Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Taking Great Pictures in Black and White Photography

Seeing in black and white can be learned by paying particular attention to the quality and direction of light. Examine Impressionist paintings. These works are all on the quality of light as they are about their subjects. One of the clearest examples is the series Haystack by Claude Monet. Although the subject of Monet and views are exactly the same in each table, each of these tables is very different because of the quality of light. This is the same regardless of the light that the photographer in black and white must keep in mind.

Photography in its simplest definition is the recording of light. When you take pictures in black and white, light and its interaction with the subject of your photo should be at the forefront of your mind.

Great Pictures Black and White Photography
Considerations for photography in black and white:

The review by the first and most important of all photography is the point of view. What about you? What you want to say or to show photography.

Source of Light
Is the source of natural light? Your subject is illuminated directly by the primary light source (sun, flash) or been informed by the reflection of light from clouds or not on a large luminous object?

Quality of light
The direct light produces shadows and strong contrasts between light and darkness. Diffuse light, as light of a cloudy day, softens shadows and produces soft shades of gray in your photo.

Amount of light
Is there enough light to record your subject? The red stands out brilliantly in a shooting early evening gray color will be delivered in a black and white photo. Is there enough light to see your subject as you want it delivered?

Direction of light
The direction of light affects depth, dimension and detail. Side lighting produces larger effects. Lighting before reducing the texture and depth. Back light highlights the reduced form and detail.

Great Pictures Black and White Photography

Pattern is the repetition of line and form. Reason can give rhythm and structure for a photo.

Shape is defined not only by the objects represented, but also blocks light and darkness of the picture.
Tone is conveyed by the use of shadow and light in photography. Photographs using dark shadows and dark tones of gray areas to convey a mood such as sadness, emptiness, etc. tones photographs can convey moods, such as opening or space.

The qualities of surface texture of the object texture to a photograph. Texture can add realism and depth, and lack of texture can add a mythic quality or ideal for a photo.

Lines to provide guidance and structure to your photo. Lines draw the viewer's eye through the photograph. Lines add movement and tension.

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