Black and White- Extreme Contrast
This week I've decided to play with the classics. I love Black and White Photography. I have done some work before using film and manipulating digital images to create some interesting black and white contrast. But, there is always room to practice.
Time to get creative. This weeks assignment comes from the Kingston Photographic Club. There are many dimensions in this assignment. They are looking for something that pops. Something with extreme contrast, symmetry, yet, not shying away from gray tones. Truly no black and white is ever fully black and white, there is a delicate balance.
If you are to do this assignment with me this week, here are some of their tips.
1. Look for Contrast
One of the elements that can give interest to a black and white shot is contrast. Because you can’t use colour to distinguish one element of your image from another the tonal variances become all the more important. This doesn’t mean you need to look for stark contrasts in every shot you want to convert to black and white – the subject matter will come into play here – but you should ponder how the contrast will come into play when composing your shot.
2. Wait for the Right Light
Linked to contrast, the lighting in a black and white shot can be very important. For example, direct lighting will often add to contrast. Side lighting will reveal any texture that a subject might have (and in portraits will accentuate features) and light from any one direction will create shadows. All of these techniques can add interest to a black and white image – however they can also be distracting – so play with light with care.
3. Shapes and Patterns
Patterns or shapes that can sometimes almost go unseen in colour (due to the colour itself drawing attention) can come alive in a black and white shot. Black and White shots that rely upon pattern can often take on an abstract quality.
4. Capture Texture
I’ve already mentioned this above when talking about side lighting – but revealing the texture of a subject can add a new dimension to an image. The sidelight does this by creating shadows.