Dis­cover the drama of black and white

Some­times you need to see the world in black and white! Rod Law­ton back to ba­sics with his Nikon D-SLR’s Mono­chrome Pic­ture Con­trol

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sub­ject mat­ter it­self. Also, if you re­move colour from the equa­tion, it be­comes much eas­ier to ex­plore shapes, lines and tones and turn them into sat­is­fy­ing com­po­si­tions.

This is where your Nikon D-SLR can help you. It has a Mono­chrome Pic­ture Con­trol which turns your pho­to­graphs into black and white and can help you vi­su­alise the world as shades of grey.

We went to Broad­way Tower in the Cotswolds to show how this works. The gritty tex­tures and sim­ple shapes made a great sub­ject for black and white, even on a dull and over­cast day.

Apart from chang­ing the cam­era’s Pic­ture Con­trol, shoot­ing black and white is tech­ni­cally no dif­fer­ent to We see the world in colour, we re­spond to colours and to­day’s Nikon D-SLRs can re­pro­duce colour with amaz­ing fidelity and depth. So why shoot in black and white?

Black-and-white pho­tog­ra­phy can be used to give pic­tures an ‘an­tique’ look, but it has cre­ative ben­e­fits too. The lack of colour means it’s al­ready one step re­moved from re­al­ity, so that people are more likely to look at the way you’ve made the pho­to­graph and less likely to be dis­tracted by the

If you re­move colour, it be­comes much eas­ier to ex­plore lines and tones

shoot­ing colour. What you do have to change is how you ‘see’ and com­pose pic­tures. Mono­chrome pho­tog­ra­phy de­pends on shapes, tones and tex­tures, but most of us are at­tracted by colour, so it takes a lit­tle while to learn how to switch this off – you have to change the mode in your head as well as the one on your cam­era!

The sim­plest shapes of­ten make the best sub­jects, and you should make the most of con­trasts in both tone and light­ing. Fi­nally, don’t ex­pect to get ev­ery im­age per­fect in-cam­era. Even the great­est monochromeshoot­ing pho­tog­ra­phers needed a lit­tle help in the dark­room…

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