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Black and White Photography Techniques
Black and White Photography Techniques

Black and White Photography Techniques

Some black and white photography techniques are a must to know in order to learn about photography in general.

If you want to learn about self-expression and interpretation this medium has plenty to offer.

This is not to say that the same learning process is not offered in color or digital photography, but by removing the color from your images, you take them one step from the depiction as a simple likeness. They are now unlike the world as we all see it around us.

This is where knowing a bit about composition and the elements of photography comes in. You are in essence designing your image and the black and white photography techniques learned here will help you create some amazing photographs.

First, I must say that it does not matter whether the photo is black and white or color, digital or traditional, the success of the image depends on the photographer’s aesthetic sensitivity to capture the nature of the subject–or his or her perception, vision and imagination.

The Rule of Thirds

One important design element, and black white photography technique is the use of the rule of thirds. This means that you want to position your subject into one third of the view finder, either vertically or horizontally. Stay away from centering your subject. This technique will help the viewer to know what the important information is in the frame.

Framing Your Image

Framing the image well is another important black and white photography technique.

Make sure that you fill your frame well with the subject matter. For example, if your subject is a candle sitting on a table in a room, get close to the candle. Using a large aperture and focusing sharply on the candle, will blur out the rest of the room, when the room is not what you want to bring to the viewers attention

Your technical ability to select the best aperture and shutter speed, the most appropriate viewpoint, and focal length and the moment to shoot is something that you will need to practice with.

Think about your intention, in other words what is the point of the photo. What do you want the viewer to understand or recognize. Then practice changing your aperture and shutter speed to make the image come out as you have intended. This is not a time to have your camera on auto settings. You will need to use the manual settings of your camera in order to have the control you will need.

Taking Control

It is important that you take control. Whether you are in the darkroom or using a digital camera and computer, you need to be in control from the negative to the computer output. This way you are able to manipulate the tonal range yourself–the shades of grey between black and white, which is very important in black and white photography.

Black and White Photography Techniques to Keep The Viewers attention

Once color is not involved in a photograph, you will need to play up other details help keep the viewers interest. These are some examples:

Play up texture–surface texture gives you the sense that the picture you are looking at has a tactile quality and so helps you to imagine what it would be like if you could reach out and touch what is depicted.

Lead the eye–Lead your viewer’s eye by linking the subjects elements by lines occurring naturally in the scene, such as a flight of steps and balustrade, leading to something you wish to stress.

Framing the subject–Strengthening the photograph can be as simple as choosing a camera angle that shows the main subject framed by other elements of the composition. Often, all you need to do is shift your camera position until they and the subject align properly when seen through the camera’s viewfinder.

Just grasping one or two great black and white photography techniques can help you to make your photographs “pop!” To learn more, subscribe to our monthly e-zine, “Photography basics.”

35 mm film photography is a great way to explore black and white photography. If you want to learn about self-expression and interpretation this medium has plenty to offer. Here are some tips that may help you get the best out of your black and white film.

By removing the color from your images, you take them one step from the depiction as a simple likeness. They are now unlike the world as we all see it around us. This is where knowing a bit about composition and the elements of photography come in.

You are in essence designing your image and the black and white photography techniques learned here will help you create some amazing photographs.

First, I must say that it does not matter whether the photo is black and white or color, digital or traditional, the success of the image depends n the photographer’s aesthetic sensitivity to capture the nature of the subject–or his or her imagination, perception, and vision.

Use the rule of thirds

This means that you want to position your subject into one third of the viewfinder, either vertically or horizontally. What this rule basically says is that you should mentally divide your frame up into nine equally sized blocks with two parallel lines dividing the frame horizontally, and two vertically. You should then arrange the features inside the frame such that the most interesting parts lie along those imaginary lines, and particularly at their intersections

Stay away from centering your subject. This technique will help the viewer to know what the important information is in the frame.

Framing the image well is very important black and white photography techniques.

Fill your frame well with the subject matter

For example, if your subject is a candle sitting on a table in a room, get close to the candle, using a large aperture and focusing sharply on the candle, will blur out the rest of the room, which is not what you want to bring to the viewers attention.

Since color is not involved in the photograph, you will need to play up other details help keep the viewers interest. These are some examples:

Play up texture

Surface texture gives you the sense that the picture you are looking at has a tactile quality and so helps you to imagine what it would be like if you could reach out and touch what is depicted.

Lead the eye

Lead your viewer’s eye by linking the subjects elements by lines occurring naturally in the scene, such as a flight of steps and balustrade, leading to something you wish to stress.

Framing the subject

Strengthening the photograph can be as simple as choosing a camera angle that shows the main subject framed by other elements of the composition.
Often, all you need to do is shift your camera position until they and the subject align properly when seen through the camera’s viewfinder.

Balance your image

Balance your image so that it does not look lopsided. Try putting the horizontal line at the very bottom or very top of a photograph. Intentionally tilting the horizon also works, as long as your subject does not look like it if falling out of the frame.

Creating a Great Subject

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One great black and white photography tips that most professionals take to heart is that you can make the smallest thing be a great subject.

This is because the absence of color brings our attention to things like details such texture, form, and communication. These are elements that are akin to design.

So when using black and white photography, think about what kind of design will be filling the frame. Think about shapes, and how the lights and darks will fit together to communicate your message.

One of the reasons the black and white image remains strong is that has the ability to capture the essence of a scene by way of light, design and composition.

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