Black And White

Black and white photography has a different feel to it from ordinaty colour photography. Black and white pictures are associated with history, so it makes your subject matter feel like it's something important that's worthy of being preserved.

If a pictures colours arenot in balance, then they become a distraction which will weaken it. When you're shooting in black and white, colour is far less of an issue because it gets reduced to tones, which are far easier to balance. It's signficantly easier create a good picture in black and white than it is using colour.

Black and white can be really good when the weathers overcast which usually makes for flat and boring pictures. Black and white goes a long way to remove the 'dreary and depressing' feeling of a miserable weather.

Black and white is used extensively for portraits and 'candid street art'

Equipment

  • A camera with black and white mode

Settings

  • From your cameras menu, change the simulated film type to black and white.
  • You may also be able to use sepia which is black and white tinted brown. Sepia is warmer than regular black and white, so your images will have a more positive feel to them.
  • If available, increase the contrast of the simulated film. Contrast tends to make black and white images look better. You can generally set contrast a lot higher than you can with colour before look the picture starts looking garish.
  • If you have a dSLR, you can attached coloured filters to the lens that affect the tonal balance of your image. Yellow, orange and red filters are often used in black and white photography. They are used to lighten warm colours, which conversely, strengthens cool colours such as green and blue. Some cameras allow you do digitally simulate a coloured filter, so you don't need to use physical filters.
  • Yellow has the least effect, and is often used as the default black-and-white filter because it makes pictures look 'more natural'. Orange is often used portrait photography to reduce skin blemishes and freckles. Red has a strong effect and can dramatically increase contrast.