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Black And White Photography for Sizzling Aesthetic Appeal

Sep 18th 2015 at 6:04 AM


To both professionals and amateurs, photography is an experience that enriches the mind and soul and at the same time, the photograph can become the artist’s expression. To the artistic photographer, the image reaches beyond the limitations of reality, delving deeper into the underlying meanings of the subject captured. Within the process of photography, development of the captured content is also an essential step, and it is through this step that the artist maneuvers the recorded detail into something that he/she wants it to be. Black and white photography is one of those many methods of manipulation which comes into play when developing the photo content. An eminent intellectual once mused--“When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in Black and white, you photograph their souls!”

Digital black and white imaging is now doable for the hobbyists and certified professionals alike, thanks to smart technology. Here are a few photography tips for shooting artistically standout monochrome photographs:

Begin visualizing in monochrome

To begin with, it is very important to visualize the world around in monochrome to click the most appealing black and white photograph. This is a tricky affair as we are so visually used to the diverse color spectrum as perceived by the naked eye, that black and white becomes quite inconceivable. Set picture mode to monochrome on your camera and look at the world in neutral tints. By extensive practice, you would know the exact monochrome equivalents for every particular color or texture. Choosing the right subjects for stunning B&W photography is a cinch only when you gain some insight into its conversion into monochrome.

Look for contrasts, reflections, shimmers and intricate detailing

Choose subjects with high range of contrasts for impactful visual composition, like a seascape, with waves crashing at the feet of blackened rocky crags. The froth at the breaking waves will assume a light refulgent color while the water will be darker and the rock shelf will be a heavily shaded mass, striking out as the darkest in the entire composition. With this varying degree of darkness the image will brim over with latent drama.

Explore urban spaces for sharply cut out geometric structures which come off wonderfully in black and white photography—rectangular buildings covered partially with highly reflective glass, semicircular porticos that are wreathed with a haze of shimmering leaves from a leaning tree , cracked cement floors and zoom-ins of the fissure lines on olden stairs, intricately engraved decorative walls of a museum; or a car speeding out of the city premises, traversing the pitch blackness of a road below a measureless light-hued sky. The possibilities of photographic contrast in urban spaces are immense.

Postproduction highlighting for more intensification

“Dodge and burn” is a customary Photoshop method applied to darken the extra-lighted patches by burning while brightening the areas where the shadiness is obscuring. The opacity of the image can also be controlled with relevant Photoshop tools. Dissipating the level of opacity and blurring are two top photography tips for smoothening jagged edges and noise in black and white and color photographs alike.


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