Six ways to shoot… Black-and-white im­ages

Learn to look for lines and shapes, em­pha­sise tex­ture, and four more ef­fec­tive routes to beau­ti­ful mono

Digital Camera World - - PHOTO ACTIVE -

Raw is best 1

When you shoot black-and-white, it is bet­ter to shoot raw sim­ply be­cause the colour raw file will cap­ture more in­for­ma­tion, so you will have a great tonal range to play with when it comes to post-pro­cess­ing. If you shoot raw and switch your pic­ture set­ting to Monochrome, you will have a handy black-and-white pre­view show­ing in your LCD af­ter each shot.

2 Think lines, shapes and shad­ows

The key to great black-and-white is to look at your sub­ject only in terms of shape and con­trast. If you shut one eye and squint with the other, you can as­sess light and shade sim­i­lar to how a camera’s sen­sor sees it. This helps you com­pose your black-and-white im­age us­ing the ba­sics of light and shade, re­mov­ing the in­flu­ence of colour in the scene. 3 Con­sider pro­cess­ing be­fore you take the shot If, as we’ve rec­om­mended, you shoot your mono im­ages as raws, you have to go through a post-cap­ture pro­cess­ing work­flow. It’s worth con­sid­er­ing what this pro­cess­ing might en­tail, be­cause it could in­flu­ence how you take the shot. For ex­am­ple, are you look­ing for low-key (dark) or high-key (light) re­sults? Set the camera ex­po­sure ac­cord­ingly. 4 Tex­ture adds an ex­tra di­men­sion With the ab­sence of colour, nat­u­ral tex­ture takes on a sig­nif­i­cantly more im­por­tant role. Tex­ture adds in­ter­est within the frame and will help your im­age pop when you’ve pro­cessed it. You can con­trast tex­ture too, or use it to cre­ate in­ter­est­ing pat­terns within the pho­to­graph that are pleas­ing to the eye.

5 Use fil­ters

A po­lar­is­ing fil­ter can add con­trast to a scene. Since we’ve al­ready es­tab­lished that strong con­trast is of­ten es­sen­tial for mono suc­cess, a po­lar­is­ing fil­ter is nat­u­rally a use­ful ac­ces­sory. A neu­tral-den­sity fil­ter that length­ens ex­po­sure time can also be used to help cre­ate con­trast be­tween soft (mov­ing) wa­ter and solid struc­tures.

Make it punchy 6

If you want to shoot black-and-white im­ages that re­ally catch the eye, make them punchy. While you need a good range of tones within the im­age, you also need strong shad­ows and high­lights to em­pha­sise all the im­por­tant el­e­ments we’ve talked about here.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.