shoot. Early morning and late afternoon are considered that because shadows are long at those periods. Repetitive patterns, lines, and uneven textures look particularly well in black and white photos.
3.There is another great tip for you- as a beginner, you can always shoot in color and convert the photo into black and white during post-processing. You can also experiment with contrast, mid-tone, brightness, and highlights then. Also, you should shoot in the RAW file, which offers much scope for editing. If you're editing on the phone, choose a post-processing app made for black and white photos specifically.
4. Make sure there’s no noise in your photo, especially if you're shooting in low low-light conditions. Don’t raise the ISO (unless you’re using a high-end camera that allows you to do so without affecting the quality of the photo). For the same reason, be careful with long exposures. Many cameras offer noise elimination/reduction mode that you can use in such conditions. Try shooting in HDR. It will take the lightest and darkest part of your photo and intensify its overall appeal.
You need to have the eye to find dark and light contrast everywhere, which is only developed through consistent practice.
Try to shoot on cloudy days. As sunny days produce shadows, cloudy days enhance a black and white photo giving it a monochromatic look.
Black And White Photography is like magic- and you will soon get addicted to it. The apparently ‘colorless’ photos can express much more than what colored photos can.
Written by Sanga Basu, Content Writer, WPC.