Digital SLR Photography Tips – See in Black and White Photography
A strange request I know, to “see things in black and white”, but if you try this technique, you may end up with a lot more photos in your keeper file! Most people when they leave their house with their camera, only think in terms of colour photography.
Have you ever been out and about wandering through villages or fields, cities or towns and you can’t seem to find anything worth photographing … just “One of those days”! You will get them and it can be quite frustrating. You have made the effort to get your gear together, drive to a favourite spot but just can’t get the creative juices flowing!
As an experiment, the next time you are out on a mission, try to see things as they would appear in a black and white photograph. Black and white photography tends to add mood to a photo and by removing all traces of colour; the onlooker’s eye is more attracted to your subject.
In this example, I was driving home after doing some kite surfing beach shots in Southern Spain and I came across this old Moorish derelict bridge. It is right on the Southern tip of Spain but you can see the Atlas mountain range in the background so it made a “historical” shot if nothing else.
However, I was disappointed by the “murkiness” of the water and didn’t want to spend hours in Photoshop adding blue water. So I converted it into black and white to get rid of all the colour, and BINGO, I loved it.
The composition was good using the rule of thirds, the lack of colour leads my eye more to the old bridge with a strip of white beach behind, and the Atlas Mountains behind that. Even the old log in the foreground stands out more.
Black and White Photography – You can see a bigger example by clicking on the image
Another example was during a photo shoot of a clients daughter (who is looking to break into the modelling world). I took one shot where the look, composition and just about everything was perfect, EXCEPT THE LIGHTS DIDN’T FIRE!!!
All I could do was convert it to black and white and it actually became one of my all time favourite portraits, a real “classic” look to it. Out of over 100 proofs, the parents liked this one the most and had an A1 canvas print made up which now adorns the main wall in their living room, testimony enough for me that “seeing in black and white” can sometimes pay dividends!
Black and White Photography – Again, you can see a bigger example by clicking on the image
So remember, if you are having a “down day”, switch your brain into black and white mode and see what you can come up with!