November 15, 2012 · 7:00 PM
The technical name for black-and-white photography is "monochrome" since it is all different shades of one color. Black-and-white photography is popular with journalists and artists. It presents stark contrasts and a purer image. Black and white is often used in portraits and wedding pictures to provide a classic or historic look. Photographers choosing to shoot in black and white need to understand how it is different than color photography.
Shooting black-and-white is, indeed different than shooting for color. There is more contrast in black-and-white. Photographers must therefore use light to emphasize the differences between contrasting areas. Closer attention must be paid to composition. Since there is no color to draw the eye, shapes and shades are more important. Shadows, therefore, play a much larger role in black-and-white photography. Different colors may render down to very similar shades of gray removing any contrast.
Here are a couple of tips to help you along the way:
Shoot in your cameras RAW format if possible to collect as much of the tonal information as possible. This will help you pull detail out of the light and dark areas in post.
While in RAW, set the camera to render in black and white. The RAW files will still be in color, but the JPG previews will display in black and white. This will help you to visualize the subject in monochrome and get a feel for how colors render in shades of gray.
If you can only shoot JPGs use the black and white setting of your camera to capture a preview, then shoot in full color and convert the files on the computer in post. Most cameras don't do a very good job of converting to black and white as they just apply a desaturation filter to the color image; you can get much better results in the computer.
The rules are simple, no photos older then 30 days from the start date.
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