100% NIKON 100% INDEPENDENT
A photographer friend of mine used to say that a good way to judge if a composition works is to view the image upside-down – if it still looks balanced and harmonious without all the usual ‘right-way-up’ cues, then you know you’re onto something. The same, I’d suggest, is true of colour: unless colour is the subject, a worthwhile exercise is to strip an image of all of its colour and see if it still holds up.
Black and white is often used to turn a mediocre image into a more striking mono version by giving it a more ‘authentic’, filmic quality, but that’s to miss the point of shooting in black and white. One of our main criteria when judging this issue’s competition (see page 83) was that black and white should not just improve an image, it should add something that wasn’t there before – a feeling, a mood, a better sense of the lighting or texture. Which is where this issue’s great feature comes in: tackling five key genres in turn, it provides practical advice on what to look for when shooting black and white and how to think – and shoot – with mono in mind.
And if this whets your appetite for mono, you can find more great ideas in our FREE ebook Teach Yourself Black& White Photography, which you can download at bit.ly/BWebook (note that the link is case-sensitive). Happy (mono) shooting!